Staff to begin implementation and monitoring
At the July 9 meeting, Whistler Council supported a draft policy for electric powered personal mobility devices, including e-bikes, on recreational trails in the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW). Council also authorized staff to proceed with amendments to Whistler’s park use bylaw and to begin implementation and monitoring in the community.
Mayor Jack Crompton said, “This policy provides guidance for the appropriate, responsible and respectful use of e-mobility devices in Whistler. With increasing demand for e-bike use in Whistler, this policy will help to manage the expectations, potential impacts and experience of residents, visitors and businesses.”
He added, “Development of the draft policy would not have been possible without the efforts of staff, the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, input from community members and stakeholders, and participation from the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA). It is a dynamic issue so we will improve this document as we learn.”
The RMOW will be sharing information with the community about the policy and installing new signs to indicate e-bike restrictions and the preferred direction for trail use in some locations. Clarifying where people can ride various classes of e-bikes is intended to minimize conflict, enhance safety, and protect trails and the natural environment in which they are built.
A broad monitoring program has been developed and is being implemented this summer, including:
- A trail user intercept survey,
- observations by Bylaw Services park and trail ambassadors and Alpine Trail Rangers,
- trail counters,
- data from Trailforks, and
- collaboration and information sharing with Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), Whistler Search and Rescue, Vancouver Coastal Health, Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb; and potentially additional surveys in the fall or winter.
The municipality will review the monitoring results and make adjustments to the policy, if required.
The following are the permissions and restrictions for various devices included in the draft policy:
Class 1 pedal-assisted e-bikes are the most common devices in Whistler and are:
*NOT PERMITTED on these off-road trails