British Columbia (Canada) Parks rolls out new e-bike policy to protect sensitive ecosystems

IonLion

New Member

Policy designating Class 2 and 3 e-bikes as motorized vehicles goes into effect immediately

Electric bicycles are growing so popular that B.C. Parks has had to implement a new policy regarding their use to protect sensitive ecosystems.

The authority says e-bikes allow more riders to use trails and reach areas that were previously limited to a few visitors, leading to increased pressure on habitats.

The policy says that those with Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any B.C. Parks trail where mountain bikes or other cycling is already allowed, but those with Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only ride on trails and roads designated for motorized vehicles.

Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations. These e-bikes have motors that only work when the rider is pedalling, and have a maximum output of 500 watts.

The motors of Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are capable of providing partial or full assistance by throttle. Both are considered motorized vehicles under PCRA regulations.

B.C. Parks says its primary goal is to educate the public on the new policy to generate voluntary compliance. However, if riders are not willing to comply, tickets up to $575 may be issued.

The policy goes into effect immediately.
 

Afren

Active Member
I totally agree with the above approach. Class 2 & 3 e-bikes are more akin to battery powered motorbike than a bike or an e-bike. Here in Europe class 1 e--bikes are only allowed a max of 250 watts of power output and that's more than plenty. So legislators all over the globe should, in my opinion, follow the above approach when legislating regarding e-bikes.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I don't have a throttle to spin the tires in the dirt. But if BC wants to cater to 20-50 year olds as their tourist population, let them. I'll spend my SSI south of the 50th parallel. There are times I can't pedal, and swapping the bike for a wheelchair can't be accomplished out on the trail without a tow truck and a day wasted.
1200 W gets me a whole 4 mph up some of the steep grades around here, 5 if I pedal. Unpowered is 1/2 mph. EU regs are nuts. Bananas have to be curved enough! Or they are thrown out. Fish get dumped dead at sea so the inspector won't see them in port.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
I totally agree with the above approach. Class 2 & 3 e-bikes are more akin to battery powered motorbike than a bike or an e-bike. Here in Europe class 1 e--bikes are only allowed a max of 250 watts of power output and that's more than plenty. So legislators all over the globe should, in my opinion, follow the above approach when legislating regarding e-bikes.
Counter point:

Classification of eBikes has led to the propogation of the theory that those with throttles are as noted above.

In fact adding a throttle to a legal watt limit, whether here or anywhere, does nothing more than allow a person to access that amount of wattage, which is no more than any other legal class ebike, if you look at the PFB Classifications you can see that there is no difference in access for both, whereas the the Class 3 PAS/28mph bikes have access limitations.

If someone chooses to use it to exclusion/assist for health or just plain laziness that is up to them and their needs as they are still only on a low power bicycle and not in a car. Personally I wouldn't have an eBike without one.

As far as the maximum of 250w goes that is just not the case as all the new gen mid motors go up to well over 500w+ even in the EU.

Bottom line is that being exclusive to Class 1 doesn't mean that only angels ride them or that they don't have the ability to do trail damage and/or PO other trail users any more or less than if they have a throttle.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
The 3 class laws allow targeted regulation like this. Pennsylvania doesn't even have the 3 class law, yet the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources allows only class 1 ebikes on state land. They take that one step farther with a maximum ebike weight of 75 pounds. I am in compliance, but there are many riders who don't feel comfortable without a throttle. Most of us know how wimpy throttle mode is on a 250w to 750w ebike. I do think a good torque sensing PAS system is better than any throttle, but throttle offers a lot of comfort to many.

A whole lot of us here saw this targeted regulation coming when the 3 class law was proposed. There are bans for class 2 and 3 popping up in many municipalities. There's surely more to come.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Let me clarify that although my road bikes are throttle only the way I use them I am able to set it at the watts I want the motor to produce to complement my desired speed/cadence/input and then don't have to fuss with it. Handy for taking off from a dead stop or the odd blip to up or decrease speed.

On my torque sensing eMTB in the course of a 30 mile ride I only use it for about one hundred feet, again getting going from a dead stop and letting go once my PAS kicks in, tight situations where I risk pedal strikes or as a walk assist.
 

Afren

Active Member
Everyone can come up with excuses why they need more power than 250 Watts. Having a throttle is not the issue here but rather being able to go faster than 15.5 mph in Europe or 20 mph in the USA and Canada on tracks where there are walkers. Power is not the issue here. Speed is the problem. I am walker as well as a rider and I wouldn't feel comfortable walking on tracks where bikes are allowed to go above a certain speed and in my opinion 15.5 mph is plenty let alone 20 mph, so I'm afraid, I am with British Columbia on this. To be totally Frank, I think the max allowable speed on tracks should be no more than 10 mph.
 
To be totally Frank, I think the max allowable speed on tracks should be no more than 10 mph.
It really depends on where you are. If you have a trail to yourself then 20mph is quite reasonable (assuming the trail isn't too curvy, site lines are good, etc.) On the other hand, 10mph is better for passing pedestrians. However, it would be very sad to see a 10mph trail speed limit everywhere just because you need to pass pedestrians sometimes.
 

Afren

Active Member
Yes, I can see no harm in allowing the max speed to be say 20 mph but in places that speed limit to be limited to 10 mph AND for with pedestrians and horse riders having priority over bicycle riders.
QUOTE="GregGritton, post: 213787, member: 23027"]
It really depends on where you are. If you have a trail to yourself then 20mph is quite reasonable (assuming the trail isn't too curvy, site lines are good, etc.) On the other hand, 10mph is better for passing pedestrians. However, it would be very sad to see a 10mph trail speed limit everywhere just because you need to pass pedestrians sometimes.
[/QUOTE]
 

Afren

Active Member
QUOTE="GregGritton, post: 213787, member: 23027"]
It really depends on where you are. If you have a trail to yourself then 20mph is quite reasonable (assuming the trail isn't too curvy, site lines are good, etc.) On the other hand, 10mph is better for passing pedestrians. However, it would be very sad to see a 10mph trail speed limit everywhere just because you need to pass pedestrians sometimes.
[/QUOTE]
Yes, I can see no harm in allowing the max speed to be say 20 mph but in places that speed limit to be limited to 10 mph AND for pedestrians and horse riders having priority over bicycle riders.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
WIth my dangerous throttle & 1200 W motor I average 8 mph. That includes some downhill stretches on paved roads where I get up to 30 mph. The uphills go down to 4 if I lost momentum. When I'm on the pedestrian/bike bridge across the ohio or on a sidewalk near walkers I go about 2. Just because I have power doesn't mean I have to assault people with a metal object.
My city just spent $$$$$$$$ to replace the bike lanes along the main street (10th, paid for with federal money 1985) with two left turn lanes for cars and two sidewalks. Cars go 60 mph (limit 45), and not everybody is looking forward. Half are looking at their cell phone. Riding on 20' wide Holman lane on the pavement would be a sure way to end my retirement at age 69 after I get run over.
I'm happy for you afren that you are a healthy pedaler. Which branch did you do your military service? The Coast Guard? Why aren't your knees destroyed like mine? The prescribed vehicle for people with knees like mine is the powered wheelchair. The VA loans them out. If I pedal enough unpowered on the flat portions of my rides, the endomorphine covers the pain & allows me to walk.
 
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Afren

Active Member
WIth my dangerous throttle & 1200 W motor I average 8 mph. That includes some downhill stretches on paved roads where I get up to 30 mph. The uphills go down to 4 if I lost momentum. When I'm on the pedestrian/bike bridge across the ohio or on a sidewalk near walkers I go about 2. Just because I have power doesn't mean I have to assault people with a metal object.
My city just spent $$$$$$$$ to replace the bike lanes along the main street (10th, paid for with federal money 1985) with two left turn lanes for cars and two sidewalks. Cars go 60 mph (limit 45), and not everybody is looking forward. Half are looking at their cell phone. Riding on 20' wide Holman lane on the pavement would be a sure way to end my retirement at age 69 after I get run over.
I'm happy for you afren that you are a healthy pedaler. Which branch did you do your military service? The Coast Guard? Why aren't your knees destroyed like mine? The prescribed vehicle for people with knees like mine is the powered wheelchair. The VA loans them out. If I pedal enough unpowered on the flat portions of my rides, the endomorphine covers the pain & allows me to walk.
Unable to read the entirety of your loooooong post suffice as to say that you seem to need an electric scooter than an electric BIKE. 1200 W motor on an ebike is absolutely crazy and totally unnecessary. If you disagree, I respect your opinion but believe it to be utter nosense.
 
The motors of Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are capable of providing partial or full assistance by throttle. Both are considered motorized vehicles under PCRA regulations.[...]
Unusual definition of class 3. I thought class 3 was typically 45 KM/h, but with no throttle. Raleigh has a class 3 bike with a throttle option, but if you engage the throttle it drops the assisted speed from 45 KM/h down to 32 KM/h to comply with class 2 rules in most jurisdictions, since class 3 is usually throttle-less.

What's interesting about this for me is that it seems to be presaging new motor vehicles rules for British Columbia. At present, BC's motor vehicle act doesn't have the 3 class system, but them using it in their new parks policy suggests they're anticipating updates to bring the 3 class system to our motor vehicle act. That'd be pretty awesome. :)
 
WIth my dangerous throttle & 1200 W motor I average 8 mph. That includes some downhill stretches on paved roads where I get up to 30 mph. The uphills go down to 4 if I lost momentum. When I'm on the pedestrian/bike bridge across the ohio or on a sidewalk near walkers I go about 2. Just because I have power doesn't mean I have to assault people with a metal object.
My city just spent $$$$$$$$ to replace the bike lanes along the main street (10th, paid for with federal money 1985) with two left turn lanes for cars and two sidewalks. Cars go 60 mph (limit 45), and not everybody is looking forward. Half are looking at their cell phone. Riding on 20' wide Holman lane on the pavement would be a sure way to end my retirement at age 69 after I get run over.
I'm happy for you afren that you are a healthy pedaler. Which branch did you do your military service? The Coast Guard? Why aren't your knees destroyed like mine? The prescribed vehicle for people with knees like mine is the powered wheelchair. The VA loans them out. If I pedal enough unpowered on the flat portions of my rides, the endomorphine covers the pain & allows me to walk.
Since Transport Canada rules limit e-bikes to a maximum of 500W, your 1200W motor is a no-go in Canada if you want to use it as an e-bike, unfortunately. Even the U.S. is a 750W maximum, from what I understand. I understand you have some special considerations, and rules can't always account for every possible situation (sadly).

As for ripping up bike lanes and putting in lanes for cars, that's insane. In my community it's definitely the opposite! More bike lanes all the time, and if a politician tried to reduce the number of bike lanes they'd not fare well with voters.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
Yes, I can see no harm in allowing the max speed to be say 20 mph but in places that speed limit to be limited to 10 mph AND for with pedestrians and horse riders having priority over bicycle riders.
QUOTE="GregGritton, post: 213787, member: 23027"]
It really depends on where you are. If you have a trail to yourself then 20mph is quite reasonable (assuming the trail isn't too curvy, site lines are good, etc.) On the other hand, 10mph is better for passing pedestrians. However, it would be very sad to see a 10mph trail speed limit everywhere just because you need to pass pedestrians sometimes.
[/QUOTE]
Sigh. There are plenty of analog bike riders who blow right by me when I’m going 15 mph. Having a motor doesn’t make you necessarily a faster or slower rider.
I ride bike paths 5 days a week, about 1/3 of the 100 miles a week that I ride.
Quite honestly, some of the. worst almost-accidents I’ve seen have been caused by inexperienced, or clueless, or inattentive walkers and riders.
Usually, they meander randomly back and forth across the multi use path because they can’t control their bikes, or they don’t understand that they should walk to the right (or don’t care).
The absolute worst are walkers and cyclists who plug up their ears with headphones so they can’t hear anyone approaching as they wander about.
They have every right to be there, but I wish they would follow the most basic safety rules.
I would rather deal with a faster rider who has good control of their bike and follows basic safety rules than a slow, clueless rider any day of the week.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
You said it Toomanycats! And I would hasten to say that one can ride like a jackass even with the motor turned off. Trying to legislate courtesy on the trails only works on riders who are already respectful of others.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member

Policy designating Class 2 and 3 e-bikes as motorized vehicles goes into effect immediately

Electric bicycles are growing so popular that B.C. Parks has had to implement a new policy regarding their use to protect sensitive ecosystems.

The authority says e-bikes allow more riders to use trails and reach areas that were previously limited to a few visitors, leading to increased pressure on habitats.

The policy says that those with Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any B.C. Parks trail where mountain bikes or other cycling is already allowed, but those with Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only ride on trails and roads designated for motorized vehicles.

Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations. These e-bikes have motors that only work when the rider is pedalling, and have a maximum output of 500 watts.

The motors of Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are capable of providing partial or full assistance by throttle. Both are considered motorized vehicles under PCRA regulations.

B.C. Parks says its primary goal is to educate the public on the new policy to generate voluntary compliance. However, if riders are not willing to comply, tickets up to $575 may be issued.

The policy goes into effect immediately.
Apparently, Canada does not treat handicapped persons with the same respect they get here in the US. This regulation discriminates against those who are not fully capable of pedaling a bicycle. If it is the volume that threatens the environment, limit the number of bikes, not the type. To me, this is like banning electric wheelchairs from crowded sidewalks.

Like indianjoe, I'll spend my tourist dollars south of the border.
 

Browneye

Member
Stupid stupid stupid. If you're gonna let any ebikes in then let them all. Put a speed limit in if necessary. Cherry picking features is just dumb. All you do is confuse the users and the ones charged with enforcing the rules.
 
Stupid stupid stupid. If you're gonna let any ebikes in then let them all. Put a speed limit in if necessary. Cherry picking features is just dumb. All you do is confuse the users and the ones charged with enforcing the rules.
I support the rule. By not letting in class 3 e-bikes you keep the speed down. I suspect that they didn't want to let class 2 e-bikes in because they want to keep out motorized-only vehicles, and since class 2 can be ridden that way perhaps they felt it was important to not set that precedent. That's speculative on my part, but it fits in with some of the wording that BC Parks used in their legislation and in their press releases.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
You keep potential speed down, a little, but add complexity to the rules and keep out some people with some revenue.

If I rode at 20 mph the whole time I would not be tolerated...everybody has a responsibility to control their vehicle