Redundant regulation Arlington VA

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#1
Arlington County government would like to emulate DC's dockless bike/scooter/ebike experiment with an official 'trial' to begin this September, source: https://transportation.arlingtonva.us/scooters-and-dockless-bikeshare/.

The Arlington County Code needs a bit of cleaning up, currently there is an non-enforced § 14.2-64.1 prohibition on ebikes riding on Arlington County bike trails and multi-use paths. ACPD told the BAC that ebikes are legal on bike paths, this Arlington regulation conflicts with VA law. Local ebike riders can help shape future regulations by contacting the county on this or other issues connected with the dockless trial by emailing mobility@arlingtonva.us

Naturally this being DC there are a myriad overlapping jurisdictions and so removing this redundant regulation from the County Code would not change the ebike bans on the Mt Vernon Trail (NPS) or W&OD trail (NOVA Parks).
 
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#2
Oh boy, that is concerning! I just bought my first e-bike to commute to my job in Arlington from my home in Alexandria. I have only done the commute once so far and I kept pace with other bikers as it seemed unwise to zip around runners and walkers faster than at non-assisted biking speed. But that's just me. I bet a lot of people wouldn't bother to slow down on crowded paths. They will ruin it for us all!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#3
I just bought my first e-bike to commute to my job in Arlington from my home in Alexandria.
Hi, are you commuting up the Mt Vernon Trail? My understanding is it would take an NPS employee to enforce their ebike ban as it's not illegal under Virginia law so as with the Arlington County ban it is in practice not enforced. I've ridden a few times on the MVT without comment so you should be fine. Watch out for the MVT connector paths crossing the fast roads approaching Memorial bridge, the Intersection of Doom that connects MVT to the Custis Trail at Rosslyn, and the slippery wooden bridges on the MVT around Roosevelt Island and Dyke Marsh, South of Alexandria - all notorious accident blackspots (see this thread and this thread on the Bike Arlington forum).
 
#4
Yikes! The path I took on my only commute so far was W&OD to the trailhead at Shirlington. Google maps directed me to a ped overpass, which neither I nor anyone in my family had ever even noticed before despite driving beneath it zillions of times. Just goes to show how we see what we're attuned to see. Anyway, with the assisted motor, I was easily able to get up the bridge ramp. However, the distance on the road between the trail and the access to the bridge is on the street and I did not deem it very safe as it goes around a curve leading to 395. Next time I'm going to try taking the 4MR trail to Glebe to Valley Drive to get back on the same route. I hurt my back gardening the day after I bought my bike and I'm SOOOO eager to get back on it! Tomorrow I'm going to give it a try.
 
#5
Google indicates a route that would be a few minutes faster that would be entirely on the street (Walter Reed) to Shirlington vs. the bike path. I'll try it out, of course, but already at a sub-hour time, biking is faster than taking public transit to my work.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#7
4MR trail to Glebe to Valley Drive...(Walter Reed) to Shirlington
The approaches to the Shirlington ped/bike bridge should be improved as it's so useful for crossing 395, on your alternative route the short stretch of Glebe is marked with Sharrows but there is a reasonable width sidewalk next to it if traffic is heavy, I found Valley Drive was quiet the one time I rode from Ballston to Del Ray one Friday after work. Walter Reed is sharrows most of the way and while direct I'm uncomfortable riding on it at busy times so I tend to use the W&OD as my North-South arterial if I'm towing a child trailer from Ballston to Barcroft or Shirlington rec centers.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#8
I ride on the Mt. Vernon trail almost daily.
Yeah the local ebike bans are regressive, presumably a throwback to concerns about keeping mopeds/gas powered motorized bicycles off multi use paths, I'm interested to see if the lobbying from riders plus the dockless companies like Uber/Jump, Lyft/Motivate is enough to get at least Arlington County to remove their ban, unsure how responsive NOVA Parks are, I don't think anything will convince the Park Service.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
#9
I live in Falls Church, ride the W& OD to get to anywhere in the area, either out to Puceville or off to Rockville (lake Kneedwood and beyond), Ashton, MT Vernon or just somewhere. i have beeen ridin g for 7 or 8 years on my Stromers. I try to be a decent rider but no one is perfect. I have had maybe 6 complaints about my ebike on any trail here. Only from someone wearing Spandex too, lol. I will ride on a street if safe but i must feel SAFE. I do have 2 Ortleib bags on the rack at all time, partiallly cover the motor, some may not notice the motor

I am have been passed by regualr bikes while i was about at top speed , i just dont get this no ebike mentality. I would thik speed is the issue and this depends on the rider.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#11
Calling Arlington, Alexandria & Fairfax and ebike riders in Northern Virginia. NOVA Parks is proposing changing Park Authority Regulation §1.14 Motor Vehicles and Traffic to lift the ban on Class 1 & 2 ebikes on their trails including the arterial W&OD rail-trail. Please write an email to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov to express your support or if you have the time there will be a public joint hearing held by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board at 7 p.m. on February 7th at The Jean R. Packard Center at Occoquan Regional Park, located at 9751 Ox Road, Lorton, VA.
https://www.thewashcycle.com/2019/01/nova-parks-to-consider-new-e-bikes-on-trails-regulations.html
 
#12
Arlington County government would like to emulate DC's dockless bike/scooter/ebike experiment with an official 'trial' to begin this September, source: https://transportation.arlingtonva.us/scooters-and-dockless-bikeshare/.

The Arlington County Code needs a bit of cleaning up, currently there is an non-enforced § 14.2-64.1 prohibition on ebikes riding on Arlington County bike trails and multi-use paths. ACPD told the BAC that ebikes are legal on bike paths, this Arlington regulation conflicts with VA law. Local ebike riders can help shape future regulations by contacting the county on this or other issues connected with the dockless trial by emailing mobility@arlingtonva.us

Naturally this being DC there are a myriad overlapping jurisdictions and so removing this redundant regulation from the County Code would not change the ebike bans on the Mt Vernon Trail (NPS) or W&OD trail (NOVA Parks).
This is wrong and concerning on so many levels. My home country implemented similar laws and applied taxes so fewer and fewer people own e-bikes. It is like people are against healthy habits and eco-friendly vehicles - Dumb people to be specific -