E-bikes are gaining popularity in Incline Village, Nevada, located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. They provide a great alternative to driving and allow people to explore the local beaches and attractions.

According to Bicycling, a recent trail expansion project will add eight more miles to the East Shore Trail. The trail expansion, which received over $10 million in federal funds, will grant access to additional recreational areas and the popular Sand Harbor State Park.

However, a new ordinance in Washoe County prohibits e-bikes from using bike paths. Washoe County police plan to enforce this ordinance, which will require e-bike riders to drive on the roads.

According to police sergeant Nicholas Tone, the e-bike ban was motivated by e-bikes traveling at the same speed as cars along pedestrian walkways.

Some residents believe that this ban overlooks the real transportation issues. In a Facebook post, local resident Brad Buxton said that the ban will prevent Washoe County from meeting its pollution reduction targets. Buxton told SFGATE that adding bike lanes and street crossings would do more to enhance public safety than a ban.

Bizarrely, the Incline Village Police Department recently acquired six new Recon Power e-bikes for code and traffic enforcement. Therefore, police will ride e-bikes along trails to deny the same privilege to residents.

If police end up choosing to respect the e-bike ban, they won’t be able to enforce violations.

The evidence seems to suggest that Buxton is right. Many national parks used to ban e-bikes along park trails. However, the Department of the Interior overturned these bans in 2019.

Pamela Barnes, an information officer at Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, has admitted that there was no data underpinning the park’s previous e-bike ban.

Image Source: Vista Trail Bikes