City Council defers decision on use of e-bikes, e-scooters on park trails

City planners deferred approving the use of electric bikes and scooters on park trails Monday, along with approving funding for an easement along the Clark Fork River and a program to improve apprentices for the city’s construction projects.

At a Missoula City Council meeting, members approved an update to regulations for trails throughout the city’s parks. Before voting, the proposal was amended to strike the use of e-bikes and e-scooters from the ordinance following a debate among council members. City council members said the issue of e-bikes and e-scooters on the city’s trails will be addressed in future hearings.

Donna Gaukler, the director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, presented the ordinance updating provisions for Missoula City Parks, which will allow for e-bikes on primary commuter trails. The two and three-wheeled vehicles must run on electric motors, and cannot exceed 20 mph. This will accommodate two of the three classes of e-bikes, as well as e-scooters, defined by a city ordinance approved June 3.

According to the ordinance, which is based on classifications adopted in 14 states, Class 1 e-bikes are built with motors that only assist while pedaling and have a maximum speed

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