The Greenways and Open Space Commission voted in Feb. 2022 to not take any action to regulate e-bikes on Nashville's greenways.
A Brief History
After a long process, a "study," and many, many meetings, the Greenways and Open Space Commission decided to do another study before recommending any policy changes regarding e-bikes on greenways. Maybe another study doesn't exactly feel like a victory but it is a signficant one.
Thanks to the nearly 100 people who contacted us and shared why riding an e-bike on the greenway was important to them. Your voice was heard and made a difference. Read these beautiful e-bike stories from Nashvillians, as we delivered them to the Commission members, here.
Like most states, Tennessee state law treats Class 1 and 2 e-bikes like regular bicycles, unless regulated by local ordinance. The Commission's decision to not pursue such an ordinance is a step in the right direction for the future of our greenways. Read more about e-bikes and greenways (and why we believe Class 1 and 2 e-bikes should remain legal on greenways) on our blog post from September.
Full text of the letter we sent to the Greenways and Open Space Comission is below and here.
A Heartfelt Thank You
Thanks to every volunteer who wrote to their council member and the commission members over the past 8 months of this "study" process. Thanks to everyone who responded to Metro Parks' survey this fall. Thanks to every volunteer who organized a ride and encourged friends and family to respond to the survey.
Our members make our advocacy work possible. We couldn't do this work without your support. Join or renew your Walk Bike Nashville membership today.
We’ll be following this next study process. But for now, no policy change is a victory!
Let's get out and ride a bike on our greenways! And hopefully soon, everyone will be able to try out a pedal assist e-bike when Nashville BCycle is FINALLY allowed to re-open the 11 stations in parks and near greenways. We are hoping that can happen very, very soon.
Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email Lindsey, our Advocacy & Communications Director.
Dear Greenways and Open Space Commission Members,
Since the recent e-bike “study” effort began, Walk Bike Nashville has heard from nearly 100 people about why it is important to them to be able to ride an e-bike on Nashville’s greenways. Attached you’ll find some of the stories we’ve collected from Nashvillians who have found joy, happiness, and better health by riding class 1 and class 2 e-bikes on the greenways.
E-bikes are an incredible tool in expanding biking to more people of a wider range of ages and abilities. From the stories Nashvillians shared with us, we’ve learned that e-bikes are particularly popular with older riders, newer riders, riders concerned about not being sufficiently fit, parents riding with kids, people recovering from illness and injury, and people using bikes for transportation. We’ve learned that e-bikes help more Nashvillians feel comfortable riding bikes, and they expand the types of trips they can take on their bike by helping them go farther.
We also know that class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are currently ridden by Nashvillians all across the greenways system, as is allowed by state law. Pedal assist class 1 and class 2 e-bikes operate like bikes. They are not louder, faster, or bigger than other bikes on the greenways, and they still require pedaling. The only difference is they make it easier to pedal.
Based on the results of Metro Park’s “study,” our conversations with Nashvillians, and our staff’s research around policies and best practices from across the country, Walk Bike Nashville does not believe that any action is necessary by this Commission, the Parks and Recreation Board, or the Metro Council at this time.
Our existing BCycle stations should reopen and Metro Nashville’s greenway system should prepare for growth. We hope that Metro Nashville focuses on building a greenway system for everyone. Let’s work together to solve the education, design, and infrastructure issues so that our greenways can accommodate the continued innovation in e-bikes and bike share systems. E-bikes have so many potential benefits for our city and for Nashvillians. E-bikes are mobility devices, and to exclude e-bike riders from the safest parts of our bicycle network–our greenways–would be impractical and discriminatory toward those who need our greenways the most.
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