Thanks to the advocacy of our members and others, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) clarified their regulations about the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on DCR properties and roadways.

In response to your letters and emails, the DCR recently published regulations that adopt a balanced approach to the use of e-bikes in state parks.

We recognize that e-bikes can be a climate-friendly transportation option for people to commute, recreate, and promote physical and mental health, especially for people who are less physically able.  The current regulations balance the benefits of allowing e-bike access in the many places where people can enjoy them, while protecting the natural environment.  The regulations allow Class 1 (pedal-assisted) e-bikes on long distance, paved or improved bike paths and rail trails, while prohibiting all classes of e-bikes on unimproved, natural surface trails, like the Blue Hills trails.

Our members and supporters clearly made a difference over the last 15 months to help make sure that the regulations preserved e-bike in the many places where they can be beneficial, while also protecting visitors and our natural resources.

We look forward to working with you to encourage DCR and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to conduct scientific studies to better understand how e-bike use may affect visitor safety, wildlife disturbance, habitat fragmentation, erosion, the degradation of habitat in DCR parkland, and use science-based evidence when considering any updates to e-bike rules in the future.

Many thanks to all the great partners who worked on this issues with us, including Friends of the Fells and other Friends groups.

You can read the letter submitted by the Friends of the Blue Hills and 18 other partner organizations to oppose a rule change allowing e-bikes in the Blue Hills Reservation and all DCR parks.

You can read 12:12, the section pertaining to e-bikes, here.

You can read the full regulations here.  (Look for section 12:12.)

Photo credit: Joe Greeley (Norwood)