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Which Wheels Go Where? City Updates Ordinances Around Where Electric and Human-Powered Transportation Devices Can Be Used

These days, there are many ways to get around Boulder, such as by e-bike, electric scooter, skateboard and more. To promote the safe use of human- and electric-powered devices on the city’s streets, sidewalks and multi-use paths, the city has updated its ordinances around where these different devices can be used:   

  • Bicycles and e-bikes: Can be used on all streets, in bike lanes, on multi-use paths and on sidewalks outside dismount zones (please note e-bikes may not be used on designated OSMP trails).  
  • Skateboards and rollerblades (non-electric): Can be used on residential streets and only in the bike lane on all other streets. They can also be used on multi-use paths and on sidewalks outside dismount zones.
  • Electric scooters and electric skateboards: Can be used on residential streets and only in the bike lane on all other streets. If no bike lane exists, e-scooters can be used on sidewalks, except in dismount zones). They can also be used on multi-use paths. 
  • Motorized scooters and mopeds: Can only be ridden in the street, with the flow of traffic. Cannot be ridden in bike lanes or on sidewalks or multi-use paths.  
No device that uses an electric motor may be used on designated Open Space and Mountain Parks trails or OSMP paved multi-use trails, including: ebikes, motorized vehicles, motorized scooters and mopeds, and skateboards and scooters that have an electric motor. However, people experiencing disabilities can use Other Power/Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs), including electric-assisted cycles and handcycles.

In addition to updating where these different devices can be used, the city has also updated the locations of sidewalk dismount zones to reduce conflicts in areas with high pedestrian traffic and better support multimodal travel connections. Dismount zones have been expanded in the University Hill Commercial Area and Downtown Boulder (known as the Central Area General Improvement District, or CAGID). Maps of the dismount zones can be found online. These areas are marked by the dismount zone symbol (below) on the sidewalk. Users of human-powered and electric bikes, scooters and skateboards must dismount when they see this symbol.  

Finally, the city reminds users of all types of mobility devices to follow traffic and safety laws. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind: 

  • Bicyclists, scooter users and skateboarders always yield to pedestrians on streets, paths and sidewalks.
  • Bicyclists, scooter users and skateboarders must use a front white light and rear red light or reflector when riding after dark.   
  • Bicyclists, scooter users and skateboarders must stay in the bike lane when crossing an intersection. 

Improving the comfort and safety of all modes of transportation in Boulder is key to reaching our community’s Vision Zero safety and environmental sustainability goals. We thank you for helping share our multimodal spaces safely. Now grab your wheels of choice and get out there to enjoy Boulder’s more than 300 days of sunshine!  

Learn more about micromobility in Boulder. You can also watch our video on the new regulations. 

Published Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Media Contacts: 

Samantha Glavin, Media Relations, 720-667-9480 

Dave “DK” Kemp, Senior Transportation Planner, 720-376-0890 

micromobility chart

dismount zone symbol