During summer 2022, OSMP gathered community input on whether to allow e-biking on open space trails. An online engagement questionnaire provided community members with an open participation opportunity to give feedback. Additionally, OSMP staff conducted an on-site intercept survey at a subset of open space trails to gather a representative sample of current OSMP visitor attitudes, preferences, and concerns regarding allowing e-bikes on open space.
View the overall support graphic as PDF.
Community Input Conclusions
- There is support for allowing e-biking on some open space trails by a majority of respondents from both the engagement questionnaire (72%) and intercept survey (63%).
- For the engagement questionnaire, most respondents who supported an e-bike alternative indicated support for Alternative B.
- From the intercept survey, many respondents who supported an e-bike alternative indicated support across all three alternatives.
- E-biker speed and concern for user conflict among activities emerged as themes across both surveys to consider in developing an approach for managing trails for e-biking use if it is allowed.
- For the on-site survey, potential negative impacts to trail conditions emerged as the second issue of highest concern, after speed.
For more information check out the Community Input Comparison and Key Findings PDF.
View the about the datasets graphic as PDF.
An objective of both the online engagement questionnaire and on-site intercept survey was to gather opinions and preferences regarding allowing e-biking on open space trails. The two survey instruments and their modes of administration (online and on-site) were designed to support complimentary, though not identical, datasets to help understand community sentiment toward e-bikes.
Engagement Questionnaire Key Findings
OSMP posted the online questionnaire on the City of Boulder Be Heard Boulder engagement web page. The questionnaire opened on July 11 and closed on Aug. 8. It generated a robust community response. Over 2,330 responses were submitted, making it the most popular engagement questionnaire to date on BeHeardBoulder.com.
- The majority of respondents (72%) supported one of the alternatives allowing e-bikes on open space over the status quo (No-Change).
- About 47% of respondents indicated hiking and 36% indicated biking as their primary activity.
- Approximately 44% own an e-bike and 63% have ridden an e-bike in the last 12 months.
- Familiarity with e-bikes was a strong indicator of support for e-biking, with 95% of those who own an e-bike and 85% who have ridden an e-bike selecting an alternative over the status quo. That said, just over half (53%) of respondents who don’t own an e-bike and 48% who have not ridden an e-bike also supported an e-biking alternative.
- Of the 72% of respondents who expressed support for e-bikes, 52% of them indicated a preference for Alternative B.
- Respondents who supported Alternative B selected that it increases access for people with different abilities (62%), and for an aging population (59%) as their top two reasons why.
- Approximately 28% of respondents indicated a preference for the status quo of not allowing e-biking on open space trails. Of the respondents who shared why, 74% expressed e-biker travel speed was the top reason. The second ranked response was “I do not agree that electric-assist is non-motorized” and selected by 49% of those who shared why they chose the status quo.
- Around 58% of respondents thought that they might change their visitation behaviors if e-bikes were allowed on trails. About 54% of these respondents thought they would visit trails more often if e-bikes were allowed.
- The majority of respondents were from Boulder County, with about 60% of all respondents being from the City of Boulder.
For more information check out the Engagement Questionnaire Results PDF.
Intercept Survey Key Findings
A total of 431 visitors completed the survey during a 9-week period in summer 2022 at 12 OSMP locations during various daylight hours. The results are presented in an interactive report that allows results to be explored dynamically.
- The majority of respondents (63%) selected one of the alternatives over the status quo (No-Change) as their overall "most preferred option".
- Respondents who overall preferred Alternative A (26%) also supported Alternatives B and C. Many respondents supported all three Alternatives, even if they preferred one specific alternative.
- Approximately 52% of respondents indicated hiking as their primary activity.
- Respondents across all alternatives expressed a range of opinions about the likelihood of different outcomes or concerns about the potential impacts of e-bikes.
- In general, concerns were lower among those who preferred Alternative A (most permissive for allowing E-Bikes) and highest among those who preferred No-Change.
- The same pattern was generally observed for the likelihood of outcomes, where those who preferred Alternative A indicated that on average they believed the likelihood of positive outcomes was higher and the likelihood of negative outcomes was lower. This pattern reversed for those respondents who preferred No-Change.
- Around 28% of respondents, or just over one quarter, thought that they might change their visitation behaviors if E-Bikes were allowed on trails.
- Of the 28% who thought their visitation behaviors might change, most thought they would visit trails that allow e-bikes less often if e-bikes were allowed.
- The majority of respondents were from Boulder County, with just over 50% of all respondents being from the City of Boulder.
A Digital Report provides an opportunity to explore and interact with the results. For more information check out Intercept Survey Results.
Compendium of community comments PDF