The city is rolling out some new policies for multi-use trails, including a 15-mph speed limit and regulations on what types of electric bikes are permitted. It’s part of a one-year pilot program from Seattle Parks and Recreation, and will affect five multi-use trails including the Burke-Gilman Trail, Elliott Bay Trail, Mountains to Sound Trail, Melrose Connector Trail, and the Duwamish Trail.
This is the first time a speed limit has been enforced on multi-use trails, a policy which comes from consistent complaints of speeding cyclists from trail users. In response to a new state law (SB 6343) that classifies e-bikes into three categories, the Parks department will allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes (those that stop assisting riders at 20-mph) on multi-use trails. The only other motorized vehicles permitted on trails will be ADA-compliant mobility devices.
Seattle Parks will also conduct an educational outreach campaign on trail use and etiquette as part of the pilot. They’ll be placing signs along the trails describing trail rules and etiquette, and will work with the Department of Transportation for an ongoing outreach campaign – details to come.
Seattle Parks will also be conducting surveys throughout the pilot, information from which they’ll use to make a final policy recommendation to the Board of Park Commissioners in summer of 2019. The first survey is available now, aimed at finding out who uses multi-use trails and current user experience on those trails.
Photo by Seattle.gov/TIA International Photography