Make your voice heard!
Say no to allowing e-bikes in the watershed
MMWD is now considering whether to allow e-bikes in the watershed. It is critical that opposition to e-bikes on MMWD land be heard.
The reversal of e-bike restrictions on Marin Municipal Watershed District land is now under consideration. The bike industry and aggressive e-bike advocates have been successful in forcing the board of directors to reconsider its policy which prohibits the use of motorized bicycles on watershed lands.
E-bikes are not permitted on the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, East Bay Municipal Utilities District, San Francisco Public Utilities District and Marin Municipal Watershed District because they degrade the environmental quality and aesthetic character of these fragile ecosystems. We don't want this to happen in our vital watershed lands.
It is critical that opposition to e-bikes on MMWD terrain be heard. Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com encouraging the district to maintain its existing e-bike policy. They are looking for comments regarding rogue e-bikers and any negative interactions with speeding, trail cutting, or other aggressive moves. Please note day, time and which trail you are on.
Tell the board of directors that you strongly oppose the use of e-bikes on MMWD lands. Let the board know how e-bikes negatively impact passive, non-mechanized recreation such as hiking and bird-watching.
Express concern about the consequences this rapidly expanding industry and rental market could have on the biology, geology, hydrology and sanctity of MMWD land and wildlife. Inform the board that e-bikes are able to travel uphill at speeds near twenty miles per hour, and despite manufacturers’ guarantee of meeting federal regulations, curious minds will figure out how to enhance e-bike capabilities, resulting in reckless behavior.
Evaluate the argument for access by mobility-impaired users. Traveling farther and faster could result in an accident that puts a strain on emergency services.
State your support for Marin Municipal Watershed District to maintain its existing e-bike ban policy in order to protect the watershed. Here is a sample email content you can copy into the body of your email and then personalize, using your own wording. Copy these email addresses and send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com supporting the district in maintaining its existing ban on e-bikes. Be sure to provide your full name and mailing address so the Board knows you are a Marin County resident.
I strongly support the Board's existing position on banning e-bikes on MMWD lands. Reversing the position would be short-sighted.
E-bikes have the potential to negatively impact the environment, with uphill speeds of up to 20 miles per hour on sensitive trails and dirt fire roads.
Their presence adversely affects existing passive recreational use, especially hiking and bird-watching.
Although I am sympathetic to the desires of mobility-impaired users to gain greater wilderness access, traveling father and faster could result in much more serious accidents that put greater strain on emergency services.
I would also remind the board of the economic impact for the district, as e-bikes on the watershed would require additional financial and staff resources to enforce compliance and maintain trails.
With an eye to the future, as the use of e-bikes becomes more prevalent, the damage and dangers would grow exponentially. What might seem like a small change in policy could have great long-term negative ramifications as e-bike design is enhanced to be faster and more powerful, and popularity and usage grows.