Chris Nunes, the township director for parks and recreation, said July 22 e-bikes were not permitted on township pathways because they were categorized as motorized vehicles. Bicycles traveling at higher rates of speed are meant to stay on the roads, Nunes said.
Any change to the township policy would require a public hearing, he said.
The township has 200 miles of pathways, which are 8-foot-wide concrete winding paths connecting various amenities of the township. Nunes said they were developed in patterns meant to preserve as many trees as possible.
Residents spoke out both in favor of and opposed to e-bikes being allowed on township pathways at the July meeting, following similar June comments on both sides.
According to state statute, e-bikes are allowed on pathways that are solely dedicated for bicycles, but township pathways are for walking, running and other modes of locomotion.
Nunes said one unique aspect in the township is that the line of sight on most pathways is fairly limited compared to areas with less vegetation and less curvilinear design.
"Our pathway system is not conducive to the use of e-bikes," board Vice Chair Bruce Rieser said at the July 22 meeting.
However, he said the Spring Creek Greenway is conducive for their use and the township can work to provide better access to that facility by modifying curbing along Lake Woodlands Drive and Kuykendahl Road to allow bikers to better use those roads to reach it.
Chair Gordy Bunch clarified that e-bikes can be used on pathways when they are not used in a motorized capacity and are powered entirely by pedaling.