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Metro recommends another study amid concerns over eBikes and greenway infrastructure

The Greenway Commission did not propose any sort of regulation on eBikes at a recent meeing, but instead recommended another study to be done. (WZTV){br}
The Greenway Commission did not propose any sort of regulation on eBikes at a recent meeing, but instead recommended another study to be done. (WZTV)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Last week, the Greenways and Open Space Commission met to discuss potentially proposing some regulation regarding e-bikes on greenways, but decided against it.

Nashville Greenways are a hot commodity for runners, walkers, and bikers alike.

Lindsey Ganson with Walk Bike Nashville says right now, Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed on Metro Greenways.

“E-bikes just allow more people to bike! An e-bike rider just gets an extra boost to keep up -- not to speed down a greenway,” Ganson said.

Ganson was at the recent commission meeting where the possibility of e-bike regulations was brought up. She is against it.

“Really, when it comes down to it it’s not the type of bike, it’s the rider on the bike.” Ganson said.

The commission did not propose any sort of regulation but instead recommended another study to be done. Metro Council Member Burkley Allen is on the Greenways Commission.

“This is just more data gathering. I don’t even know if we’d necessarily call it another study,” Allen said.

FOX 17 went to the city asking why another study is necessary.

In a statement from Metro Parks, it outlines the commission's recommendation to the department saying there is not enough information to say e-bikes are unsafe, but they want to collect more data before making any decision.

Here is the statement from Metro Parks outlining the recommendation from the Commission:

Recognizing that Nashville’s Greenways is a 30-year-old, multi-use system of linear parks and acknowledging that thousands of members of the community who are Greenway users have participated in earlier Plan to Play surveys and the more recent survey regarding e-bike usage on Greenways, a substantial number of whom raised concerns about safety on the Greenways, it is so moved that the Greenways and Open Space Commission make the following two-part recommendation to the Parks Board. The Commission recommends no change to local regulations regarding e-bikes at this time, as the Commission acknowledges that there is not currently sufficient information to determine that e-bike usage on Greenways is unsafe. The Commission recommends the collection of additional information and data as to all usage on the Greenways, including e-bike usage, as requested in Metro Council’s resolution RS2021-1102, and including matters related to infrastructure, enforcement, and user behavior on the Greenways, with the scope of work for gathering this information to be determined by the Parks Board and/or their staff.

“There is not a documented concern about electric bikes being the biggest piece of the problem,” Allen said.

Allen says speed is the issue and a slow deliberate process of understanding e-bikes on Greenways is a good thing.

“If there is a new tool that enables some people who otherwise might not have access to the Greenways to get out there who want to use that,” Allen said.

Allen tells FOX 17 Metro Parks meets this week to discuss the recommendation.

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