USE OF ELECTRONIC CONVEYANCES ON W&OD TRAIL

USE OF ELECTRONIC CONVEYANCES ON W&OD TRAIL

Commonwealth of Virginia law allows the use of electric powered bicycles (e-bikes), skateboards, scooters, e-skateboards, hoverboards, e-scooters, electric personal assistive mobility devices” (such as Segway’s and wheelchairs), and electric personal delivery devices, wherever regular bicycles are allowed. Virginia Code sections §10.1, §15.2, and §46.2 regulate e-bikes, motorized skateboards, motorized scooters, and hoverboards with a top powered speed of 20 mph; electric personal assistive mobility devices with a top speed of 15 mph, and electric personal delivery devices with a top speed of 10 mph as bicycles that can be used on trails and shared use paths. Furthermore, Virginia Code §15.2-5704(17) grants NOVA Parks the ability to adopt rules and regulations concerning the use of properties under its control, only if those rules and regulations are not in conflict with the laws of the Commonwealth.

As e-bikes and other electronic conveyances are becoming more popular, chances are that you, a friend, or neighbor will own or rent one in the near future. These devices allow users to carry heavy loads, climb steeper hills, commute further, and keep up with more fit riders. As such, they provide inclusive riding opportunities for the less fit and mobility impaired, providing an opportunity to address health equity issues; thus, improving parks and communities for the population. The following guidance is provided for novice and experienced riders wishing to ride on the W&OD Trail.

GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF E-BIKES AND OTHER CONVEYANCES ON NOVA PARKS TRAILS

WHAT TO RIDE

For the purpose of these guidelines, NOVA Parks will define e-bikes as an "electric power-assisted bicycle" (e-bike), meaning a wheeled vehicle equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and ii) an electric motor with a top powered speed of 20 mph that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. This applies to both road and mountain style (e/MTB) e-bikes. They are not, and do not function like a motorized bicycle, moped, motorcycle, or all-terrain-vehicle.

Also allowed are skateboards, scooters, motorized skateboards, motorized scooters, and hoverboards with powered versions capped at 20 m.p.h., electric personal assistive mobility devices are limited to 15 m.p.h., and electric personal delivery devices are limited to 10 m.p.h.

WHERE TO RIDE

To protect NOVA Parks’ valuable environmental and cultural resources, users of these devices are strongly encouraged to operate only in areas where traditional (human pedal powered only) bicycles are allowed.  Please do not disturb wildlife, livestock, or domesticated animals on park property. 

PLEASE RIDE RESPONSIBLY

Riders are expected to follow the same regulations and rules regarding access to the W&OD Trail as other visitors.  Please observe the established hours of operation and any posted signage

Riders assume responsibility for the safe and respectful operation of the device.  It is expected that all bicycle riders yield to pedestrians and equestrians.  In consideration of trail conditions and the safety of others, please maintain speeds specified for your device above.

REPORTING A PROBLEM

As a matter of law, NOVA Parks cannot regulate the use of these devices within the parks (Virginia Code § 15.2-5704).  If you see any device operated in an unsafe or reckless manner, please call the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131 (if an emergency, 9-1-1).