E-bikes and E-scooters on Austin Trails Pilot Program

Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake. Motorized scooters will not be allowed on this trail.

The goal of this pilot is to understand whether Austin trails might be suitable for electric-assist bikes and electric scooters. This Pilot Program will examine how these vehicles impact the comfort, mobility, and safety of trail users as well as trail integrity.

Where will the Pilot Program take place?

Electric-assist bicyles and electric scooters with a maximum capability of 20 MPH or less will be allowed on the following trails for the duration of the Pilot Program:

  • Johnson Creek,
  • Shoal Creek (south of 15th Street),
  • Northern Walnut Creek,
  • Southern Walnut Creek Trail,
  • The Boardwalk,*
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake*

*Note: the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail and Boardwalk as part of the Hike and Bike Trail will only allow electric bikes as part of this pilot. The speed limit on all trails is 10 MPH.

Community Engagement

Community conversations, surveys, and meetings will be hosted in spring 2019 to get feedback on the pilot study. In addition, multiple methods of sharing your feedback can happen on this SpeakUp Austin page.

Please see the timeline for additional information on the Pilot Program.

The goal of this pilot is to understand whether Austin trails might be suitable for electric-assist bikes and electric scooters. This Pilot Program will examine how these vehicles impact the comfort, mobility, and safety of trail users as well as trail integrity.

Where will the Pilot Program take place?

Electric-assist bicyles and electric scooters with a maximum capability of 20 MPH or less will be allowed on the following trails for the duration of the Pilot Program:

  • Johnson Creek,
  • Shoal Creek (south of 15th Street),
  • Northern Walnut Creek,
  • Southern Walnut Creek Trail,
  • The Boardwalk,*
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake*

*Note: the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail and Boardwalk as part of the Hike and Bike Trail will only allow electric bikes as part of this pilot. The speed limit on all trails is 10 MPH.

Community Engagement

Community conversations, surveys, and meetings will be hosted in spring 2019 to get feedback on the pilot study. In addition, multiple methods of sharing your feedback can happen on this SpeakUp Austin page.

Please see the timeline for additional information on the Pilot Program.

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E bikes and scooters should not be allowed on trails, I often see elderly and children walking the trail. Most of the e-bike and scooter users are irresponsible and careless. There are countless number of "dead" bikes & scooters" abandoned on the path that become an obstacle for runners and walkers.

Cor5mi 10 days ago
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The "10 MPH" on the signs is interpreted by some regular bike riders as to apply only to the pilot program , as that what it says on the top of the signs. So I suggest you have signs that say 10 MPH for ALL bicycles.

austinresident2017 2 months ago
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Part 2: The pilot program has lessened scooter usage on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, but not completely. The signs announcing "no scooters" are too small (12" x 18") dark gray (so not visible), and limited. These signs need to be bigger (18" x 24"), a neon lime-green for visibility, printed on both sides, and three of them placed at each access point to the trail (one on each side of access point and one directly in front of scooter riders as they enter the trail).

tejana 3 months ago
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Please keep the scooters off the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. The trail is overrun with cyclists who go too fast and rarely let someone walking know that they are approaching from behind. Add scooters to the mix and the trail is like being on a city street instead of a "nature" trail in the city. Cyclists have demanded bike lanes on the streets. Both cyclists and scooters use the street, the sidewalks, and the trail. Where can one walk without having to deal with them?

tejana 3 months ago
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Too many e-scooters are left along the trail - even though prohibited - and can be tripped over.

Bicyclist and e-scooters frequently ride well over 10 MPH and need a monitor on the trail to give out tickets .

E-scooters still on the trails where prohibited. E-Scooter companies should be automatically fined when scooters are on prohibited trails (and they can pass along fines to riders). Even better - require e-scooter companies to shut down scooters based on GPS.

austinresident2017 3 months ago
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When it comes to actually being ridden, there is no difference between an e-scooter and bike. There is no need to prevent e-scooter enthusiasts and competent riders (who may be taking a car off the road) from riding on the trails. Both bikes and scooters can move too fast, be obstructive, etc. If bikes are allowed and up to the riders' responsibility, the same should apply. I can see that parking them on the trail should be outlawed, and would probably lessen the # of clumsy "casual" riders.

btorio 4 months ago
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Certain E-mobility devices are legalized by the State Legislature and by US Congress. Texas has legislation that states that e-mobility devices that meet certain criteria are legal anywhere pedestrians or bicycles are legal. A Segway or a OneWheel fit into that category. E-bikes and E-scooters do not. I have won in court in 3 other states and if I get ticketed in Austin (while riding my OneWheel), I will go to court and will win again here.

jrfent 4 months ago
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A 10 -12 mph speed limit for bicycles may be appropriate on city trails and it may also be appropriate for parts of the South Walnut Creek trail heavily used by pedestrians, say within a mile or two of Govalle Park. A 10 mph speed limit on all of the South Walnut creek trail is not appropriate. Either it will not be enforced, in which case it will be ignored, or it will be enforced, which will drive most current cyclists off of the trail onto the streets. A 15-18 mph speed limit is about right.

Joel Morgan 4 months ago
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There is a confusion at Walnut Creek Metro Park. Hoverboards believe they are allowed on the natural surface trails. They are allowed on the Northern Walnut Creek Trail. The names are similar but they are different trail systems. Natural surface trails need to be stated as an exclusion to avoid the confusion. I was hiking and a train of 30 hover boards passed me on the natural surface trails within the park.

Lhanz 4 months ago
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I really like the speed limits and the ban on scooters on the Butler trail. On weekends, it gets really crowed and fast scooters and bikes can be an issue. So, I would like the proposed new trail rules to be made permanent. But, for this to work, the City needs to enforce the rules. I rarely see bikes go 10 miles an hour and I still see scooters every time I use the trail. If the city would enforce for a week or so, the word would get out that everyone needs to obey the new rules.

abeinke 4 months ago
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I use the Butler hike-and-bike trail the most frequently. The 10 MPH limit seems low (and as someone else pointed out, arbitrary). 15 MPH is more realistic. I would accept 10 MPH in congested areas, like Auditorium Shores, the various SUP/kayak rental places, and during the evenings by Congress bridge, but for the entire trail it is too restrictive. E-scooters/bikes don't bother me, although I have never used either. I think they reduce traffic congestion.

BeakATX 4 months ago
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I feel that electric scooters should be banned entirely in Austin, as Fredericksburg recently did. They are dangerous and very unsightly!

rf4cav8r 5 months ago
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There is no valid reason for having e-scooters or e-bikes on the town lake trail. I have been running on the trial for over 15 years and it is getting too congested with just the runners. I have seen collisions with bikes and runners/walkers. Adding scooters would triple+ that problem. FAQ The hike and bike trail is crushed granite. Scooters are having wrecks in Austin even on paved roads. Adding a slick surface will just make it worse. Runners/walkers will get hurt. Don't allow it.

Dinty Moore 5 months ago
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In principal, I have no problem with e-bikes and scooters. But they are littered all over the place. They are an eye sore. Scooters should either not be allowed on trails, should not be allowed to be dumped on trails, or should be picked up in less than an hour. They are no better than dumping piles of trash all around Austin.

rschmitt 5 months ago
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Would you consider drawing a distinction between owner-operated electric transports and rental electric transports? It seems to me that this is an attitude and etiquette problem, not a problem with the mode of transport. Owner-operated electric transports are typically more mindful of others and less prone to accidents, owing to more practice. There is also zero chance that their transport would be left to clutter the curb and trails, which is the chief complaint I see regarding e-scooters.

jervill 5 months ago
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Please do not lump Onewheels in with rentable e-scooters. You cannot rent a Onewheel, thus you will never see Onewheels left unattended on trails and sidewalks, one of the main complaints about e-scooters. Also, because you own and must have skill to ride a Onewheel, we are more often careful and courteous as we care deeply about this new form of clean transportation. The Onewheel has also saved lives in the fight against mental health issues. All I ask is for an open mind and self-education.

AlexL 5 months ago
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Not only are the e-scooters all over the Ann & Roy B. Trail, we just noticed one that was tossed right into the Waller Creek just under the hike’s steel bridge near the creek’s storm water spillway ! Enforcement appears to be non-existent AND the awfully small signs now placed randomly on the trail do not properly emphasize that e-scooters are NOT allowed. The continual use of e-scooters on this trail will no doubt bring many injuries once the weather warms and hordes of people hit the trail.

RDD 5 months ago
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Discourteous and dangerous trail users already exist. Let ebike and escooter users access the same trails for recreation and mobility that we all use. For many it's that, or a car, or not being able to get around. Also, the messaging is not clear in regard to the speed limit. Is SWCT now a hike and bike trail? If it was, why was the speed limit never signed as required in the ordinance? 10 mph is an arbitrary and impracticable speed for bicycles on a paved trail.

d 5 months ago
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Riding an ebike has become my best form of recreation and exercise as I have grown older and have more pain in my feet, knees and hips. Without an ebike I might not be able to access the hike & bike trail as time goes by. I am more than happy to abide by a 10 mph speed limit and other reasonable rules in order to ride my ebike on the trail. Thanks for including me in the pilot program.

rwk 5 months ago
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I tried taking the survey and it seems very "rigged" (i.e. purposefully directed and influence by political staffers, not created by a neutral professional polling organization or any neutral organization). Thus, I believe any so-called data obtained via the survey, quick poll, etc is moot and void. Austin's outdoor spaces are disappearing & being ruined, quickly. Non-human propelled (i.e. elec.) vehicles have no place on the trails. Music is blared in the woods. No nature escape left in Austin.

Jamie 5 months ago
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