eBikes

Electric assisted bicycles, or e-Bikes, are becoming more common across the United States. As e-Bikes have become more popular, they have been appearing in National Parks with greater frequency. In August 2019, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued Policy Memorandum 19-01, which addresses e-Bike use within National Parks.

Acadia National Park, concerned with the safety implications and impact on visitor experience, has had to implement policies within a short time period. Acadia National Park’s current policy is to allow Class 1 e-Bikes wherever traditional bikes are permitted. Acadia National Park still lacks data regarding e-bike use needed to implement an effective policy.  The 2020 WPI eBikes research team studied the prevalence and behaviors of e-Bike users in Acadia National Park to determine effective policies for e-Bike use within the park.

 

The WPI team monitored biking activity through webcam images in several locations within Acadia, analyzed the resulting data, and identified trends in behavior and demographics among e-Bikers and traditional bikers. From the webcam analysis, the team developed a list of recommendations for future studies to monitor biking activity within Acadia National Park.