The City of Helena is in the process of exploring Helena Open Lands policy options regarding e-bikes. Per a memo from Kristi Ponozzo to HOLMAC, dated 7/22/20, she requested draft alternatives and potential policy recommendations from HOLMAC by March of 2021. These recommendations were to eventually go through a public process.
Did we not learn from the history of the Directional Trails and Beattie Street Trailhead? Are we doomed to another process where decisions made by a select few creates a long controversial ordeal that divides our community? The two above-mentioned projects created divisiveness largely due to concerns about lack of transparency and minimal initial public involvement.
Our first step should be to access the pulse of our community. Spokane County recently took this step. Please check out their survey at: https://www.spokanecounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/35710/Spokane_County_E-Bike_Advisory_Survey_Results. Please encourage our city officials to consider using this as a model for our community.
Let’s take a step back and start this process at the beginning. We all need an opportunity to learn and discuss the implication of any policy that allows e-bikes on our local trails because the decision will significantly impact our open lands for generations to come.