Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald issued the following statement on Wednesday, Sept. 4, concerning a recent policy announcement by the National Park Service allowing electric motorized bicycles (e-bikes) anywhere regular bicycles are permitted. With a few specific exceptions, motorized vehicles have not been allowed on the park’s more than 50 miles of gravel carriage roads.
“Friends of Acadia has concerns about the new Department of Interior policy statement that would broadly allow electric motorized bicycles (e-bikes) in national parks, including on Acadia’s carriage roads.
“It is extremely challenging to apply a national-level policy like this within thirty days across hundreds of unique national park units, each with its own history and special features.
“We would encourage park officials to consider the original intentions and agreements when the carriage roads were first conceived, constructed and donated to become part of Acadia – specifically for non-motorized use.
“While we applaud the fact that e-bikes open up recreational opportunities to new audiences and we support the current Acadia policy of allowing them on the park motor roads, FOA believes that the park would benefit from a broader community conversation and a chance to hear from the public, including carriage road users – walkers, equestrians, traditional bicyclists – before determining whether this directive must be implemented as is, or whether it can be waived, modified, or scaled back to best apply here at Acadia.”