News Release

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Announces Addition of Electric Bike Rules to Park Compendium

Cyclists and joggers move along Crissy Field as the Golden Gate Bridge stands in the background.
Visitors enjoy their park at Crissy Field as the fog rolls into the San Francisco Bay.

NPS photo

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News Release Date: September 27, 2019

Contact: GGNRA Public Affairs, 4155614730

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- In accordance with Department of Interior (DOI) Secretarial Order 3376, dated August 29, 2019, and National Park Service (NPS) Policy Memorandum 19-01, dated August 30, 2019, the NPS is proposing revisions to the park compendium to allow the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes) in certain park areas.

The draft 2019 Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) compendium, with the addition of electric bike rules, has been posted to the park Laws and Policies webpage. The only changes to this document from the previous draft provided on August 30, 2019, highlighted in color (blue), are the references to the use of e-bikes.

A compendium is a written compilation of the designations, closures, permit requirements and other regulatory restrictions established under a superintendent’s discretionary authority to protect park resources and values and to provide for a quality visitor experience. The compendium for GGNRA also applies to other park areas managed by NPS staff, including Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site.

"A compendium guides public use to protect park resources and provides for a wide variety of recreational opportunities for visitors from local communities and around the globe. In 2018 visitation to the park was the highest of any park unit in the National Park System. The compendium provides a transparent mechanism to manage our over 17 million visitors, while ensuring we protect park resources that we are entrusted and obligated to preserve. It allows us to reduce conflict among our many popular uses while continuing to provide amazing recreational opportunities to our communities," said Charles Strickfaden, Communications Director for Golden Gate National Recreation Area. "In recent years, e-bike use has become more popular, providing opportunities otherwise not available to some park visitors. We look forward to working with the biking communities and all of our partners to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for e-bike users. The only changes made in this version of the 2019 compendium draft are those required to bring the document into compliance with the new e-bike directive."

In accordance with the recent e-bike policy, the compendium defines an e-bike as a two or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts (1 h.p.) that provides propulsion assistance. In areas closed to motor vehicles, the operator of an e-bike may only use the motor to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling. Motorbikes with a throttle are not e-bikes. The operator of an e-bike must also comply with speed limits that apply to traditional bikes (15 mph in most places and 5 mph in high-congestion areas) and obey state traffic laws. 

The draft compendium now includes authorization to allow e-bikes on all routes open to traditional bicycles, including certain designated trails and paths in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties. The draft compendium lists trails and routes that would be open to e-bikes. Like traditional bikes, operators of e-bikes may not ride off-trail. 

More information and frequently asked questions about electric bicycles in national parks are available on the e-bikes webpage.

Park staff have analyzed the effects of this action under the National Environmental Policy Act and have determined that a Categorical Exclusion is appropriate. Documents related to the new policy and compliance review for the proposed e-bike rules have been posted on the park’s Laws and Policies webpage. Consistent with Policy Memorandum 19-01, NPS staff will monitor resources and visitor use patterns to determine whether there are any unanticipated changes as a result of e-bike use.  

As part of this public release, the park has also provided a memorandum from the Chief Park Ranger to the General Superintendent explaining the basis for the 2019 compendium updates. This draft document has also been posted on the Laws and Policies webpage. The memorandum provides additional background for the proposed changes made publicly available on August 30, 2019, as well as the updates related to e-bikes.

This advisory is to inform the public of the e-bike revisions to the compendium. Public input will be accepted at e-mail us until October 28, 2019. Members of the public who previously submitted feedback related to compendium changes posted on August 30, 2019 do not need to resubmit their input.

After park review (in accordance with 36 CFR Section 1.7), GGNRA will notify the public via the park’s website and other appropriate means. Park staff will collect all feedback and consider it at the end of the advisory period. A summary will be provided for public review prior to implementing any of the proposed changes. 

Some of the PDF files related to this announcement may not be fully compliant with the Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973⁠—specifically for accessibility to people who use adaptive technologies. We are committed to complying with this important requirement and will make records available in alternative formats upon request. Requests can be made by phone (415-561-4700) or by email at: e-mail us.


Last updated: September 27, 2019

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