Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)
Professor Shanna Rose
Rising global temperatures are causing a higher likelihood of future climate disaster. Changes in personal behavior, that reduce the emissions driving this increase in global temperatures, contribute to the greater good. Electric bicycles (e-bikes) offer a viable option for individuals to reduce their personal contribution to this problem, while at the same time benefit from outdoor recreation. These benefits, along with affordability, are driving the current increase in popularity of this form of transportation. The COVID 19 pandemic fueled an increased interest in outdoor recreation, which in turn contributed to an increase in visitation at US National Parks. This thesis explores e-bike use in US National Parks, the effect of legislation to influence that use, the issue of overcrowding in general, and explores expansion of e-bike use in future. The thesis also describes the history and strength of the e-bike industry, gauges the effectiveness of different state and National Park Service (NPS) e-bike regulations, and examines how stakeholders responded to these regulations. More visitors coming to national parks raises awareness of overcrowding, and the mitigation techniques employed by different parks are evaluated. These findings could potentially provide context to NPS managers on general practices that seem effective for future infrastructure planning. Reducing overcrowding protects the natural ecosystems and improves visitor experience, ultimately supporting increased access to park exploration with e-bikes and other alternatives to using gas-powered vehicles.
Rodman, Ben, "Evaluating Electric Bicycle Access in US National Parks: Advantages and Controversy" (2023). CMC Senior Theses. 3394.