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Fort Collins (CO) restrictions on mobiity devices include "Wheelbase width must not exceed width of the trail and must not exceed a width of 32 inches" and "Weight of 500 pounds or less to limit trail degradation."

ARROW Download the Fort Collins Use of Electronic PAMD Policy in pdf format (pdf 258 kb)


Fort Collins Use of Electronic Personal Assistance Mobility Devices Policy

From City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Trails & Facilities (Colorado)

Use of Electronic Personal Assistance Mobility Devices Policy

Effective March 15, 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revised rules regarding the use of '.'other power-driven mobility devices" to be used by "individuals with mobility disabilities" in public places such as City Natural Areas trails and facilities.

Natural Areas Program Trail and Facility Assessment

The City ofFort Collins has completed an assessment of all trails and public facilities within its natural areas system to determine whether it is able to make reasonable modifications .in its policies, practices, or procedures to allow the use of "other power-driven mobility devices" in such places... Natural Areas information about the devices that may be used is posted on the City Website so that the public can easily access the information before going to a particular natural area. The posted information includes the classes of devices that may be used, rules related to that use, and who to contact for more information. Rules may also be posted on the natural area site or at the trailhead.

Mission of the Natural Areas Program

The mission of the Natural Areas Program is "to protect and enhance lands with existing or potential natural areas values, lands that serve as community separators, agricultural lands, and lands with scenic values. Protection of natural habitats and features is the highest. priority, while providing for education and recreation for the Fort Collins community."

Impacts of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices on Natural Areas

While the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program desires to accommodate individuals with mobility disabilities, this. must be done in. a way that does not have a significant negative impact on the mission of the Natural Areas Program or its natural resources, or jeopardize the safety of persons using the natural areas, including those with a mobility disability. One of the assessment factors the City may consider in making its assessment is whether the use of certain classes of other power-driven mobility devices creates a Substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources.

Devices that may meet the definition of "other power-driven mobility devices," including ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and other ORVs (off-road vehicles), are not appropriate types of recreation for City natural areas. The City has never allowed motorized wheel chairs; thus, trails have not been designed for ATV or other ORV use by the public. Use of ATVs and other ORVs poses considerable threat to the environment from noise, increased air pollution, impacts on other trail users (including horses), and trail degradation.

The noise of off-road vehicles interferes with thenatural, peaceful surroundings sought by natural areas users such as hikers, mountain bikers, and other nonmotorized recreationists. ORV noise is also likely to cause significant adverse impacts to wildlife in at least two ways. First, exposure to ORV noise can result in wildlife hearing impairment or even loss, with severe consequences for animals dependent on their sense of hearing for finding prey, avoiding predators, and interacting with other individuals of the. same species. Second, wildlife exposed to ORV noise often experience stress and other disturbance effects. Over time, such impacts are likely to lead to altered wildlife movement patterns, behavioral. changes, and long-term stress impacts, all with potentially significant adverse results. Considerable literature on disturbance effects across ecosystem types indicates that negative impacts to wildlife from ORV use are widespread. Trail degradation by ATVs can be very problematic on multi~use trails. Rutted trails can be dangerous for other users.

Electronic Personal Assistance Mobility Device Policy

The City has assessed its natural areas and associated infrastructure, including trails, and adopts this EPAMD Policy:

Definition: An electronic personal assistance mobility device ("EPAMD") is a device used by a person with a mobility disability. This definition does not include gasoline powered vehicles or devices, golf cars, or riding lawn mowers. This definition is restricted to devices with the following characteristics:
1. Wheelbase width must not exceed width of the trail and must not exceed a width of 32 inches to allow passage of pedestrians and others without going off trail; and
2. Weight of 500 pounds or less to limit trail degradation; and
3. Travels on low-pressure tires; and
4. Designed to have a maximum speed of 20 mph or less and not modified so as to increase that maximum speed; and
5.Operated by an electric powered enginewhere the maximum noise level is 55 dBA or less at a distance of 25 feet from the device.

In addition, the following use and safety requirements apply to use of EPAMDs used on City natural areas:
a. Only persons with a mobility disability are permitted to use EPAMDs on a trail or facility designated for such use (see Accessible Trail and Facility Assessment Table for City of Fort Collins Natural Areas); and City personnel may request that a person using an EPAMD provide credible assurance that the EPAMD is required because of the person's disability; and
b. Persons accompanying a person with a disability but who do not themselves have a mobility disability are not permitted to use an EPAMD; and
c. The EPAMD must not exceed a speed of 5 miles per hour; and
d. The person operating the EPAMD cannot carry another person or object that would cause the EPAMD to tip or become unstable or cause harm to the driver of the EPAMD or others on the trail; and
e. Any person using or operating an EPAMD must not use or operate such a device anywhere in a natural area except on a trail or in a facility designated for such use; and
f. The EPAMD operator must not use or operate such a device at a natural area if use of the device causes damage to the trail or facilities; and
g. No driver or operator of any EPAMD shall be intoxicated; and
h. The EPAMD must not be operated in a dangerous or reckless manner that jeopardizes the safety of the operator, City employees, or other persons; and
i. No EPAMD shall be used or operated on a trail from dusk to dawn, even if equipped with lights, because of the safety hazard posed by operating such a device in low light or in the dark; and
j. The Natural Areas Program does not accept responsibility for storage of the EPAMD; and
k. The Natural Areas Program does not accept liability for damage to the EPAMD, or injury to the operator, whether caused by the operator, another visitor to a Natural Areas trail or facility, or any other circumstance; and
I. The Natural Areas Program does not accept liability for damage caused by the operator of the EPAMD, or injury to others caused by the operator of such device; and
m. The Natural Areas Program reserves the right to suspend the use of the EPAMDat Natural Areas trails or facilities if doing so is in the best interests of the Natural Areas Program and its participants; and
n. The Natural Areas Program reserves the right to change, modify, or amend this policy at any time, as it would any other policy.

For questions or more information regarding the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Trail & Facility Assessment for EPAMD use, please contact Karen Manci, Senior Environmental Planner at 221-6310 or

ARROW Download the Fort Collins Use of Electronic PAMD Policy in pdf format (pdf 258 kb)


American Trails index on accessible trails, outdoor recreation, and the Americans with Disabilities Act

See DOJ ADA Website

Aditional information and comments on the “power-driven mobility device" issue:

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