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E-Bikes on Greenways?

Old 05-18-21, 07:02 PM
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tn_roadie
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E-Bikes on Greenways?

How does your city handle e-bikes on greenways? My local park commission thinks they have banned them but I've been riding for 5 years and have never been stopped. Tennessee passed the People for Bikes law like 25 other states and it says they're legal unless the city passes an ordinance banning them. Our city council has never done that. Our bike share program is about to drop 300 e-bikes and it will be interesting to see the reaction.

I was just wondering how many local governments have implemented a ban. I hope it's not many.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:18 PM
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OC, which is under the jurisdiction of CA's "Class" system, has prohibited e-bikes in all city, county and state parks in addition to some bike paths. However, policing is minimal and very "spotty", so individuals ride with impunity. Someday maybe the level of activity will initiate budget measures and they'll hire enough individuals to start enforcing the laws.
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Old 05-18-21, 08:36 PM
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E-bike share bikes have been in the Bay Area for a long time. You rarely see them on recreational pathways, though, as people who rent them are typically using them for transportation rather than entertainment, and they ride the shortest fastest routes which are usually streets with cycling lanes or designated bike boulevards. There are LOTS of e-bikes (personally owned) being ridden on our Greenways and bike paths; many folks have dumped the 2d car and use electric cargo or bakfiets to take their kids to school or shop. Lots of seniors and others have bought e-bikes as a way to get exercise during Covid lockdowns. But it's rare for anyone to be riding a class 3 on these paths, usually it's bikes with 20mph limits and it's not an issue. As long as people continue to mostly ride in a safe and sensible manner I don't see that as likely to change.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:55 AM
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EBikes pretty much legal everywhere in Illinois. The Chicago Forest preserve used to ban all ebikes that could exceed 16 mph but now allow class 1 and class 2, opting to post a 15 mph limit on all bikes. I understand that bored forest preserve cops have always been giving speeding tickets to bikers in the more rural areas where one could go 20 mph without hitting crowds.

I'm 50 miles west of Chicago, but I rarely see any ebikes on my daily rides. About two a month several years ago. Now maybe two a day.
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Old 05-20-21, 11:19 AM
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In most of Southern California any type of Bicycle, including an Ebike can be used on a MUP…..so long as you abide by the speed limit of 10 mph.
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Old 05-20-21, 12:50 PM
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Exclamation

Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
In most of Southern California any type of Bicycle, including an Ebike can be used on a MUP…..so long as you abide by the speed limit of 10 mph.
Maybe most of socal, but none of the OC.
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Old 05-20-21, 01:15 PM
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In Colorado, Class 1 and Class 2 are allowed on bike paths, Class 3 are not. I agree with this. IMHO, nobody on a trail/path needs power assist above 20 mph.
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Old 05-20-21, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Maybe most of socal, but none of the OC.
That sign is at the entrance of the Santa Ana River Trail (SART) and PCH. Orange County California.

Similar sign the Ocean Front path in Huntington Beach, one of a few.
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Old 05-20-21, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
That sign is at the entrance of the Santa Ana River Trail (SART) and PCH. Orange County California.

Similar sign the Ocean Front path in Huntington Beach, one of a few.
Sorry, I thought you were referring to off road trails in the parks. Bike paths are fine for e-bikes unless expressly prohibited by signs like ones that I've seen in Orange and Newport.
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Old 05-24-21, 02:36 PM
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Well, I think around here, they ban "motorized" vehicles (except for wheelchairs and the like). Legally, I think e-bikes are classified as "non-motorized" vehicle.

As for Nashville, about 1/2 of that "Shelby bottoms" greenway was my family's land back in the day. Oh, the stories I've heard bout that area. Makes for a pretty bike ride, I'm glad its getting put to good use. :-)
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Old 05-25-21, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jan Feetz View Post
That sign is at the entrance of the Santa Ana River Trail (SART) and PCH. Orange County California.

Similar sign the Ocean Front path in Huntington Beach, one of a few.
I know that sign very well. And on the warm weekends you're better off waling your bike near and under the pier that trying to ride at 5mph.
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Old 05-30-21, 11:18 AM
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We have many dumb people in our local and state governments in this country. I first started working with the state division of highways on bike transit planning in 1975 and engineers were putting bike lanes that forced bicyclists to go against the flow of traffic or crossed very busy freeways or in parks where there are pedestrians strolling around. None of that has changed over the past 50 years. In 2019 the city of Pacific Grove decided that there was too much of a risk of a bicyclist colliding with walkers (often with baby strollers or toddlers) on the path and so enacted an ordinance that set the maximum speed for bicyclists at 12 mph.

People walking around are not programmed to look for a moving vehicle of any kind. When the city of Palo Alto in the 1970's enacted an ordinance forcing bicyclists to ride only on the sidewalks the results was a huge increase in collisions between bicyclists and pedestrians. They switched to bike lanes which made the city safer for pedestrians but more hazardous for bicyclists as they continued to let people park their cars on the city streets even where there were bike lanes.

I avoid bike lanes entirely and only use bike paths in areas where I will not find strollers or people with toddlers as it is too far to the nearest parking spots. A mini air horn does help and a bike bell only works if people are not preoccupied with their children or people with whom they are conversing. The air horn has worked well for me with dogs, sheep, and deer, and in an emergency may prevent a collision with a pedestrian.
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