Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

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Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by MitchJi » Jun 04 2009 5:50pm

Hi,

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/ ... ycles.html
Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and out of bike lanes
Image
Electric bikes, such as ones like this being ridden in Paris by Antoine Lecuirot of the To Diffusion store last July, are at the centre of a bylaw controversy in Toronto. Lecuirot said e-bikes are climbing in popularity and sales have increased.
Toronto's public works committee is being asked to close a loophole that allows electric bikes on sidewalks...

But riding e-bikes on the sidewalks isn't the only problem.

Calls for e-bikes ban
Yvonne Bambrick of the Toronto Cyclists Union wants the city to go further and ban e-bikes from bike lanes and paths.

"I believe that any type of motorized vehicle whether it's an electric motor or a gas motor belongs with other motorized vehicles in the main part of our streets," she said.

At the root of the cyclists' concern is Ontario's new Road Safety Act.

Under the act an e-bike isn't classified as a motorcycle, but as a "power-assisted bicycle" because it has handlebars and pedals, and is capable of being propelled by muscular power, has a power output of less than 500W, and the power stops when brakes are applied.

Even though e-bikes have an ignition, lights and a speedometer, the province says they're still bicycles.

So according to the law, e-bikes are allowed everywhere that regular bikes can go — bike lanes, bike trails, even bike stands and lockers.

Bambrick says she's not against e-bikes, it's just a matter of safety.

But Phillips says the new bikes are here to stay and people will just have to get used to them.

"I'm past the point where I can get up the hills with my own leg power," she said. "It's a nice easy way to get around the city; parking isn't a problem, no gas, what's not to like?"
Best Wishes!

Mitch


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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lessss » Jun 04 2009 6:12pm

Any argument against ebikes on the basis of safety is pure bullshit. If the rider operates the bicycle PROPERLY they are SAFER. If they are being operated improperly then the individual driver needs to be fined or arrested for driving recklessly.
The ONLY possible grounds they could argue on is weight and weak brakes, and with lithium batteries even THAT goes out the window. Brakes can always be improved, even on regular bikes.

Typical equipment.
Ebike, Bike
lights y, n
turn signals y, n
brake light y,n
horn y, n
exhausted driver out of breath n,y

Petty jelously should never be the basis of a law.
Last edited by Lessss on Jun 04 2009 6:31pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by dak664 » Jun 04 2009 6:16pm

If it is a matter of safety, I'd like to know what injuries have been specifically attributed to ebikes. In the absence of data it is just Monty Pythonesque ("We've got to protect the public!")

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by MitchJi » Jun 04 2009 6:36pm

Hi,
dak664 wrote:In the absence of data it is just Monty Pythonesque ("We've got to protect the public!")
I think its someone in the Toronto Bicycle Community doesn't like ebikes.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by spinningmagnets » Jun 04 2009 8:38pm

Doesn't Canada have some kind of 500-watt restriction, or perhaps some 20-MPH/32-KPH speed limit?

"...I believe that any type of motorized vehicle whether it's an electric motor or a gas motor belongs with other motorized vehicles in the main part of our streets..."

So then...shouldn't there be an electric bike-in, where electric bikes drive at their restricted 32-KPH speed limit while driving ON THE ROADS ? holding up car traffic that wants to go 35-m/56-k ?

Perhaps on the road where representative Yvonne Bambrick drives to work in the morning ? Suggestion: find a member of the local media who rides bikes, and ask them to ride along.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by northernmike » Jun 04 2009 8:40pm

Here is the reality of the situation.

The "loophole" is that bikes with 20" wheels or less ARE allowed on sidewalks.

This is intended to allow children to learn to ride without the danger of motorized traffic.

Since many of the so called "e-bikes" here in Toronto look like gas scooters, and have tiny little 10" and 13" wheels, folks who ride these on sidewalks are doing a real disservice to children trying to learn to ride!

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by knightmb » Jun 04 2009 10:45pm

northernmike wrote:Here is the reality of the situation.

The "loophole" is that bikes with 20" wheels or less ARE allowed on sidewalks.

This is intended to allow children to learn to ride without the danger of motorized traffic.

Since many of the so called "e-bikes" here in Toronto look like gas scooters, and have tiny little 10" and 13" wheels, folks who ride these on sidewalks are doing a real disservice to children trying to learn to ride!
Yeah, just one giving the general a bad image. Just like if one cyclist runs a stop sign and a motorist sees it, they claim all cyclist are bad because they all run stop signs.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by jag » Jun 04 2009 11:21pm

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/ ... ycles.html

Even though e-bikes have an ignition, lights and a speedometer, the province says they're still bicycles.
eBike has ignition ?!? I'm always irked when I see journalists writing about topics that they are so obviously uneducated about.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lock » Jun 05 2009 3:14am

northernmike wrote:Here is the reality of the situation.
AFER(insert diety name here)SSAKE!

That CBC article is headed with this picture:
e-bike-cp-5334461.jpg
e-bike-cp-5334461.jpg (25.61 KiB) Viewed 3468 times
and the picture caption reads in part:
"Electric bikes, such as ones like this being ridden in Paris by Antoine Lecuirot of the To Diffusion store last July, are at the centre of a bylaw controversy in Toronto. "

If a picture tells a thousand words, this one tells NOTHING about what is going on in Toronto (and elsewhere?)

What the pedal bike ppl are whining about are the "ebikes" that look like this:
ebikesurvey.jpg
ebikesurvey.jpg (38.02 KiB) Viewed 1929 times

This second pic is the one being used right now by the Toronto Cyclists Union to illustrate their current surveymonkey.com survey of Toronto cyclists, here:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=w ... PTGA_3d_3d

(Note that in the second pic the vehicle has had its pedals removed so it is not an ebike according to Federal law)

If the current crop of "ebikes" looked like the bike pictured in the CBC article, there would be no issue right now.

Add to this mix a hardcore element of the biking community that have been fighting city hall and the 20th-century motorized carriage for so many years that they have forgotten who their real enemies are...

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by dogman dan » Jun 05 2009 5:12am

Well, sidewalks are one thing, and bike paths another. I can see closing the loophole, perhaps with an age limit of 10 years old or something or a lower speed limit so as to allow toys that go 5 mph, and a specific exclusion for wheelchairs and 3 wheel mobility scooters.

But to ban a 500 watt ebike from the bike path when a very fit pedaler can outrun the ebike with ease is stupid. Canadas watt and speed limits make even the fast looking scooter type ebikes plenty safe even if only one brake still works.

I personally think the watt limit sould be raised, to allow a 36v 15 amp controller to be used and speeds up to 25 mph. I also think in certain areas, lower speed limits should be posted for ALL bikes and trikes electrified or not. So the really popular bike trail at the beach or riverside might have a 10 mph speed limit for everybody if safety is an issue in a congested trail. A blanket ban on "legal " ebikes doesn't help anything if regular bikes still go too fast on the same trail after the ebikes are banned.

In my case, I'm definitely illegal on the bike trail since there are no ebikes in New Mexico, only mopeds. I force the issue by keeping my speed below 20 mph, the US ebike speed, and using a lot of courtesy with others on the trail. Hopefully ebikes won't get kicked off the trails, but one or two complaints by the right people would get me banned. How much do you want to bet the courtesy part has been lacking by some ebikers in Toronto. One guy haulling ass on the sidewalk and going I'm legal so xxxx you is all it takes to ruin it for everybody. It would be good to find the turkey and " educate him" .

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lock » Jun 05 2009 5:33am

Right on Dogman.
Yes increase power - I'd like to see the Cdn.limit raised to agree with the US Federal 750w exemption...
Yes, regulate and enforce unsafe behaviour, not technology.
I am one of those who haul asss down our sidewalks BTW, but over 90% of our rush hour sidewalks look (empty) like this
RushHour.jpg
In my city of 3mill+ the bike paths mentioned are in the parks mostly, which comprise one eighth of the city land area, and chop the city up such that a ban on the pathways is a real impediment to getting around town
tks
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lock » Jun 05 2009 5:43am

PS... When I say "haul asss" I mean traveling not as fast as Usain Bolt when he runs 100 meters. Clearly Usain would be banned from running on our sidewalks as well. :wink:
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lessss » Jun 05 2009 7:15am

Scooter/Moped Style E-bikes - same as a bicycle or not?

This is the type of e-bike we are asking for your feedback on.
Please note the position of the pedals (they are about 1.5ft apart), the size of the vehicle, and it's weight.
The Ontario government has just approved a bylaw that now classifies this motorized electric scooter as a bicycle.

1. Do you think the vehicle pictured above is a bicycle? Yes
2. Do you think the vehicle pictured above is a motorized vehicle? No
3. Do you think this type of vehicle should be allowed to use bike lanes with regular bicycles? Yes
4. Do you think this type of vehicle should be allowed to use off-road bike/multi-user paths? Yes
5. Where do you think this type of vehicle should be allowed to operate?
Not on the sidewalk, definately yes on bike paths and the street bike lanes. Not on the regular car paths as they are speed and motor strength restricted.

6. Please add any other thoughts/feedback you have about this type of electric vehicle.
We need to ban REGULAR bicycles from the streets and bike paths as they are clearly unsafe. They lack horns, lights, turn signals, and brake lights. Further users are often exhausted to the point of not looking up to see where they are driving and not thinking clearly. The way they swerve back and forth across the street going up steep hills is clearly an accident waiting to happen.

7. Are you a member of the Toronto Cyclists Union? http://bikeunion.to/joinAre you a member of the Toronto Cyclists Union? http://bikeunion.to/join
Not yet


----------------------------
I encourage all ebike riders to join this club to change the outcome of their "vote".
Notice the jackass in the picture parking in the bike lane?


If the less than 20 inch wheel loophole is the problem then change it to add operated by children under 10 years of age. These people are trying to BAN ebikes from the street
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lock » Jun 05 2009 8:18am

Lessss wrote:These people are trying to BAN ebikes from the street
Hehe... almost Lessss... Outta the bike lanes at least (and into the heavy traffic where these underpowered machines really would NOT be safe.) The scooter style ebikes are attracting many ppl who are not pedal bike ppl and not part of the pedal culture. They "sneak up" on the pedal folks and surprise them w/their silent electrics, or "clog" the bike lanes for the spandex crowd that travel at faster speeds... Because the scooter bikes are heavy some riders are too lazy or unable to bump them over the curbs to park them, so they ride up on to the sidewalk at the nearest intersection (where sidewalks dip to street pavement level) then ride them down the sidewalk to the first available bike parking space. EVen at a walking pace the scoots on the sidewalk can intimidate, mostly because ppl are simply unfamiliar w/them. If they were open-frame "classic" pedal bikes w/power-assist traveling on the sidewalks at walking pace 99% of the pedestrians would not bat an eye. Adults pedaling bikes on sidewalks are a very common sight here. 99.999% of the time there is no problem and the pedal bikes and peds co-exist just fine. As is so often the case, there is a tiny minority of "tail trying to wag the dog".
This is all about the "shock of the new"
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Eric G » Jun 05 2009 10:15am

I live in a city of ~130,000 south of T.O.We too had the bylaw that bicycles having 20 inch and smaller wheels were allowed on sidewalks and after much complaining the bylaw was revised so that only little kids are allowed to ride on the sidewalk.I would rather ride on the road but with the major road construction going on here sometimes it's just too scary to do so on these roads sooo I ride on the sidewalk for now.When riding on the sidewalk I usually never go faster than ~10mph cause them hidden driveways are dangerous too.I always give the pedestrian the right of way by slowing right down and going onto the grass.A lot of times I could see the walkers weren't amused when they see me coming but that sure changes when they see me slow right down and move aside for them.Their grumbled look quickly turns into a smile and a friendly hello.At first I was worried about being seen by the police but the ones that have driven by me don't even give me a second glance.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by OneEye » Jun 05 2009 10:40am

Lessss wrote:Notice the jackass in the picture parking in the bike lane?
I might be seeing it wrong, but that looks to me like a parking lane, with a bicycle lane outside of the parking lane. We have those on a few residential collectors here. You have about 12' striped off as the 'bike lane', but parking is allowed at the curb.

Cyclists suggesting a 500W power assist is somehow going to be a speed demon in the bike lanes are letting appearances overwhelm logic. The moped looking bike in the picture already fails to comply with the law, so why does the law need to be changed? Just enforce what you have.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lessss » Jun 05 2009 11:12am

He probably took the pedals off and stored them in the bike. People steal the stupidest things out of spite and envy.

Banning from the bike lanes is the same as banning from the street since motorists will not tolerate sharing the road with a 32 Km/hr speed cap(and slower on hills).
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by swbluto » Jun 05 2009 11:27am

Why couldn't moped laws apply your "e-bike" if it *could* go faster?

Is there a financial disincentive since you have to pay for registration?

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Ypedal » Jun 05 2009 11:35am

Bottom line here is it should be " Don't Ride Like an Idiot ! "

I prefer to be on the street, but my location permits this as Moncton is a fairly bike friendly place to be.. i've seen vids of UK members that scare the hell outa me..

Power output limits are rediculous, un-inforceable, not respected for the most part....meh..

Personal opinion time :

1- The entire world has speed limit signs, obey that speed

2- Power output should not even be considered, heavier riders need more power to compensate or even make it up the hills at any speed...

3- Respect the rules of the road.. stop at red lights.. signal when you turn.. don't cut people off.. etc...

4- Sidewalks, if you feel it's safer to be there, then do it, but pedestrians have the right of way and should be respected, if it's a vacant sidewalk, go for it.. if it's populated, go at walking speed.. etc.. just don't be an idiot. :wink:
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by swbluto » Jun 05 2009 12:00pm

Ypedal wrote: 2- Power output should not even be considered, heavier riders need more power to compensate or even make it up the hills at any speed...
I completely agree with that. More speed = More kinetic energy = More lethality and severity.

Consider the effects of a power restriction.

-You're going up a hill a lot slower, which is more dangerous than matching the traffic's flow
-When you're going down a hill, you can be going a heck of lot faster than a 500 watt motor can push you, so the power limit has nothing to do with speed.
-You're in a vehicle (Like a velo) with a small effective cross-sectional area so that 500 watts can easily get you to 40 mph.

In the end, there are many circumstances where a power limit doesn't address the true culprit - speed.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by GringoInChina » Jun 05 2009 12:38pm

Here in Yichang I drive on the street (in all traffic) just to set a good example. We've got morons here that drive 125cc ICE's on the sidewalks during rush-hour (and pretty much any other time too) because they're too impatient or chicken shat to drive in the traffic. The police just look the other way.

I've gotten chastised by the locals for running my lights at dusk and in bad weather during daytime hours. They beller "you hurt you motor like that"(sic) and I beller back "what part of being 'dead' is going to make me worry about my funkin' motor". They just look at me clueless like a 'chicken looking at a card trick'.

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Lessss » Jun 05 2009 2:56pm

Give me nuclear batteries I say!!

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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by DahonElectric » Jun 06 2009 7:51pm

Thankfully though, there's no movement yet that I know of in Vancouver against ebikes, but I do know some regular cyclists here are against them including some of my cycling friends.

I believe some sort of legislation is needed simply to control abuse by either sides of the fence. TCU said that limiting the power of ebikes promotes safety. I think educating bike safety should be mandatory for all cyclists. There's Canbike, but who in the forum actually took it? The same 600w to 1000w that can help a less than fit and heavy cyclist up the hill can be equally used to get over a bridge at 40 to 50km/h or on the flats at much higher speed -- and yes I see quite a few in my town on narrow pedestrian lanes speeding as though they're late for a date!! I mean, just read the discussions here among ebikers who claim they can do 60 to 70km/h! A regular car can do that too! If you let an ebike on to bike lanes, what's stopping a car driver doing the same and what's stopping a car driver buying an ebike simply as the means to speed from home to work? It's a public road after all and car drivers can claim that heh look, if an 500w to 1000w ebike can go as fast as a car can, why couldn't I! Soon, everybody wants to drive on bike lanes and you can see the implication here. Bike lanes are created so cyclist don't have to compete against motorized vehicles. I think the fear of the Toronto Cyclist Union can be slightly justified. I'm also starting to see powerful ebikes on our bike lanes too, ridden thankfully by some responsible riders so far. I do know that ebikes are here to stay as people are aging and it is a great solution going around town.

You're quite right that it is difficult to enforce speed let alone cyclist standing off the saddle (yes in Vancouver, it is against the law to stand on the saddle! -- fine $109!), but sometimes a law or legislation is needed otherwise, anyone can do anything they want on public roads, be it on bike lanes or otherwise.
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Link » Jun 06 2009 9:06pm

Lessss wrote:The ONLY possible grounds they could argue on is weight and weak brakes, and with lithium batteries even THAT goes out the window.
Fat people were the defeat to that argument before lithium was around.
swbluto wrote:In the end, there are many circumstances where a power limit doesn't address the true culprit - speed.
I doubt even that's the real issue. Seems like irresponsible driving causes a lot more problems than going 55 in a near-empty 45 zone. :?
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Re: Toronto asked to keep e-bikes off sidewalks and bike lanes!

Post by Zoot Katz » Jun 06 2009 10:11pm

DahonElectric wrote:Thankfully though, there's no movement yet that I know of in Vancouver against ebikes, but I do know some regular cyclists here are against them including some of my cycling friends.

I believe some sort of legislation is needed simply to control abuse by either sides of the fence. TCU said that limiting the power of ebikes promotes safety. I think educating bike safety should be mandatory for all cyclists. There's Canbike, but who in the forum actually took it? The same 600w to 1000w that can help a less than fit and heavy cyclist up the hill can be equally used to get over a bridge at 40 to 50km/h or on the flats at much higher speed -- and yes I see quite a few in my town on narrow pedestrian lanes speeding as though they're late for a date!! I mean, just read the discussions here among ebikers who claim they can do 60 to 70km/h! A regular car can do that too! If you let an ebike on to bike lanes, what's stopping a car driver doing the same and what's stopping a car driver buying an ebike simply as the means to speed from home to work? It's a public road after all and car drivers can claim that heh look, if an 500w to 1000w ebike can go as fast as a car can, why couldn't I! Soon, everybody wants to drive on bike lanes and you can see the implication here. Bike lanes are created so cyclist don't have to compete against motorized vehicles. I think the fear of the Toronto Cyclist Union can be slightly justified. I'm also starting to see powerful ebikes on our bike lanes too, ridden thankfully by some responsible riders so far. I do know that ebikes are here to stay as people are aging and it is a great solution going around town.

You're quite right that it is difficult to enforce speed let alone cyclist standing off the saddle (yes in Vancouver, it is against the law to stand on the saddle! -- fine $109!), but sometimes a law or legislation is needed otherwise, anyone can do anything they want on public roads, be it on bike lanes or otherwise.
Bike lanes are created for the convenience of drivers. They're a great place to double park and those paint lines keep pesky bicycles out of the way.
I've found the "sharrows" glyph more effective and comfortable than a solid line in the door zone.

Vancouver's general crackdown on scofflaw cyclists, beginning July 1st, is counterproductive at a time when the city is tying to cut its toxic spewage. It's hard to believe the mayor was a bicycle commuter. He must have been one of those uptight anal jerks who never learned to negotiate traffic instead of going by rote like he was stuck in a car. Following the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law makes more sense on a bike. The laws, penalties, enforcement and infrastructure is car centric. None of it directly relates to the reality of riding a bicycle.

NFW am I sitting behind a stopped lane of stinking scuds if there's room to pass on the right or left. NFW am I standing dabbed at a red light when there's not another vehicle in sight. NFW am I dabbing at every stop sign if I can time my ROW at 2 kmh with traffic-savvy drivers. Some caged boneheads figure it's their job to ensure bicyclists make a full, put your foot down, stop. Others are just texting and forget that it's their turn to go. Basically they all get stupid around bikes figuring the bicyclist is going to do something weird. I'd rather they be extra attentive to bikes but wish they'd treat me like a vehicle instead of an addled child. They tend to forget about us altogether come winter.

The whole outcry in the local press against scofflaw cyclists would be easier to swallow if I didn't experience drivers' daily predictable and blatant violation of traffic control devices, including physical barriers. Too often I see cars turning when turns are restricted. If the cops want to know where they can write twenty or more tickets per hour, they should call me. They might nail three bikers and the other 17+ would be cagers. I'm more likely to signal my turns than the Audi/SAAB/BMW/H2 t*rds and cell phone zombies.

My bike is illegal. It starts in the >500 W but <1000 W grey area of the legislation as it's currently written. There's no motor cutoff when the brakes are applied. I don't have a kill switch. The bike does have the required bell at all times plus lights at night. . . with or without batteries.

AFAIK, riding out of the saddle is okay as long as you're still "astride" the bike. Standing on the saddle or top tube is goofy and riding out of control.
I did 52.9 kmh off the saddle of the Xtracycle today. I was astride the bike tucked in on the rear deck. The throttle was off.

My favourite work-around for using short stretches of sidewalks or crosswalks is to use the bike like a kick scooter. When doing this one is neither "astride" the bike nor pedalling it. It reads to me that it could be 218 dollars in fines for riding on the sidewalk while not astride the bike. Four hundred thiry-six dollars if it's night and you don't have a light or bell. You can leave your helmet at home for another $29.00.

There's something screwy going on here.

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