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

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
User avatar
Link   100 MW

100 MW
Posts: 2799
Joined: Dec 09 2007 8:46pm
Location: The Roxbury

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

Post by Link » Jun 24 2009 12:27am

northernmike wrote:Lock, exactly!

88.7 % of statistics are made up on the spot.
I heard it was around 76%. :?
ಠ_ಠ
Packcycle 2.0 - Scwhinn S-Go
Do you wumbo?
My mind is an enigma. So much so that, sometimes, even I don't know what I was thinking.

User avatar
Lessss   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2342
Joined: Nov 18 2006 11:27pm
Location: Saint John N.B. Canada, Sol 3
Contact:

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

Post by Lessss » Jun 24 2009 5:25am

There are lies, damn lies, neo-nazi reivionist history, Mel Gibson historicals, RCMP taser testimony, and then statistics.
Give me nuclear batteries I say!!

Xase   1 W

1 W
Posts: 54
Joined: Aug 25 2007 6:41am

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

Post by Xase » Jun 24 2009 9:53am

I find this thread very interesting from a legal and political standpoint. Normally I’m just a forum lurker, but I think I’d like to enter my 2 cents here… 2 cents from the point of view of an expat ebike enthusiast/propagandist living in Europe.

The way I see it there seems to be a problem here drawing the line between a) human-powered/pedal-only bicylces, b) ebikes and c) moped/scooter ‘ebikes’, and also regarding each’s access to certain spaces, defined as a) sidewalks, b) bike lanes(on road)/paths(offroad).

Of course when a person thinks about human powered/pedal-only bicylces, ebikes and moped/scooter ‘ebikes’ certain images of each instantaneously spring to mind and the definitions seem, at first thought, clear… especially to an enthusiast from any of the groups listed. However, Lessss’s illustration and the photo being used by the Toronto Cyclists Union shows that in reality the lines can also be drawn, propagated, and used/abused by riders of one certain type of mode of transport to draw their own lines -be they individual or shared- for their own purposes. Of course when the media get involved the lines drawn for the society as a whole (including non-cyclists) becomes heavily affected by their influence in distributing & selling ideas…. ideas that may represent a certain class or group. Either those of a petrol-fuelled vehicle industry representative who wants to bury alternative transport to sell more petrol-fuelled vehicles, or elitist spandex-wearing human-powered transport groups who want their sidewalks and bike lanes/paths all to themselves. And this thread proves that those drawn societal lines have real-life legal & political implications.

What we need, as I believe has been attempted to be expressed in this thread, is clarity… clear, common definitions. These can only be reached through discussion by all parties involved.

IM(and others here)O, the moped-scooter ‘ebike’ may need a separate class altogether. In Europe, for example you have a moped class which has certain restrictions. I’m no legal expert, however I know some of the restrictions which I think might be useful in this case. In Europe you can be either 14 or 16 years old to ride a moped/scooter (as opposed to 18 for most other motorized vehicles such as motorcycles and cars), you must wear an approved helmet, you cannot ride them on the motorways/highways and they cannot have motors any larger than 50cc’s. I don’t know if they have speed or horsepower restrictions, although I don’t see that as the solution, as pointed out earlier because of rider weight and hills. What might need to happen is that these may need to be placed in a certain class which raises their speed and power restrictions to a higher point so that they can be driven safely on the road (but not on motorways) along with cars and be inspected & registered in the said –moped/scooter- class.
A suggestion which might help draw the line between these moped/scooters and ebikes, as opposed to width, weight, power, etc., might be to define them as any vehicle with pedals which is not comfortable to be pedalled for a significant distance (say 5km) in case of motor failure. How does that sound? Then those can be powered up, inspected, registered, and ridden on the roads with the cars.

The ebikes (which can be pedalled comfortably for significant distances without motor assistance) could stay in the bike lanes/paths with the pedal-only bikes where they belong and on the street if necessary -in case there are no lanes.

The sidewalk is a little more complicated. While I don’t think anyone believes a moped/scooter should be regularly driven on sidewalks, both ebikers and pedal-only bikers have done their fair share of reckless riding on sidewalks. Maybe they shouldn’t be banned from sidewalks, but maybe the police should keep their eye out for reckless ebikers and cyclists on sidewalks as they are a danger to children, the elderly, themselves (in the case of cars pulling out of driveways), etc.

As for parking on sidewalks, in Europe it’s common for all styles of 2-wheeled vehicles to park there. From foldables to giant cruisers and there seems to be no cluttering in the big metropolis centre where I live, nor do there seem to be complaints from the populace or media here on this particular issue….

User avatar
Lock   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4082
Joined: May 24 2007 5:46pm
Location: Toronto Harbour
Contact:

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

Post by Lock » Jun 24 2009 5:59pm

"vehicle with pedals which is not comfortable to be pedalled for a significant distance (say 5km)"

Wouldn't a vehicle weight limit accomplish this? Easy to verify?
tks
Lock
If you like this message feel free to donate BeerCoins (BTC) to:
1LxAXWmbjY6SeMf8r9HHhSKt6pWyPvWg6L

Toronto Electric Riders Association:
http://www.ebikeriders.com/
Canada, eh?

northernmike   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 708
Joined: Dec 08 2008 8:36pm
Location: Toronto

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

Post by northernmike » Jun 24 2009 6:11pm

Perhaps I can shed some more light on the situation, being a resident and bicycle commuter here in Toronto.

Toronto is a hard city to ride a bike in.

Cars and trucks abound, lanes are tight, pedestrians jump out of nowhere, the chances of a "door prize" (running into a person and/or car door as they exit their freshly parked vehicle) are high ... Construction is everywhere and clogs things up for everyone, that which isn't being repaved is often potholed to oblivion -

There is somewhat of a competition for space here, bottom line.

It's hard to even WALK at Yonge and Bloor at noon on any given workday.

Cyclists have been fighting hard, for a long time, to get more bike lanes, more attention, more rights. Many of us feel ignored and abused by vehicular traffic and city policies that favour it.

It's not surprising to me that a Cyclists' Union with this kind of fight to fight would look at scooter-style e-bikes and their riders as lazy, pseudo-motor-vehicles and therefore a direct threat to their efforts.

I ride my non-electric bike in bike lanes when it's convenient and in traffic when it isn't.

I am frequently appalled at how few "cyclists" share my habits of signaling my intentions, announcing my presence to those around me (with a bell) when my passage might threaten their trajectory, and yielding to the rules of the road.

There are as many bad drivers, bad pedestrians, and even bad mobility scooter pilots as bad e-bike riders.

They ALL need some manners, and a friendly campaign from the City could do wonders.

jag   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 777
Joined: Feb 16 2009 12:12pm

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

Post by jag » Jun 25 2009 10:56am

Xase wrote:
A suggestion which might help draw the line between these moped/scooters and ebikes, as opposed to width, weight, power, etc., might be to define them as any vehicle with pedals which is not comfortable to be pedalled for a significant distance (say 5km) in case of motor failure. How does that sound?
The idea to define a class of eBikes which closely retain the capabilities of a bicycle is a good one. It should help acceptance of eBikes on bike lanes if they are as bicycle-like as possible. It is however not so trivial to make a precise definition of this. Scooter manufacturers can probably demonstrate that a rider can pedal them 5km. The weight restriction already in place in Alberta (35kg) should also help. Some other possible formulations:

Should have a geometry which resembles that of a conventionally pedalled bicycle (MTB, roadbike, recumbent, or a geometry which does not unduly restrict human efficiency below that of these conventional bicycle geometries.

Should be able to be pedalled on usual cycling terrain with no more than XX% more effort. (Not sure what XX is reasonable, maybe 20-30% to account for extra weight and drag)

User avatar
LogRaam   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 23 2008 9:05am
Location: Quebec, Canada

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

Post by LogRaam » Jun 26 2009 9:11am

:!:
Speed limit should be respected by the “ebikist”, not technologically restricted. Courtesy, respect of security and common sense is needed when cycling on a crowded bike lane. Ebikist and other cyclists have the duty to respect each other’s for their own safety.
On an empty lane I think an ebikist may travel faster, regards for their own safety. Bike lane is the safest place for an ebike, an ebikes deserve their share of the lane.

My 2 cents..
LogRaam
-----------------------------------------------------------
Surly Pugsley + Shiver SC... cooked the Ezee hub :-( upgrading to X5 Cruiser or Brute with 2x LiFePO4 48V/20Ah.

northernmike   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 708
Joined: Dec 08 2008 8:36pm
Location: Toronto

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

Post by northernmike » Jun 26 2009 8:15pm

LogRaam wrote::!:
Speed limit should be respected by the “ebikist”, not technologically restricted.
I nearly agreed with you, Log, and then thought it over.

Cars are not speed-limited. BUT - they and their operators are legally required to be licensed and insured to operate them on public roadways.

SINCE eBikes are not legally required to be licenced or insured - if something terrible happens, who pays?

The government cannot be held to blame, as they have no record of the operator's qualification to any applicable standard of competency.

Without insurance, neither the rider nor the vehicle can pay... suppose an eBike rider has been accused of property damage in a crash, or personal injury (!) ...

Suppose in a court of law the accused must defend himself!

Is the onus now on the manufacturer of the instrument of damage? Is it up to the retailer to defend himself?

What if the eBike was self-made, then?

Who is responsible?

From my understanding of the US legal system, it's common in cases like this to sue EVERYONE, and whoever ends up guilty and able to pay, pays.



The problem with "common sense" is it can't be quantified or qualified.

Hence the new dawn, in legalese:

COMPETENCY.

Or, if you pass this test and pay this money, we will say you can do what you say you know you can.

northernmike   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 708
Joined: Dec 08 2008 8:36pm
Location: Toronto

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

Post by northernmike » Jun 26 2009 8:17pm

PS, Log, NICE BIKE!!

User avatar
Lessss   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2342
Joined: Nov 18 2006 11:27pm
Location: Saint John N.B. Canada, Sol 3
Contact:

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

Post by Lessss » Jun 27 2009 1:44am

northernmike
I agree, regular bicycles should immediately be required to be retrofitteed with a speed limiter. After all they may cause an accident!!!
I'll write a letter to my MLA/MP right away!!! These non speed regulated bicycles are an accident just waiting to happen. Better yet we should immediatly require regular bicylist have insuracne to be on the road as well.
Last edited by Lessss on Nov 19 2009 8:51am, edited 1 time in total.
Give me nuclear batteries I say!!

northernmike   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 708
Joined: Dec 08 2008 8:36pm
Location: Toronto

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

Post by northernmike » Jun 27 2009 12:32pm

HA! :wink:

My point exactly.

Could I sue the company the poured the concrete sidewalk, the shop who sold me my shoes, and the designer of my sunglasses if I mistakenly stepped on another pedestrian's feet?

He didn't signal, how was I to know he was going to turn!?!

:roll:

To be posted in all public places, as a preventative measure:

Image

northernmike   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 708
Joined: Dec 08 2008 8:36pm
Location: Toronto

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

Post by northernmike » Jun 27 2009 12:33pm

Image

User avatar
Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh   100 MW

100 MW
Posts: 2598
Joined: Feb 09 2007 3:02am
Location: Marlboro

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

Post by Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Jun 27 2009 1:34pm

especially with scissors!

motorcycle insurance is a fraction of the price of auto ins simply due to the fact less mass = less momementum = less damage = less cost to the ins company.
an ebike weighs nothing by comparison, if they were required to be insured, payout on ebike related claims wouldn't even equal the ins company's annual budget on oak trim for the office.

User avatar
LogRaam   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 23 2008 9:05am
Location: Quebec, Canada

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

Post by LogRaam » Jun 27 2009 3:42pm

I got your point.. but wait?!? What about lycra-carbon cyclist runners who travel at nearly 45 kph (and more) on the cycle lane or on the road? They don’t have any power assisted hub and they go above the theorical speed limits. And what happen if they hit someone or something? What’s the insurance? Who gonna pay? The point is: this is not the motor hub that makes ebikers dangerous. I don’t believe technologies are guilty. And hey, most of the hubs barely go faster than 40 kph! The world’s custom hub speed record is 93 kph and this is an exception. I believe the rider is guilty, and from that probably everyone who rides the lane should have insurance, motor hub or not.
About the subject “ban ebikes from the lane”, giving them only access to the street return to your point; if they crash in something, who gonna pay anyway..
LogRaam
-----------------------------------------------------------
Surly Pugsley + Shiver SC... cooked the Ezee hub :-( upgrading to X5 Cruiser or Brute with 2x LiFePO4 48V/20Ah.

jag   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 777
Joined: Feb 16 2009 12:12pm

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

Post by jag » Jun 27 2009 4:29pm

Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh wrote: if they were required to be insured, payout on ebike related claims wouldn't even equal the ins company's annual budget on oak trim for the office.
The insurance companies would make us pay to cover *both* the payouts *and* the new oak trim in their office. (maybe some oak trim for the exec's new downtown penthouse also)

GTA1   100 W

100 W
Posts: 171
Joined: May 08 2009 2:54pm

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

Post by GTA1 » Jul 02 2009 3:56pm

northernmike wrote:Perhaps I can shed some more light on the situation, being a resident and bicycle commuter here in Toronto.

Toronto is a hard city to ride a bike in.

Cars and trucks abound, lanes are tight, pedestrians jump out of nowhere, the chances of a "door prize" (running into a person and/or car door as they exit their freshly parked vehicle) are high ... Construction is everywhere and clogs things up for everyone, that which isn't being repaved is often potholed to oblivion -

There is somewhat of a competition for space here, bottom line.

It's hard to even WALK at Yonge and Bloor at noon on any given workday.

Cyclists have been fighting hard, for a long time, to get more bike lanes, more attention, more rights. Many of us feel ignored and abused by vehicular traffic and city policies that favour it.

It's not surprising to me that a Cyclists' Union with this kind of fight to fight would look at scooter-style e-bikes and their riders as lazy, pseudo-motor-vehicles and therefore a direct threat to their efforts.

I ride my non-electric bike in bike lanes when it's convenient and in traffic when it isn't.

I am frequently appalled at how few "cyclists" share my habits of signaling my intentions, announcing my presence to those around me (with a bell) when my passage might threaten their trajectory, and yielding to the rules of the road.

There are as many bad drivers, bad pedestrians, and even bad mobility scooter pilots as bad e-bike riders.

They ALL need some manners, and a friendly campaign from the City could do wonders.


A warm round of applause for this.

Do you think it is possible for things to get better without mandatory licensing of cyclists and registration of bikes with plates displayed, say, above age 12?

GTA1   100 W

100 W
Posts: 171
Joined: May 08 2009 2:54pm

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

Post by GTA1 » Jul 02 2009 4:02pm

LogRaam wrote:I got your point.. but wait?!? What about lycra-carbon cyclist runners who travel at nearly 45 kph (and more) on the cycle lane or on the road? They don’t have any power assisted hub and they go above the theorical speed limits. And what happen if they hit someone or something? What’s the insurance? Who gonna pay?

You hit on a very good point.

Right now, depending on jurisdiction, if you have a home owners or renters policy, there is normally a small amount of liability insurance that "comes with" and in theory should cover those claims.

However, two things are likely to happen --- at this time, there is not a lot of incidents and claims. Once that happens, expect,

A) for the policies to be rewritten to exclude bicyclists, ATVs, Scooters, etc.

B) for the government to step in and force some form of compulsory insurance on everyone.

Post Reply