Huntington Beach reverses e-bikes ban on beach trail – Orange County Register

Electric bikes will be allowed on the sandy beach passes of Huntington Beach, but authorities say more education and enforcement is needed to allow fast-moving bikes to co-exist with other pass users. Said.

The city council on Monday, April 5, unanimously voted for the previous ban on electric bicycles that came into force in 2017, before its recent surge in popularity.

The use of electric bicycles is increasing not only along the coast, but also in urban areas and inland areas of mountain bike trails. The rise in popularity is partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, as people were looking for creative ways to get out for exercise. Some users have been in a hurry to use additional stimuli on their bicycles, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

City councilman Mike Posey, who upheld the 2017 ban, said his first concern was the two-stroke moped that appeared around the town.

“I haven’t been aware of electric bikes until the last few years,” he said in a council discussion.

Posey said he fast-forwarded last year, participated in several discussions as a board member of the Orange County Parks Committee, and had a “permanent and powerful conversation on how to allow electric bikes in the park.” It was. Rethink the ban on Huntington Beach.

The County Commission is currently considering creating a loop trail to increase the footprint available for electric bikes, but also considering ways to prevent people from stepping into the reserve and damaging the trail. I am.

Councilor Natalie Moser worked with Posey to bring the ban to the council for consideration. She said the city would need to work on speed limits and how to enforce the rules once the ordinance is abolished.

She said Moser heard various reactions from the community.

On the one hand, electric bicycles allow for more accessibility. It’s easy to use for people with health problems, and riders can go longer and farther with the help of motors, she said. On the other hand, some said they didn’t feel a safe mix with high-speed bikes.

Electric bicycles can climb up to 20 mph. Some require pedaling to assist the motor, while others move by simply twisting the throttle.

“How can I make it safe and how can people do it? I know that planning can help you do that,” Moser said.

She said adding an element of public education would be important in addition to enforcement. She said that city-wide mobility research is soon underway.

Councilor Kim Kah said it was important to distinguish between beach pass usage and the actual beach. Biking is not yet allowed on the actual beach.

“I personally don’t want to see our beach turn into Pismo Beach and the people on the beach rock up and down, especially during the summer when families and kids are on the coastline.” She said.

Posey agreed.

“This is because of the tightly paved trails, not off-road, not on the sand,” he said.

The Oceanfront Pass at Huntington Beach is a popular destination for people around Orange County. John Gerber, a 35-year-old cyclist, said he frequently visits from Dana Point.

He said it was not a good idea to lift the ban by email, even though he owns some electric bikes himself. “Electric bicycles have created an alternative to cars, but these” bicycles “are inherently dangerous due to lack of training and easy access for all ages. “

He said he saw the rider go too fast, not wearing a helmet and reckless to ignore the rules of the road. He supports requesting licenses from DMVs.

Huntington Beach is not the first coastal city to tackle the influx of electronic bicycles.

In San Clemente, authorities recently discussed growing concerns about fast-moving riders mixing with other riders on narrow dirt trails along the beach.

City leaders chose not to slow down the speed limit, but instructed staff to start an “educational blitz” to curb speed-violating bike users.

City officials will also develop more bicycle safety programs and workshops, as well as ways for the general public to report complaints. Citizen surveys are posted on the city’s website for feedback on e-bikes.

Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach have begun cracking down on speed-violating electric bike users in recent months after increasing complaints that people are riding on sidewalks and strands too fast. The focus was on educating people in state and local law.

Newport Beach officials are discussing similar concerns about electric bikes and instructing staff to study more ways to curb reckless behavior.

Huntington Beach reverses e-bikes ban on beach trail – Orange County Register Source link Huntington Beach reverses e-bikes ban on beach trail – Orange County Register

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