Friday, December 15, 2017

E-bikes soon to be a reality

E-bikes got the go-ahead from the City Council, at the December 5th meeting.  "Class 1" and "Class 2" will have the green light in bike lanes... on the Greenbelt... on many foothills paths, and on sidewalks (!) as soon as the ink dries.

I submitted a report to the Boise Guardian.  You can read it HERE.

At the Council meeting, the City experts had recommended against allowing the electric-assist bikes on the sidewalks.

There was considerable discussion about the different "classes" of E-bikes... apparently those that will be allowed can't provide more than 20mph of forward propulsion, and only when the rider is pedaling.  But I've observed E-bike riders cruising along, "smart phone" to ear, and barely turning the pedals even though the bike is going 20mph.  I guess we're about to find out how they will interact with other Greenbelt users.

Probably 25 members of the general public testified.  The pro-E-bike group was well-represented, including numerous E-bike riders who confessed to operating their bikes in violation of the current statutes.

I anticipate that many E-bike riders will be good Greenbelt citizens.  The lady who likes to take her kids to their soccer practices and music lessons.  The guy who has bad knees and can't ride a regular bike without pain.  The senior-citizen couple.  (Although if they rode REGULAR bikes, they would receive a lot more benefit in the form of cardio activity!)  But there will be some PROBLEM E-bikers... just as there are problem bicyclists, pedestrians, dog-walkers, smart-phone zombies.  And, I expect there to also be doofuses on Gas-powered bicycles... I've urged the Council to make it very clear that the hydrocarbon-burning bikers will eagerly take to the infrastructure, unless they are blocked by statute and enforcement.  (But I'm getting the impression that public comments are a mere formality... our Dear Leaders already know what's best and will proceed with their perfect plan.  Sigh...)

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