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When is an E-bike a Bicycle?

The public works committee has been asked to review its policy around electric bicycles. Specifically, if e-riders should be able to use cycling infrastructure, such as the new Sherbourne separated lanes or park trails.

According to city bylaws, only bicycles that are “propelled by muscular power” are allowed on city bike lanes. E-riders argue the roads aren’t safe for their limited horsepower.

Complicating the issue is that the province seems to put e-bikes in the same category as traditional bikes. Toronto bylaws override that legislation and in this city an e-rider using a motor on a park trail can be fined $305.

Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong put forward a motion to have city staff examine these issues and report back in the spring. The committee also decided to take about 20 minutes to hear from a handful of electric bike riders who showed up to plead their case.

Read the full post: “When is an e-bike a bicycle?” on the Star.

  • warren

    The second that e-scooter riders start to actually respect the differences between themselves and bikes, (ie they travel silently and must warn, use bells) AS WELL AS CONFORM TO LAW ie “require the use of a manual pedal assist, with electric motor only engaging after pedal-assisted start” THEN we can talk. These devices are usually illegal and used illegally every day – how many times have you seen a passenger? Illegal.