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Toronto Fails Again: City to allow E-Bikes in bike lanes

In a move that is entirely consistent with Toronto giving higher priority to those who choose to get around our city with help of a motor, there are reports that City Staff are going to recommend that E-Bikes be allowed in bikelanes.

If you’re not moving under your own power, get out of the bikelanes.  I don’t care if there is some by-law about it… I’m still going to yell at you to get out of it.

I’m not against E-bikes at all… I’d rather see people on E-bikes that in cars, and fullly expect that when I’m a senior I’ll use one if I have mobility problems.  BUT, they should NOT be in bikelanes.  Because they are NOT bikes.

In a move that seems guaranteed to invite backlash from cyclists, a newly released city staff report recommends that the city make it legal for owners of so-called e-bikes—those electric scooters with tiny, vestigial pedals—to ride in most bike lanes.

E-bikes have always suffered from a kind of identity problem. They’re heavier and faster than conventional bicycles, but they’re slightly too slow to keep pace with normal auto traffic. They’re street legal in Ontario, but city by-laws currently ban them from paths and bike lanes.

Full story:  Cyclists, prepare to dodge some scooters: the city wants to start allowing e-bikes in bike lanes | torontolife.com.

  • Jack

    I’m fine with the decision, they’re the same size and speed as cyclists. Let’s focus on getting more bike lanes and keeping cars out of them.

  • kate

    have you bee caught by one of them while cycling?
    its like getting a mouthful of exhaust in the bike lane.
    mm mmm.

  • Sam
  • Chercher

    This is a safety issue. They aren’t the same size at all. They are bigger and heavier and their motors are nearly silent. I have almost been clipped by one when it went around me and I had no idea it was coming up behind me. Other times I’ve been passed I was just surprised when they went by. They should be required to have a bell and use it! Another issue for me is that I know of one person who got an e-bike after losing their licence to DUI and I’ve heard from other people that they know of similar situations. I’m not saying all e-bike users have former DUI convictions, just that the possibility exists to jump from a car to an e-bike and still remain on the road. I can’t tell you how much this disturbs me. I don’t think letting e-bikes in the bike lane is the right decision but I don’t know what the solution is.

  • mariposaman

    Solution: maybe you should invest in a mirror so you are aware of what is going on around you. I hear about the “almost” this and “almost” that, you are just spreading rumours. What happens when another cyclist, who are silent by the way, who is faster than you and passes you close, never hear complaints about that. Yes, they are the same size if you bother to take out a measuring tape, the handlebars width is the widest part of each one and are more or less the same, and the length of an ebike is usually a little shorter than a bicycle. Bicycles look long and skinny and ebikes shorter and fatter, but they both need the same width to pass.

  • mariposaman

    Electric bikes have no exhaust!

  • How about gas motor scooters in the bikelanes? Motorcycles? Because there is not much difference.

  • very correct!

  • Thanks Sam! Totally agree.

  • Jack

    I’ve heard about cyclists who drink and ride, nobody mentions banning them. The argument against those who don’t pedal is often made with a smugness that only serves to irritate people.

  • Jack

    Motorcycles are far larger, heavier and faster than e-cycles. Huge difference.

  • kokocat

    re. “They should be required to have a bell and use it!” I couldn’t agree more and in fact it is a law. Buried in the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, section 75.(5) states, and I paraphrase, that all vehicles on the road are to be equipped with a bell, gong or horn. A person can be fined if caught without one. Getting people to use them is an uphill battle but I think it starts with aggressive safety education for anyone operating a vehicle on the road. Being casual about signalling and safety can be dangerous. No single group owns the road, not cars, not transit, not bikes, not scooters, but we all share it, so let’s be better to one another.