Palo Alto E-Bike Ban Faces Local Backlash

Local cyclists are resisting a plan to prohibit e-bikes in all of the city’s open space preserves.

1 minute read

February 23, 2023, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Gravel trail winds through grassy marshy field in Baylands Park, Palo Alto

The Global Guy / Baylands Park, Palo Alto

Backlash from local residents is forcing Palo Alto to rethink a proposed ban on electric bikes in the city’s open space preserves, reports Gennady Sheyner in Palo Alto Weekly.

The ban was proposed by the Parks and Recreation Commission and would prohibit electric bikes in all of the city’s preserves, including the Baylands, whose gravel trails are a popular destination for bike riders. “In making its recommendation, commission members argued that prohibiting e-bikes at all open space preserves would give the city time to establish regulations, install signage and take other actions that would make the activity safer.”

Cycling advocates argue that the ban shouldn’t extend to the Baylands, where the wide gravel trails make cycling accessible to many residents. The Palo Alto Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which supports an e-bike ban in other preserves, says the ban would be practically unenforceable and would harm the many seniors and others who use e-bikes in the Baylands. Other critics of the ban say it should differentiate between pedal-assist bikes and other, more powerful e-bikes. The issue will be taken up by the city council on February 27.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in Palo Alto Weekly

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