Ban e-bikes from sidewalks, paths, city says
Power assisted bikes, more commonly known as e-bikes, may soon be banished from Windsor sidewalks and pathways.
That's the recommendation staff has made in a report to the environment and transportation standing committee.
"Up to now, it’s been somewhat unregulated, the way e-bikes appeared on the scene. More and more, there has to be increased regulation and restrictions placed on them," said Coun. Fulvio Valentinis, who sits on the committee.
Valentinis said he's fielded several complaints about e-bikes from pedestrians who frequently use the city's trails.
"You have a lot of people using sidewalks and pathways. The last thing you want to do is collide with one of these moving e-bikes," Valentinis said.
Under current bylaws, the bikes can be powered by either pedals or battery on the Ganatchio Trail, for example. The recommended changes would ban the bikes from the trail all together.
"That means they’re really confined to the travelled roadway," said Coun. Hilary Payne, who also sits on the committee.
Payne said that while the bikes are environmentally friendly and economical, they're wide and quiet on the paths and sidewalks.
"They’re here to stay," Payne said. "But they have their down sides."
Valentinis expects the committee will endorse the proposed changes.
"I know that doesn’t sit well with everyone. But at the same time, those trails aren’t that wide," Valentinis said. "The majority of municipalities have gone this route so it’s not like we’re breaking new ground on this."
According to Payne, the City of Toronto's bylaw states that e-bikes must be powered by pedals if they are in the city's bike lanes. Otherwise, they must be used in the lane of traffic.
The proposed changes go before Windsor council later next month.