E-bikes and E-scooters - info wanted

by Lady Lee 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I got back from the store and am so ticked off. I was coming along Scott from Holland and there was this woman on the other side of the street riding a scooter. It is called an E-Bike. She was on the sidewalk going from Parkdale to the Beer Store - on the sidewalk!!!

    I hummed and hawed and was so angry that I crossed the street to see if I could get a licence number off this thing while she was in the store. No licence - just a sign that says it is an e-bike and is eco-friendly.

    She came out of the store and wanted to know what I wanted. I asked her why she thought she could ride her scooter on the sidewalk. She rudely told me to mind my own business. At first she denied she was on the sidewalk but I told her I saw her and she just swore at me and told me to go away. AND she was drunk!

    It seems the laws here about these machines are quite unclear.

    Because their motors won't allow them to go over 32 KM an hour they are legally allowed to use bike paths.

    The cyclists are up in arms saying they are too big to be on the paths. Because of the motors size they don't need a licence or insurance to drive. The only restriction is that the driver muct be over 16.

    So now not only will we have to deal with cyclists on the sidewalks - just after this I had two people on bike cut me off on the sidewalk - but we may have a drunk old woman on a scooter who thinks it is okay to ride the sidewalks around here too.

    My opinion is this:

    • If it looks like a bike - whether it has power-assist or not - it is a bike and belongs on the path
    • If it looks like a scooter - regardless of its power - it belongs on the road (scooters for the disabled exempt)

    So here are my questions:

    • Are people using these things where you live?
    • Are there problems with people using them?
    • What laws have been made about their use?

    Lee - my not-so-happy thought of the day lol


    Good Afternoon LadyLee..

    All the small electric scooters I have seen..Are driven on the side of the road just like a bicycle..

    Then parked near the store..

    They are very popular in retirement areas here..

    ........................... ...OUTLAW

  • Jim_TX

    I think that this goes both ways...

    Here locally, it is legal to ride a bicycle on the street. In doing so, bicycles tend to impede the flow of traffic that is going faster.

    It appears that you are describing the opposite - and on the sidewalks.

    When I was a teenager, I rode a bicycle, and rode it on the sidewalk - or street (if no traffic was coming).

    You are talking about e-bikes, which have motors to propel them faster than peddling (or longer distances than peddling would allow). Since they do not exceed a certain speed, they are considered legally to be a 'bicycle'.

    What concerns me more are those Hovearounds - or electrified wheelchairs that people are riding out of doors and on the sidewalks (and yes, sometimes in the streets). Those vehicles are low-profile, and not very visible to motorists driving at any speed above 5mph.

    There was an incident here locally, where a lady was riding her motorized wheelchair to the store. She crossed her chair in the path of a firetruck responding to a call, that did not see her. The firetruck not only hit her, they killed her, and dragged her motorized wheelchair for a few blocks before they realized it and stopped.

    In my opinion, these types of low-profile vehicles - motorized or not - should be required BY LAW - to have some sort of flag-mounted on them that sticks up at least 5-feet in the air so that they can be seen.

    Any vehicle driven at night should also have lights on it - even if it is driven or ridden on the sidewalk.

    Even people should wear reflective clothing after dark - so they can be seen.

    It's common sense... which some folks lack.


    Jim TX

  • tec

    I've seen people riding on those motorized wheelchairs twice, just on the corner from where I work, Jim. I agree that they do need something extra to get them spotted.


  • thetrueone

    There's a few E-Scooters here in Vancouver that I've seen people riding them both on the streets and sidewalks.

    I'd be more concerned about people riding them on the streets, because they cant keep up to the speeds of the cars and trucks

    and they are small and hardly noticeable, making them more dangerous to see.

    The other concern is if they are on the sidewalks, are they going too fast to become a hazard for pedestrians walking ?

    Haven't heard of any accidents locally with these Scooters but probably as more people start to use them they may start

    to cause a problem.

  • Snoozy

    I haven't seen any here. . I would think most of them would be in a retirement community?

    I do see several people with wheelchairs that ride in the streets on the side tho. And many of them have the long pole with a flag. That really helps. They also have signs in communities where there are many residents in wheelchairs. It alerts the mororists to slow down .

    I was lucky as a child, when I was riding a bike there was no such thing as "Traffic"...


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Some people ride their wheelchairs on the street because sidewalks are terrible if you have spinal problems. Every crack, line and bump on the sidewalk feels like someone has taken a bat to your back. Generally roads aren't in as bad condition. I do ride my wheelchair on the street sometimes but only on side streets where there is little traffic. Due to my foot problems those cracks, lines and holes on the sidewalk feel like someone is smashing the bottom of my feet with a ping-pong racket. It is very painful. If I can't get on the road I have to ride holding my feet up off the foot rests to prevent the pain. Thank goodness it isn't my back.

    Legally a mobility devices for the disabled are considered pedestrian so we are supposed to use the sidewalk and if there is no sidewalk we are legally supposed to ride facing the traffic.

    Bikes are supposed to stay on the road and follow the rules of the road - going with the traffic not against it. Recently the police had a campaign to get bikes off the sidewalks and were handing out $50 tickets. I think they need to do that more often.

    But it seems there aren't any laws yet for these e-scooters which can go up to 32KM an hour. The average cyclist isn't doing over 30 KM an hour. I used to time them and the average I would say for a cyclist is 15-20 - I used to do 10 - 15KM/hour. The law says these slower bikes should be on the road. I can't see that the slower speed of an e-scooter at 32 KM an hour is going to be a bigger problem that the bikes.

    Can you imagine walking down a sidewalk or even a bike path (here it is "Share the path" with joggers and pedestrians - not the "bike lane" on a side of the street but a "bike path" dedicated to no cars or trucks - or motorcycles)

    I do have lights which can flash or not and reflectors on it and if I am out late (rare) I also carry a flashlight with me. I want to be seen!

    OK I will put my flag back on my wheelchair too.

  • tec

    OK I will put my flag back on my wheelchair too.

    This coming at the end of your post made me grin.

    I haven't seen a scooter on the sidewalk yet, so I can't comment. Yet.


  • Snoozy

    Here we have special marked lanes for those areas where people have wheelchairs..a wonderful idea.

    usually you will see special areas of apartments or townhouses that will provide a special area on the streets to enable them to go to the grocery store and pharmacy. We even have small buses that pick up those with wheelchairs (or just elderly or just don't drive) and take them where they want to go for a donation.

    I would much rather share my sidewalk with a wheelchair than a bike, motorized or not.

    If I had a wheelchair I think I would put flashing lights on my wheels and spokes.. I love evening strolls..


  • Jim_TX

    One other comment on this topic - then I'll let it go.

    When my wife and I go shopping, there are usually courtesy electric shopping carts for those that may need them.

    In my book, this does not apply to those too lazy to walk. Or those that need the exercise and are slightly (or grossly) overweight.

    We are seeing more and more folks using these electric shopping carts - which I don't usually have a problem with, but the folks that ride in them act like they are at the Indy 500, and zip around the store - which is a menace to the normal walking traffic. To equate this to a walking store shopper, think of a child (or adult) with a shopping cart running through the store. Not safe to anyone.

    _I_ think that these motorized vehicles need to have not only a backup-beeper, but a forward beeper that is not the same tone, but emitted every 10 to 15 seconds or so, so that walking shoppers can be made aware of their presence in the store.

    Otherwise, we tend to get run over by reckless and speeding motorized riders - who in many cases are very rude.

    RE: bicycles on the road -

    Nowadays, this is a very dicey proposition. Vehicular traffic views bicycles as a pain in the posterior, and in many cases aim for them - to run them over.

    In some cities - like Austin, TX - where there are colleges, the city puts in special 'bike lanes' which are basically the gutter, striped for bicycle riders. Here in San Antonio, TX, they have a few of these, but if I were riding a bicycle, I would be very leery of riding in these, as they usually have all sorts of crap that has washed and blown into the gutter - some of it detrimental to bicycle tires.

    When I am driving and come upon a bicyclist, I usually give them lots of room, and carefully pass, when I am able to do so, without getting too close to them.

    People in Hovearounds however, think that they OWN the roads, and get very snippy when vehicular traffic comes along at normal posted speed limits, only to have to slow down to 5mph because of some joker in a motorized wheelchair, who is a menace to traffic.

    These motorized wheelchairs were not meant to be out on the public roads. If they are used there, I think that they should be licensed - like any other licensed vehicle, which means that they are paying taxes for the road maintenance like I do.


    Jim TX

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