Scooter bikes and sidewalks and compatibility with pedestrians

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reikiman
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Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8454

Yesterday I was walking down a sidewalk, along a busy street that lacks a bicycle lane. A young lady riding a scooter-bike-with-no-pedals was riding down the sidewalk towards me, not slowing down to accommodate me the pedestrian. I want to share some thoughts.

First:- The rules are (so far as I know) that to be an electric bicycle, it must have operable pedals. She'd taken the pedals off. The design of these scooter-bikes are such that the pedals are practically useless, and I understand why owners of these bikes ditch the pedals. But should they still be considered a bicycle at that point?

Second:- In California bicycles are supposed to be on the street, not on the sidewalk. Obviously a bicycle at full speed is dangerous to pedestrians. The street in question doesn't have a bicycle lane, and she was traveling opposite the traffic direction, so I can understand why she might have chosen to stay off the street. But maybe that means she should have crossed the street to ride in the traffic direction.

Third:- I think it's best for a bicyclist, when riding among pedestrians, to harmonize their speed with the pedestrians. This is doubly so for electric-bicycle riders. This bicycle rider in question did not slow down, and was apparently going close to the scooter-bike's full speed.

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robert93
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Joined: 08/13/2009
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Re: Scooter bikes and sidewalks and compatibility with ...

Yikes, that is bad press for all e-bike users.
Yes, if they take the pedals off, it isnt a bicycle under the law, and is a quick way to rack up tickets of the officer's choice. (Possibly arrest if the attitude is right) The design on mine were so pathetic I'm having to machine a full crankset from scratch.... too bad i'm not a machinist. ( I was VERY pleased to hear the importer of mine is no longer in business)
Yes, she should have crossed the street and entered the proper lane, UNLESS, the speed limit exceeded safe bicycle usage. Legal options are limited in that case.
I agree completely on the harmonious transit approach. That can go a long way towards good will, but still isnt legal. There's always the thought of get off and push, twisting the throttle enough to carry the weight of the bike.
The real risk is, if riders of the "scooter style" ebikes keep thumbing their nose at the laws, sooner or later, the laws will be revisited, exclusions will be made, and the scooter-style e-bike will no longer be exempt from licensing, effectively killing them off.

Nehmo
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Joined: 08/10/2011
Points: 9
Re: Scooter bikes and sidewalks and compatibility with ...

You're not stating any objectives, just observations, so it's difficult to address your comments.
But if you understand the "rules" to be that a bicycle requires pedals, then, of course, if a vehicle doesn't have pedals, then it isn't a bicycle. What are you asking? Do you simply want someone to confirm your syllogism? I suspect you want someone to give a vote of confidence to you for being irritated at that woman. I won't go that far. And since you didn't tackle the woman, there's nothing you can do now anyway.

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LeftieBiker
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Joined: 07/09/2011
Points: 651
Re: Scooter bikes and sidewalks and compatibility with ...

Nehmo, if you read the last paragraph again (made harder by this software not recognizing indents unless you use HTML) you will see:

"The real risk is, if riders of the "scooter style" ebikes keep thumbing their nose at the laws, sooner or later, the laws will be revisited, exclusions will be made, and the scooter-style e-bike will no longer be exempt from licensing, effectively killing them off."

The goal, obviously, is to get E-riders to not make public nuisances of themselves, lowering the risk of the vehicles themselves being banned from public areas. New York State technically does that already (not requiring licenses, but banning them outright), but if you stay low key you will usually be left alone. That means *not* zooming through pedestrians, especially on sidewalks.

Nehmo
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Joined: 08/10/2011
Points: 9
Re: Scooter bikes and sidewalks and compatibility with ...

LeftieBiker wrote:

Nehmo, if you read the last paragraph again (made harder by this software not recognizing indents unless you use HTML) you will see:

"The real risk is, if riders of the "scooter style" ebikes keep thumbing their nose at the laws, sooner or later, the laws will be revisited, exclusions will be made, and the scooter-style e-bike will no longer be exempt from licensing, effectively killing them off."

The goal, obviously, is to get E-riders to not make public nuisances of themselves, lowering the risk of the vehicles themselves being banned from public areas. New York State technically does that already (not requiring licenses, but banning them outright), but if you stay low key you will usually be left alone. That means *not* zooming through pedestrians, especially on sidewalks.

I was responding to OP, reikiman. My post makes no sense if you consider it in response to robert93. I didn't think it was necessary, but I should have quoted.

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