Call to Action: Class 1 E-Bike access to Portuguese Bend Reserve

Class 1 E-Bike access to Portuguese Bend Reserve

On October 5, the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council approved Class 1 E-Bike access to the Portuguese Bend Reserve (Reserve) trails that allow bicycle access. To view the Council meeting – visit where discussion begins at 2:38:31 and Council vote begins at 3:19:00.
The City Council vote results in Class 1 E-Bike trail access within the Reserve being the only open space in Los Angeles County that allows Class 1 E-Bike use, an issue raised by the City Staff during the meeting.

The South Coast Chapter of the CNPS opposes this decision and we ask you to consider opposing it as well. The foreseeable impacts of this decision include:

  • Sizeable increase in bike usage within the Reserve due to the unique opportunity to ride in open space.
    • City Council noted that the use of mountain bikes was already a commonly raised safety and trail damage issue.
    • Prior experience with the use of social media to quickly communicate trail access is known to the City staff and is anticipated to be a major impact.
    • Environmental impact will increase at least in proportion to the increase in bikes, which could be substantial
  • Monitoring the limitation to Class 1 E-Bikes only (excluding Class 2 and 3) and to those trails designated as having bicycle access will contribute to Ranger workload and enforcement requirements.
  • Additional number, weight, power, and tire width of Class 1 E-Bikes will result in increased trail and habitat degradation, the likelihood of new intrusion into sensitive habitat, and  further erosion that is already an ongoing effort to mitigate.
    • The electric motor results in additional weight and trail degradation over a standard mountain bike.
  • The mix of bikes, horses and hikers on a single trail has been an existing safety issue within the Reserve.
    • Increasing the volume of bikes and ability to travel at a minimum constant speed of 20 miles per hour will increase the number and seriousness of the safety issues.

Opportunities to comment via in writing or to speak are coming up:

The City will hold a virtual Quarterly Preserve Public Forum on October 13 at 6 p.m. to share information and solicit feedback on Preserve operations and projects, including the proposed revisions to the Municipal Code. The agenda will be distributed later this week. Please use the link below to access additional information:

Ordinance 650 will be considered for adoption by the City Council at the October 19, 2021 City Council meeting. For instructions on how to participate, please use the link below

Comment letters can be emailed to


See below for the letter sent by the SCCNPS to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes

e bike opposition letter Oct 11 2021

One Comment

  1. According to the San Diego Mountain Biking Association, a mountain bike advocacy group, “Growing evidence is showing that, when ridden responsibly, the impact of e-bikes is no greater than that of traditional bikes

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