New bill in California Legislature would allow all e-bikes on trails!
The proposed bill, AB-1909, would require that all Classes of electric bicycles be allowed on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail. This circumvents locally-decided protection of natural areas from e-bikes and appears to run counter to state protections afforded sensitive areas as well. Primer on E-bike Classes: https://currentebikes.com/ebike-classes-california/
Phone calls and letters are needed to your Assemblymember and to Assemblymember Laura Friedman to urge them to modify AB-1909. If you contact them, please identify yourself as an individual who is interested in the environment.
Part (1) of AB-1909 states,
(1) Existing law prohibits the operation of a motorized bicycle or a class 3 electric bicycle on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, as specified. Existing law authorizes a local authority to additionally prohibit the operation of class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles on these facilities.
This bill would remove the prohibition of class 3 electric bicycles on these facilities and would remove the authority of a local jurisdiction to prohibit class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles on these facilities. The bill would instead authorize a local authority to prohibit the operation of a class 3 electric bicycle at a motor-assisted speed greater than 20 miles per hour.
The author, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, has been excellent on environmental issues, including authoring bills to regulate plastics. However, in section (1) of this bill, she is favoring E-Bikes over protection of natural habitat. When ridden on streets, E-Bikes are showing themselves to be a good alternative to automobiles, reducing use of fossil fuels reducing production of CO2, but they may not be well-suited in many natural areas due to the potential for accelerated environmental degradation. Local jurisdictions and State environmental policy should not be prohibited from regulating them.
Please call Assemblymember Friedman and politely tell her staff your concerns about E-Bikes in natural areas.
Assemblymember Laura Friedman phone numbers: (916) 319-2043 (818) 558-3043
Her office addresses, if you would like to send a letter:
Capitol Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 6310
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0043;
300 East Magnolia Boulevard, Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91502;
Also, call or email your Assemblymember and politely tell their staff your concerns about E-Bikes in natural areas. Your assemblymember can be located at https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/