Boise City Council to consider rules for electric bikes on streets, Greenbelt

E-bikes are not allowed in some areas of the city but that could change.

BOISE -- Cyclists who zip around the city on electric bicycles may soon have a new set of rules to contend with.

The Boise City Council will take up proposed changes to the city’s bicycle ordinance Dec. 5. The changes would specifically address electric bicycles - also known as e-bikes - which are powered by an electric motor and battery. 

Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Bonnie Shelton said the use of the motorized bicycles is currently "a gray area" under city code. 

The new ordinance would allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes - defined as those with a power output of no more than 750 watts and a top speed of 20 miles per hour - to be ridden on Boise streets, bike lanes, and the Greenbelt.

In addition, the bicycles would be allowed on some paths and trails in the Ridge to Rivers Trail System in the Boise foothills if a rider with a mobility disability is granted specific authorization from the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.

The proposal would ban Class 3 e-bikes - those that can reach or exceed 28 mph - from the Greenbelt. 

All classes of electric bikes would be prohibited from being ridden on the sidewalk or in crosswalks. 

The City Council is set to take up the proposed rules at 6 p.m. at Tuesday's City Council meeting. The hearing will be open for public comment. 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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