City of Toronto Transportation: E-Bikes should be allowed in Bicycle Lanes


– E-Bikes on Ontario Streets are exploding in numbers for a variety of reasons.
– In this two year ‘test project’ – 32 km/h motor vehicles will be mixed in the painted-on Bicycle Lanes with 18 km/h Bicycles.

– This is a ‘compromise’ that will drive cyclists off the roads and into the Trails. 

This is not a “Compromise” – this is the end of “Complete Streets” as a real-world Policy in Toronto!

Now Magazine – 2014/01/04

Scooters to be allowed in bike lanes

City report would compel cyclists to share the road with e-bikes

Ben Spurr


Under the proposed new rules electric scooters would be allowed in painted bike lanes, but they would be barred from physically separated bike lanes and multi-use trails, on penalty of a $150 fine. Pedelecs would be permitted anywhere that bicycles go.

The recommendations are consistent with rules already in place in Ottawa and Mississauga.

Dan Egan, the city’s manager for cycling infrastructure, concedes that many cyclists would be angered by having to share their lanes with e-scooters, but he believes it’s a fair solution.

“This is a bit of a compromise position to allow them in the painted bike lanes, the rationale being that you can operate them safely in a painted bike lane. You can easily exit the bike lane to overtake slower cyclists,” he says. “But we don’t want them mixing in [physically separated] cycle tracks where you don’t have that opportunity to overtake, or in trails when you’ve got an environment mixed with pedestrians.”

Egan suggests that there is a legitimate reason to allow e-scooters in bike lanes because legally they’re not allowed to go faster than 32 km/h, meaning they’re unable to keep up with car traffic.

“It is felt that allowing e-scooter access to conventional bicycle lanes would provide a safer environment for these riders, instead of forcing them out of the bicycle lanes and having them mix with the faster moving automobile traffic,” the report notes.


Read the full article: Now Magazine – 2014/01/04 | “Scooters to be allowed in bike lanes”



2 thoughts on “City of Toronto Transportation: E-Bikes should be allowed in Bicycle Lanes

  1. I agree with the proposal. As a driver I see these “idiots” on the road, sidewalks, and park trails. They are often people who have never spent much time on a bike and don't have a drivers license. As a result their driving is haphazard. They ignore stop signs and traffic lights and pop on and off the road when they feel like it. They often wear poor fitting bicycle helmets and carry oversized loads. Anything to get them out of live lanes will save lives and frustration. As a cyclist, the bike lanes are not that crowded and I get up to ebike speeds all the time.


  2. Just added this comment under Ben Spurr's article in Now Magazine (awaiting moderation):A Bike Lane is a visually separated lane in which slower vehicle drivers can ride in relative safety.Lower Speed is it's defining character.E-Bikes are easy to own and cheap to drive – they are exploding as a transportation choice amoung Ontarians. If we allow these new vehicles – which are faster than bicycles, but slower than cars – into the slower lanes, E-Bikes will quickly dominate the space. The average speed of the bike lanes will become 32 km/h – too fast for 99% of cyclists.If we want people from every age group to adopt active transportation – if we want to increase happiness & well being, relieve congestion and reduce the rising cost of health care – then we can't have vehicles that go 32km/h in bicycle lanes where the average speed is currently ~20km/h. If we allow E-Bikes in the slower lanes they will quickly dominate the space — and we will have practically decided that Complete Streets are not Toronto's Transportation Policy.The compromise for progressive transportation advocates is to propose that we allow Pedelecs in the bike lanes – which can go about 25km/h (if you pedal really hard).Cities must lead the way with regulation, not allow What Is (technologically), to lead Policy.The E-Bike industry needs to redesign to fit the bike lane reality – not City Council change policy to accommodate a business model defined incompetently, by Washington DC regulators.Micheal HollowayLeslieville, Toronto


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