Newport Beach, E-Bike Access Under Threat?

Recent news about the use of e-bikes in the LA Times, highlights the problems faced by residents in Newport Beach. An article from Jan 16th 2023 explains the situation.

The article discusses the growing popularity of electric bicycles and the safety concerns that have arisen as a result. It mentions that residents in Newport Beach, California say it’s a bit like stepping onto a freeway when stepping onto the boardwalk because of the fast-moving electric bicycles.

City leaders have studied how to manage the proliferation of e-bikes on the boardwalk but have stopped short of banning them.

The article also mentions that other California beach towns are grappling with the same issues and some have banned or restricted e-bikes on their beach paths. Apparently injuries involving e-bikes have risen steadily in Orange County since 2020. The article also points out that e-bikes have a diverse group of supporters, including parents looking for a convenient way to get their kids to school and Orange County’s tourism industry, which advertises them as an ideal way to see the coastline and also as a positive contribution in the reduction of auto traffic reducing pressure on the environment.

Our Take

Electric Bike Action would always observe caution when getting emotional about the use of e-bikes and how different user groups can come into conflict. Dedicated lanes and speed-limits in high pressure areas we would say do help reduce risk and conflict. A balanced approach to regulation is always best without stopping what is a modern and overall positive form of personal transport.