Should e-Bikes Be Allowed in Bike Lanes?

They're a quieter, easier, greener way to get around Toronto - but should they be allowed in bike lanes?

First let me start by saying I have no problem with e-bikes in general. They’re a quieter, easier, greener way to get around Toronto – but should they be allowed in bike lanes?

A Toronto Public Works and Infrastructure committee is looking at recommendations to allow them, with the assumption that it’s safe enough (and riders are courteous enough) to pass regular bikes in the adjacent lane.

As an avid cyclist I feel like the only thing that should be in bike lanes are BIKES. Not joggers, not skateboards, not strollers, not segways, not seniors’ scooters and definitely not e-bikes. They’re usually wider and more cumbersome than pedal bikes and cyclists have enough traffic, construction, streetcar tracks, parked cars, and pedestrians to deal with. Adding motorized bikes into the mix will only cause more congestion and more frustration.

If it has a motor it should be in the vehicle lane, but with a max speed of 32 km/hr e-bikes can’t exactly keep up with traffic. So where do they belong? Might be time to step up to a scooter with a top speed of 50 km/hr or more.

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