New Ebike Ordinance Is Not Just About Ebikes

New Ebike Ordinance Is Not Just About Ebikes

New Ebike Ordinance Is Not Just About Ebikes

Update 12-19-18: The Sioux Falls City Council voted 8-0 to allow class one e-bikes on Sioux Falls recreational trails.

Update 12-12-18: The ordinance is moving on to its second reading on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:00pm, Carnegie Town Hall.

On Tuesday, December 11th, the Sioux Falls City Council will do a first reading of some new ordinances that are designed to enable the use of e-bicycles on the city’s recreational trail system. The second reading is to be scheduled for December 18th. The second reading is followed by a vote of council to approve, or not, the new ordinances.

Anytime a legislative body opens a law for discussion the conversation can go to some unexpected places. The ordinances are characterized as making space for e-bikes on the trail. Here is a list of changes I see as I read the new ordinances. Remember, these changes don’t happen until the City Council approves them at the 2nd reading.

1. The definition of bicycle is adjusted to include e-bicycles.

2. Bicycle Lane is defined for the first time in city ordinance – and they are for exclusive use of bicycles and e-bicycles.

3. Cycle Track is defined for the first time in city ordinance – also for the exclusive use of bicycles.

4. E-bicycle is defined for the first time in city ordinance – with a max power output of 750 watts, must be pedaled to engage the assist, does not exceed 20mph of assist, and ceases assistance when the brakes are applied.

5. The ordinance that restricts motor vehicles on the flood levees/bike trail, will exclude e-bicycles.

6. A paragraph is being added to make it legal for pedestrians to cross intersections diagonally. This allows for legal use of so-called Pedestrian Scrambles like the 33rd & Grange Ave intersection.

7. For the first time, city ordinance will specifically say 15mph is the speed limit on the recreational trail system.

8. Parks and Recreation vehicles are being added to the list of vehicles that can be driven on sidewalks, parkways and cycle tracks.

My source for this information.

Michael Christensen
President, Falls Area Bicyclists