Does the ADA supersede local restrictions on Ebikes?

retire01022004

New Member
The ADA states that "Covered entities must also allow people with disabilities
who use other types of power-driven mobility devices into their facilities ....' Granted there are exceptions. However, if a trail is posted no motorized vehicles, can a disabled person still ride an ebike? Likewise if state, local regulations prohibit throttles, can a disabled person still ride an ebike w/throttle?
In my case, at 74 and handicapped, I need my relatively powerful ebike with throttle to ride the hilly trails in PA. I always adhere to the posted speed limit. I also carry a copy of my handicap placard and of the pertinent sections of the ADA.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I did wonder the same. I've been involved on access laws and regulations with politicians and regulators locally. After studying the issue and bringing the disability question up with regulators, I was told ebikes do not qualify as mobility devices.

There's more ambiguity in ADA regulations than most people think. There are hard and fast issues like how spaces are constructed, but how much service to people and their personal needs is a little grey. There are so many reasons allowed to deny access. Speed, space, people...

I think an argument can be made for class 2 ebikes. I encourage anyone with a dog in the fight to fight. This will help:

 

PDXzap

Well-Known Member
I'm not saying you could ride any coattails but there has been at least one precedent.
Most of the article is about parking decals but also mentions;
"He was able to guarantee his right to use the Banks-Vernonia State Trail by telling rangers his bicycle qualified as a mobility device under the American with Disabilities Act."

The ADA's site defining "Power-Driven Mobility Devices".
https://adata.org/power-driven-mobility-devices

A 2012 article from electricbikereport.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
If you are denied access, contact your US Representative and Senator. Many of them like to offer assistance to constituents on this kind of issue because it makes for good talking points in campaigns.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
This is a good question. Ebikes are assistive technology for everyone. Even those of us without disabilities can access places and do cycling we could never manage without ebikes. I think that ebikes and etrikes should absolutely be considered power-driven mobility devices for people with disabilities who find them helpful. I think @AlanDB 's point is a good one, to contact US Reps/Senators if disabled and denied access.
 

Reefmadness

New Member
I have a mobility disability. I do have parking placards and license plates stating that. I also have a California hunting license that states that I am mobility impaired and may hunt from a vehicle. It's not always convenient to carry the placard, especially if I am parking in a Handicap spot in my wife's car. Would my hunting license suffice for proof of disability?
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I have a mobility disability. I do have parking placards and license plates stating that. I also have a California hunting license that states that I am mobility impaired and may hunt from a vehicle. It's not always convenient to carry the placard, especially if I am parking in a Handicap spot in my wife's car. Would my hunting license suffice for proof of disability?
The placard is easy enough to carry, but I'd think a license that has a statement of fact regarding a disability ought to be enough. Surely it would hold up in court if a citation were issued.
 

GypsyTreker

Active Member
I know that my service connected VA card has sufficed for ID. I don't make a habit of it but it has provided access to a state trail , or at least satisfied a park officer, when questioned about my bike being elec. I get the distinct impression most official types are not out to harass seniors enjoying a trail ride.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
In Pennsylvania, persons using a handicapped parking placard must also carry an ID card to prove they are the owner of the placard. The law is to prevent the illegal use of stolen or borrowed placards.

46148

I carry the ID card when I ride as a possible "excuse" if caught riding where I shouldn't.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member

In Oregon: https://www.cityofboise.org/departm...nistration/how-to-use-e-scooters-and-e-bikes/

MN: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.011

CO: https://www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/management/e-bikes/

FL: http://flbikelaw.org/2013/07/motorized-disability-access-vehicle/

I'm not going to look them all up, but you can if you want, or your own state.
Bicycle laws, AFAIK, do not recognize an ebike as a valid ada transportation device. Period.

OTOH, if you're out on your ebike and get stopped, and you're old and gray like me, with 8+ back injuries, chronic arthritis, can't even bend over to tie my shoes, they're not likely to do anything about it, or simply ask you to leave the area. Should they decide to cite you anyway, can you imagine what kind of day you could have in court in front of a judge??? 😎

I may well become an activist for ebike access. My only problem is I don't have much patience anymore. One foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. 🤣
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
[URL Should they decide to cite you anyway, can you imagine what kind of day you could have in court in front of a judge??? 😎

I may well become an activist for ebike access. My only problem is I don't have much patience anymore. One foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. 🤣
It'd make for a fun court case.

Officer Plodalot " I couldn't catch the offender "

Mr lawerrrrrr? " I'm sorry, are you saying this elderly gentleman was cycling faster than you? "

Officer Plodalot " Absolutely"

Mr lawerrrr? ( giggling) " exactly how many donuts had you consumed that morning?"
 

retire01022004

New Member

In Oregon: https://www.cityofboise.org/departm...nistration/how-to-use-e-scooters-and-e-bikes/

MN: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.011

CO: https://www.bouldercounty.org/open-space/management/e-bikes/

FL: http://flbikelaw.org/2013/07/motorized-disability-access-vehicle/

I'm not going to look them all up, but you can if you want, or your own state.
Bicycle laws, AFAIK, do not recognize an ebike as a valid ada transportation device. Period.

OTOH, if you're out on your ebike and get stopped, and you're old and gray like me, with 8+ back injuries, chronic arthritis, can't even bend over to tie my shoes, they're not likely to do anything about it, or simply ask you to leave the area. Should they decide to cite you anyway, can you imagine what kind of day you could have in court in front of a judge??? 😎

I may well become an activist for ebike access. My only problem is I don't have much patience anymore. One foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. 🤣
Thanks for efforts assembling this information. Your reference to the ADA continues that:
"People with disabilities have the right to choose whatever mobility device best suits their needs."
Golf carts and Segways are notes as examples of allowable mobility devices. I believe that an ebike could likewise best suit a disabled person's needs - as it does for me.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
There's a clause in most of them on 'self balancing' device. But if you can make it work go for it!
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
do not recognize an ebike as a valid ada transportation device.

Firstly ADA is a Federal set of regulations. It protects equal access. There are regulations that certainly apply to bicycles.


  • 2) Inquiry into use of other power-driven mobility device. A public accommodation may ask a person using an other power-driven mobility device to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person´s disability. A public accommodation that permits the use of an other power-driven mobility device by an individual with a mobility disability shall accept the presentation of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, as a credible assurance that the use of the other power-driven mobility device is for the individual´s mobility disability. In lieu of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, a public accommodation shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the other power-driven mobility device is being used for a mobility disability. A "valid" disability placard or card is one that is presented by the individual to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance´s requirements for disability placards or cards.
Definition of ‘‘other power-driven mobility device.'' The Department's NPRM defined the term ‘‘other power-driven mobility device'' in § 36.104 as ‘‘any of a large range of devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines— whether or not designed solely for use by individuals with mobility impairments—that are used by individuals with mobility impairments for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, bicycles, electronic personal assistance mobility devices
 
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retire01022004

New Member
Firstly ADA is a Federal set of regulations. It protects equal access. There are regulations that certainly apply to bicycles.


  • 2) Inquiry into use of other power-driven mobility device. A public accommodation may ask a person using an other power-driven mobility device to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person´s disability. A public accommodation that permits the use of an other power-driven mobility device by an individual with a mobility disability shall accept the presentation of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, as a credible assurance that the use of the other power-driven mobility device is for the individual´s mobility disability. In lieu of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, a public accommodation shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the other power-driven mobility device is being used for a mobility disability. A "valid" disability placard or card is one that is presented by the individual to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance´s requirements for disability placards or cards.
Definition of ‘‘other power-driven mobility device.'' The Department's NPRM defined the term ‘‘other power-driven mobility device'' in § 36.104 as ‘‘any of a large range of devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines— whether or not designed solely for use by individuals with mobility impairments—that are used by individuals with mobility impairments for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, bicycles, electronic personal assistance mobility devices
Wow, Thomas thanks for your post. As you showed, the Government's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the change to the ADA clearly defined ebikes for possible use as OPDMDs.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I would think somebody would need to screw up something terrible to garner ANY attention while riding an e-bike, and then, with proof of a disability, any issues regarding the law are very likely going to be viewed in the right context. As a fan of fair practices and good logic, I wouldn't be real concerned about riding an ebike just about anywhere. For the paranoid when it comes to such things, knowledge of the federal law that Thomas posted should be a get out of jail free pass.
 

Reefmadness

New Member
If you believe that an ebike is a mobility device for folks with mobility issues. Then the person that assists you "wife or care giver" would be allowed to utilize an ebike also.???????
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Excellent. Sign me up. 👍 I wonder if I could get my doc to give me one. Probly not - I wonder what that would to do my life insurance rates. I could park anywhere then too. LOL
It's crazy how these laws overlap. And why you never argue with leo. Let him do his job, settle it in court if you disagree. Ah, what a country.

@Reefmadness - hilarious username. 🤩
 
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