Tucson, AZ, ban on ebikes riding the Loop

Hogstir

New Member
Region
USA
That’s what I hear from every multi use path everywhere I go. The Tour De France wannabes are a safety issue EVERYWHERE.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That’s what I hear from every multi use path everywhere I go. The Tour De France wannabes are a safety issue EVERYWHERE.
Well you'll hear it one more time from me too. In my area, a tourist beach community, the real danger on the multi-use coastal trail is the analog commuters hauling ass to their hospitality service job. I totally understand the loss of patience with shambolic tourists who suddenly lurch in new directions like a zombie who catches a sudden whiff of brains. I solve that with a 'HEY PAY ATTENTION' pitched to cut thru brain fog, but most commuters simply accelerate and weave, with the apparent intention being to teach the dumbass a lesson. It doesn't work.
 

Sparky731

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Check out this website and video. https://www.arizonabikerides.com/rides/586/the-loop-bike-ride-tucson/

The DOT Program Administrator specifically says, “…if it does not have an engine on it, it can be ridden [on the loop].”

The key word being “engine.” We should hope that definition applies to all Pima County and other AZ multi-use paths.

We rode >1,000 miles of Maricopa and Pima County paths on ebikes this past Winter. The number of ebikes we encountered on the trails exceeded acoustic bikes. Tough to reverse that trend.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The number of ebikes we encountered on the trails exceeded acoustic bikes. Tough to reverse that trend.
exactly. All the 'does she or doesn't she' hand wringing has a very limited shelf life. You can't shout at the waves and stop them from crashing on the beach. At the Grand Canyon ebikes easily exceeded the analogs and nobody cared. Nobody was going fast because we were all enjoying the scenery.
 

Hogstir

New Member
Region
USA
Check out this website and video. https://www.arizonabikerides.com/rides/586/the-loop-bike-ride-tucson/

The DOT Program Administrator specifically says, “…if it does not have an engine on it, it can be ridden [on the loop].”

The key word being “engine.” We should hope that definition applies to all Pima County and other AZ multi-use paths.

We rode >1,000 miles of Maricopa and Pima County paths on ebikes this past Winter. The number of ebikes we encountered on the trails exceeded acoustic bikes. Tough to reverse that trend.
Remember that the State left a carve out allowing local govt to regulate E Bike use on multi use paths. They naturally assumed that the local govt would base any regulation on factual evidence such as a study.
Pima County Parks dept placed a blanket ban on any motorized vehicle which would include Pedal Assisted Bikes as well as electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. They did make an exception for ADA mobility devices as long as they carry documentation with them PROVING that they need the device. That is a violation of Federal Law. You cannot require people to document their disability, if they make a verbal statement that they need the device it must be accepted as credible assurance.
The County of Pima claims they banned E Bikes for safety reasons but never actually did any safety study concluding that they posed any risk not posed by regular bikes.
In fact the notes from the loop advisory committee show that the blanket ban was done because if they allowed E Bikes they would have to decide individually on other E devices like Segways etc and that would be a lot of work.
Basically the ban was for the County’s convenience NOT for safety reasons.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I hope they do issue the ticket based on a rule. It would force the issue.
I had a documented call with the CPSC on the "low speed electric bicycle" (LSEB) defined by federal bill HR727 (passed 1 vote short of congressional consensus which are ALL state representatives). During that call they made it crystal clear that they view LSEBs and the ebikes defined by 3-class legislation as two different products (this gets them out of having to engage on what would be an obvious interstate commerce decision). Compliant LSEBs are same as a bike so if the states just stuck to "use" regulation then there would be no conflict of use of LSEBs on the Loop.

HR727 pulled jurisdiction of compliant LSEBs away from the NHTSA where they were considered "motorized vehicles" and defined them as the equivalent of a bicycle (type variations are allowed and defined). In the vast majority of cases the feds define the WHAT (what the product is and what is allowed thru 1st sale) and the states regulated the USE (the who, were, how, etc.) but that does involve a redefinition of the what unless very specific are involved. HR727 was passed in 2002 and was doing just fine - for like 12 years compliant ebikes could be sold and used as a bike in pretty much every state except where some states just could get their sh*t together and stop considering them motor vehicles. Enter People for Bikes...they decided to accept lobby money (mainly from the auto parts corporate world) and were spoon fed the horrible 3-class legislation to push state by state as needed for improved clarification and safety (lies that don't even need to be explained given the obvious deception).
 

ArizonaWildBill

New Member
Region
USA
Sorry for this but I will cross post one last point. Many other major MUPs allow ebikes. For example, the Monon Trail in and around Indianapolis. They even promote it by allowing ebike rental info on their website. Bigger city...more users and yet....safe. But they do have a speed limit and it gets enforced. Roadies don't like that. So why not benchmark other successful programs? Or be the lone holdout citing safety with no studies or solid arguement. Just my .02 and I have yet to be on the loop with an ebike.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Sorry for this but I will cross post one last point. Many other major MUPs allow ebikes. For example, the Monon Trail in and around Indianapolis. They even promote it by allowing ebike rental info on their website. Bigger city...more users and yet....safe. But they do have a speed limit and it gets enforced. Roadies don't like that. So why not benchmark other successful programs? Or be the lone holdout citing safety with no studies or solid arguement. Just my .02 and I have yet to be on the loop with an ebike.
Yes. Speed limits on MUPs makes far better sense than legislating assist cut-offs on the product itself but you have to remember the auto industry didn't want ebikes to get too many people out of cars, so neutering them to 15mph was put in place in Europe. That is exactly what People for Bikes would have pushed for in the US (to have greater harmonization) but they were aware of HR727 allowed 750W motor rating and "power limiting" at 20mph, so limiting to anything slower than 20mph would have problematic for them regardless of lobby money funds.

Note: Why is that PFBs never defensively engages on the 3-class legislation they promoted so aggressively? Is it because they know it's hard to defend?
 
Last edited:

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That’s what I hear from every multi use path everywhere I go. The Tour De France wannabes are a safety issue EVERYWHERE.
i suppose there’s some observational bias here, since i like to ride road bikes and generally do so in the 15-20mph range, but in 8,000 miles of riding last year and this, plus walking with my family all over the place every day, i have NEVER had my safety threatened by a “tour de france wannabe.”

never. i see people riding fast, in groups and solo, and sometimes i’m going faster than them and sometimes slower, but the times i’ve had to make an emergency stop, swerve, or almost crashed/been hit can be roughly categorized as follows:

15% unskilled cyclists on rented bikes, ebikes, etc on MUPs

15% pedestrians behaving unpredictably on MUPs

15% dogs behaving like dogs on MUPs

45% cars turning in front of me without signaling,

5% “bikes” which are too large for the infrastructure they’re using, either by length, weight, or width

5% me being an inexperienced idiot, wet roads etc

perhaps people simply assume anyone riding fast on a road bike in lycra is “dangerous.” in my experience those people are primarily on roads, not MUPs, and when they are on MUPs, they’re quite focused and controlled.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
i suppose there’s some observational bias here, since i like to ride road bikes and generally do so in the 15-20mph range, but in 8,000 miles of riding last year and this, plus walking with my family all over the place every day, i have NEVER had my safety threatened by a “tour de france wannabe.”

never. i see people riding fast, in groups and solo, and sometimes i’m going faster than them and sometimes slower, but the times i’ve had to make an emergency stop, swerve, or almost crashed/been hit can be roughly categorized as follows:

15% unskilled cyclists on rented bikes, ebikes, etc on MUPs

15% pedestrians behaving unpredictably on MUPs

15% dogs behaving like dogs on MUPs

45% cars turning in front of me without signaling,

5% “bikes” which are too large for the infrastructure they’re using, either by length, weight, or width

5% me being an inexperienced idiot, wet roads etc

perhaps people simply assume anyone riding fast on a road bike in lycra is “dangerous.” in my experience those people are primarily on roads, not MUPs, and when they are on MUPs, they’re quite focused and controlled.

Some roadies like the ride fast but they know when / where that it's safe to do that. Bikers know that if they have an accident they are likely going to suffer the consequences of poor judgement or excessive speed. All those risk examples are astute.

Sadly there are those that support the 3-class legislation pushed by People for Bikes that is ruining the simplicity we had with HR727. Why doesn't anyone at People for Bikes ever speak out on this subject. Tell us why you accepted the lobby money to push bad ebike legislation when you claim to be a bike advocacy organization.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Remember that the State left a carve out allowing local govt to regulate E Bike use on multi use paths. They naturally assumed that the local govt would base any regulation on factual evidence such as a study.
Pima County Parks dept placed a blanket ban on any motorized vehicle which would include Pedal Assisted Bikes as well as electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. They did make an exception for ADA mobility devices as long as they carry documentation with them PROVING that they need the device. That is a violation of Federal Law. You cannot require people to document their disability, if they make a verbal statement that they need the device it must be accepted as credible assurance.
The County of Pima claims they banned E Bikes for safety reasons but never actually did any safety study concluding that they posed any risk not posed by regular bikes.
In fact the notes from the loop advisory committee show that the blanket ban was done because if they allowed E Bikes they would have to decide individually on other E devices like Segways etc and that would be a lot of work.
Basically the ban was for the County’s convenience NOT for safety reasons.
Sadly that is exactly how "legal professional" bureaucrats make most decisions. They know study data is unlikely to support their position so they avoid studies and just wing it.

This is pretty close to how People for Bikes came up with the 3 ebike classes. As if there is a difference between a class 1 and 2 ebike that would justify those classes and they they deny a throttle on Class 3 ebikes that are mainly limited to road side bike lanes on streets where all the other vehicles have a throttle. It's pretty obvious that lobby money was a/the major driver .... and they were supposed to be a bike advocacy organization.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Let me be clear I do not care AT ALL how fast road bikers are on the roads, in fact agree with them going as fast possible to keep up with traffic for safety

MUP are a completely different thing and I think the speed limit on any I have ridden on should be 15mph and enforced

I don’t care how good a rider a person thinks they are- all those other things on your list
Dogs acting dogs
People walking and not paying attention etc are every hour occurrences on MUP when I ride

IMO I am responsible for realizing I am going faster than they are and slow down way in advance
Yes they should not walk in front of me unexpectedly but it happens all the time

So a road biker going 25-30mph through there is not going to be able to get stopped

The loop in a lot of sections is blind curves , some of it is not but a lot is and those guys fly through there
Dangerous no matter what
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Let me be clear I do not care AT ALL how fast road bikers are on the roads, in fact agree with them going as fast possible to keep up with traffic for safety

MUP are a completely different thing and I think the speed limit on any I have ridden on should be 15mph and enforced

I don’t care how good a rider a person thinks they are- all those other things on your list
Dogs acting dogs
People walking and not paying attention etc are every hour occurrences on MUP when I ride

IMO I am responsible for realizing I am going faster than they are and slow down way in advance
Yes they should not walk in front of me unexpectedly but it happens all the time

So a road biker going 25-30mph through there is not going to be able to get stopped

The loop in a lot of sections is blind curves , some of it is not but a lot is and those guys fly through there
Dangerous no matter what
I don't think anyone is arguing against rational speed bike/ebike speed limits on MUPs. What the debate is about is should ebikes have assist speed limits such that some feel that effectively ensures they never speed on a MUP. If you believe there should be an assist speed cutoff then you probably believe it should be 15mph so all MUPs will be safer.