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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #851
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    1. you did not answer my question. Do you support baninning all ebikes (including class 1s) from PBL's and other bike lanes?
    No, I think they're great on roads or dedicated cycle facilities. My main concern is mode separation with pedestrians.

    2. My point about non enforcement against human powered bikes was to suggest that its a fantasy to think there will be LE patrolling the trails to chase down people on ebikes if all ebikes are banned from trails.
    I'm pretty sure I've repeatedly not said that there would be patrols. It's a tool which might be used to handle specific egregious cases. Just like they can trot officers out every so often because someone's complained about stop signs, but they're never in a million years going to universally enforce stop signs. (I've also stipulated that it's a crappy solution that depends on selective enforcement, but I'd rather have a bad tool than no tool until someone comes up with something better.) Again, this is so that when a bunch of little old ladies or the jogger stroller moms or some other sympathetic group goes to complain about the specific guy with the short black hair and van dyke on the red electric thing that scares the heck out of them at 7:30 every morning, the police have a tool to do something. They wait for the guy with the black hair and the van dyke on the red electric thing to come along, and ticket him for having an electric thing while telling him not to scare the little old ladies and the soccer moms and letting him know he's attracting attention by being outside the acceptable norm. It's in no way going to stop all problems or provide any proactive solution.

    3. As for the bike dorks, that was in response to your point about norms. I am presuming norms will only matter to people deep into the bike community. I don't imagine the question of norms is terribly relevant to people who have never ridden a bike before. Where do you expect they will get their norms from?
    Norms matter to everyone. People get their norms from following other people. If someone walks or drives past a trail every day and sees electric things, then they know electric things are ok there. (They might not be able to tell what class the electric thing is, but I think a lot of people are smart enough to know that the guy going really fast in street clothes with no visible effort must be using one of those electric things.) Norms tell people how fast they can drive, and when they need to stop, and whether they can park in a bike lane, and which side of the escalator to stand on, and all kinds of things. People know how to follow norms much more than they know how to follow laws, that's why the norms matter and the regulations about classes of electric things frankly don't.

  2. #852
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    No, I think they're great on roads or dedicated cycle facilities. My main concern is mode separation with pedestrians.

    So you want to allow electric motorcycles of any speed on the PBLs? Not limit it to 750 watts and 28MPH max as under the California law? Because otherwise, you need some way to distinguish different classes.


    Again, this is so that when a bunch of little old ladies or the jogger stroller moms or some other sympathetic group goes to complain about the specific guy with the short black hair and van dyke on the red electric thing


    So now we are expecting little old ladies to be able to ID an Ebike?


    but I think a lot of people are smart enough to know that the guy going really fast in street clothes with no visible effort must be using one of those electric things.


    Quite frankly, I don't think they are. I don't think they can really tell how fast riders are going, I don't think they have any idea that there is a functional reason to wear kit (from all the comments suggesting that people wear kit because they are "lance armstrong wannabes"). As for visible effort, assuming many or most of the ebikes are going to be pedal assist, I don't think that will clue them in either. Assuming they even think to look at the pedals when being passed. I think non cyclists are far more oblivious to details of cycling (other than being passed too closely) than you think. Also, not seeing people riding ebikes, assuming they realized that was going on, would not I think lead them to believe that there is a norm against it. They might just think that ebikers prefer roads, or that there are not many ebikers. I am pretty sure most folks haven't seen an elliptical on the trail, many have never seen an e assisted mobility device on the trail, etc, but I don't think that leads people to think there is a norm against it. This would be especially true if, under your suggestion, we actually wink at ebike usage and just have occasional enforcement campaigns against particular egregious behavior by ebikers (as for those occasional campaigns, they are less simple than you envision - an occasional stop sign campaign does not require LE to have different equipment or training than normal). I mean there is a norm within the bike community to Idaho by treating stops as yields, while yielding ROW to cross traffic and especially pedestrians - but AFAICT most non cyclists just think cyclists ignore all traffic control devices - subtle norms among riders, especially non-universal ones, are simply not going to be visible to non cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    [I]subtle norms among riders, especially non-universal ones, are simply not going to be visible to non cyclists.
    Truer words never spoken. As I've roughly said before, the sins of the eBikers will be seen as the sins of all cyclists. If we don't get this in order, the blame will fall on all of us. (And we won't get this in order.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    No, I think they're great on roads or dedicated cycle facilities. My main concern is mode separation with pedestrians.

    So you want to allow electric motorcycles of any speed on the PBLs? Not limit it to 750 watts and 28MPH max as under the California law? Because otherwise, you need some way to distinguish different classes.
    I don't see that as a problem worth trying to solve. The width and layout of the lane makes it pretty self-limiting for trying to go significantly over a reasonable speed. I know if I was trying to go 50 or 80MPH on a motorcycle I wouldn't want to do it in a narrow lane between flexposts where pedestrians will randomly step out.

    Again, this is so that when a bunch of little old ladies or the jogger stroller moms or some other sympathetic group goes to complain about the specific guy with the short black hair and van dyke on the red electric thing


    So now we are expecting little old ladies to be able to ID an Ebike?
    Nope, I mostly expect them to complain and for the police to find something to charge him with when they catch him.

    but I think a lot of people are smart enough to know that the guy going really fast in street clothes with no visible effort must be using one of those electric things.


    Quite frankly, I don't think they are.
    Well, we can agree to disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    If we don't get this in order...
    After yesterday’s election results it’s likely the Democrats will take the Virginia state House in November 2018, maybe WABA can help VA House delegates introduce but reword the People for Bikes model ebike classification system to cover kit motors, keep VA’s 1,000w power rating, and fund the necessary regulatory/IT/education changes necessary to implement enforceable class verification, remove contributory negligence in bicycle-car collisions like DC but include Class 1 pedelecs to protect all cyclists and encourage non-riders to use ebikeshare schemes, fund bicycle infrastructure to widen trails, mode separation on existing trails, experiment with cargo ebikeshare etc.
    Last edited by Dewey; 11-08-2017 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    After yesterday’s election results it’s likely the Democrats will take the Virginia state House in November 2018, maybe WABA can help VA House delegates introduce but reword the People for Bikes model ebike classification system to cover kit motors and fund the necessary regulatory/IT/education changes necessary to implement enforceable class verification, remove contributory negligence in bicycle-car collisions like DC but include Class 1 pedelecs to protect all cyclists and encourage non-riders to use ebikeshare schemes, fund bicycle infrastructure to widen trails, mode separation on existing trails, experiment with cargo ebikeshare etc.

    I think VBF's number one priority will be "due care" legislation, which failed last session, in part due to a controversy with LE and the Commonwealth's attorneys about the wording. Ending contributory negligence would be huge, but is a big lift, as it will be fought by the insurance industry. Smaller things that have been chatted about would be clarifying the right of localities to set speed limits below 25MPH, and expanding the rights of localities on automated traffic enforcement. Another thing that would seem to not be too radical would be to allow people on bikes to proceed on a Leading Pedestrian Interval, as is allowed in DC.

    Note also, while there has been some partisan split on biking (and bike/ped) issues, NoVa Republicans have generally been more friendly to the VBF agenda (well maybe not Bob Marshall or Jim LeMunyon? But David Albo was, I am pretty sure) - the real problem has been Republicans from outside NoVa, esp from rural areas.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 11-08-2017 at 09:30 AM.

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    Thanks Lordy for your summary of the VBF’s legislative agenda, sensible incremental improvements are achievable, I hope delegates will continue listen to local concerns brought forward by VBF, WABA, etc. and balance them against our likely opponents (AAA, insurers, etc). I mentioned outside forces in a previous post and given the ebike industry is pushing the People for Bikes model ebike class legislation I expect after the mid-terms they will be knocking on doors in Richmond, I recognize there won’t be many legislative opportunities in any one session to move forward the cycling agenda.
    Last edited by Dewey; 11-08-2017 at 10:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    No, I think they're great on roads or dedicated cycle facilities. My main concern is mode separation with pedestrians.
    So you are advocating for a total ban of all ebikes on all trails, right? How do you reconcile that with the reality that most routes (in NoVa, at least) involve some trail riding (where ebikes would be banned) and some street riding (where lots of people would want the eassist to feel safe)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Again, this is so that when a bunch of little old ladies or the jogger stroller moms or some other sympathetic group goes to complain about the specific guy with the short black hair and van dyke on the red electric thing that scares the heck out of them at 7:30 every morning, the police have a tool to do something. They wait for the guy with the black hair and the van dyke on the red electric thing to come along, and ticket him for having an electric thing while telling him not to scare the little old ladies and the soccer moms and letting him know he's attracting attention by being outside the acceptable norm. It's in no way going to stop all problems or provide any proactive solution.
    But isn't a total ban the same thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I think non cyclists are far more oblivious to details of cycling (other than being passed too closely) than you think.
    This. E.g. when we were in NY, we were in a taxi with friends, and passed a bunch of throttle-assisted bikes. The taxi-driver commented "I don't know how they can go so fast without pedaling!".

    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    Truer words never spoken. As I've roughly said before, the sins of the eBikers will be seen as the sins of all cyclists. If we don't get this in order, the blame will fall on all of us. (And we won't get this in order.)
    But what if ebikers sin less? I think this is likely, though I freely admit it's only a theory: people who are willing to ebike but not bike are more risk-adverse that current biking population, so more willing to follow the rules. So by allowing ebikes, we'd make the general population of "people biking" more rule-abiding. -- if that were reality, would you then support ebikes on trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I don't see that as a problem worth trying to solve. The width and layout of the lane makes it pretty self-limiting for trying to go significantly over a reasonable speed. I know if I was trying to go 50 or 80MPH on a motorcycle I wouldn't want to do it in a narrow lane between flexposts where pedestrians will randomly step out.
    No one is advocating for anything that can go 50-80mph on trails. No. one.

    But doesn't your argument translate to allowing ebikes that can go 28mph on trails?

  11. #859
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    After yesterday’s election results it’s likely the Democrats will take the Virginia state House in November 2018, maybe WABA can help VA House delegates introduce but reword the People for Bikes model ebike classification system to cover kit motors, keep VA’s 1,000w power rating, and fund the necessary regulatory/IT/education changes necessary to implement enforceable class verification, remove contributory negligence in bicycle-car collisions like DC but include Class 1 pedelecs to protect all cyclists and encourage non-riders to use ebikeshare schemes, fund bicycle infrastructure to widen trails, mode separation on existing trails, experiment with cargo ebikeshare etc.
    I would love to see more comprehensive legislation to address vulnerable road users -- e.g. clear up the crosswalk language, fix due care, fix contrib (using DC as a model, being clear we're talking about the limited case of vulnerable road users). We shouldn't forget the context of the attack in NY -- vulnerable road users are targets, and deserve protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post

    But what if ebikers sin less? I think this is likely, though I freely admit it's only a theory: people who are willing to ebike but not bike are more risk-adverse that current biking population, so more willing to follow the rules. So by allowing ebikes, we'd make the general population of "people biking" more rule-abiding.
    With Class 3 especially, the capacity to sin is greater, and the harm that can be caused is potentially greater, so the users will all have to be angels. I don't see this as likely. Those that I've seen on Class 3s to this point have been acting about like I would expect them to. I suppose that with greater numbers of them more could act more responsibly, but I doubt it.

    "if that were reality, would you then support ebikes on trails?"

    I never said I didn't. In fact, I said that I largely do, but not Class 3s and motorcycle-ish things. For some reason, you seem to think that everyone who posts here with any concerns or suggestions on limitations is against eBikes in general.

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