To: Boulder City Council and Boulder Transportation Advisory Board
Legalize Ebikes on Boulder Paths, Lanes & Racks
The Boulder City Council should legalize electric bikes -with pedals- on all its multi-use paths and bike lanes. Simple speed limits, like motor vehicles have on roads, should be set, instead of the complicated and unfair current limits of 20 mph POTENTIAL speed (which any fit regular cyclist can exceed) and 400-watt motors which now apply in bike lanes. If the City is serious about reducing greenhouse gases, pollution and traffic, it should be PROMOTING ebikes instead of banning them on the paths and over-regulating them on the lanes.
Why is this important?
I'm a lifetime cyclist, now 60, with a neck injury that makes Boulder's big hills -or distances over 5 miles- quite painful. I plan to soon buy an electric bike, which "levels the playing field" for what I think is the actual majority of people, including me. Boulder is now re-doing its highly restrictive electric bike laws to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I could spend my time seeking disability status but I want EVERYONE possible to use these 40-60 pound energy sippers when practical instead of the average 3,400 pound car. You get as much or little exercise as you want and don't arrive sweaty or exhausted. It's fun and can rehabilitate bodies weakened by age, injury or a sedentary lifestyle. If you use an ebike for half your usual driving mileage (14,500 mi/yr for the average American), a good $3000 model will pay for itself in saved gas in about 3 years. Indications are that they use 1-2% of the energy an average car does, far outdoing the 80-90% reduction in fossil fuel usage that climate scientists say we must accomplish, fast.