Diane Dixon Proposes Banning All Bicycles from the Boardwalk– but Just Electric for Now

Diane Dixon is proposing that all electric bikes be banned from the boardwalk, in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and in direct conflict with both our Assemblyman Matt Harper’s signature bicycle bill, AB1096, and with our Congressman’s preferred method of two-wheeled transportation, on his Pedego electric bike.  (Watch it here: Study Session item #SS3, at http://newportbeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=44&clip_id=2550)

This is not going to be the end of it, either: In a townhall meeting on February 6, Diane Dixon proposed banning all bicycles on the boardwalk, to much fanfare.  (Note: This tells you the type of people who join her in the townhall meetings.)  Realizing that banning all bikes at once was not a realistic political goal, the decision was made to go after electric bikes, first. (Note: This is the same person who proposed “Lights out at 11pm”, voted to ban dancing, is actively trying to ban Dog Beach, voted to leave the fire rings banned, tried to ban the jetpacks– and now she is coming after our boardwalk.)

The proposed “problem” is that electric bikes are able to exceed the 8mph limit (as if “regular” bicycles cannot?).  But how widespread is this problem?  In a one-year span (May 2016 to April 2017), the city issued only 15 tickets in the entire year for exceeding the speedlimit– for all modes of transit combined.  But let’s just pretend that the entirety of the whopping 15 tickets– less than one every three weeks– was from an electric bike.  Does an average of one ticket every 3 weeks sound like a widespread problem to you, worthy enough to ban all electric bikes?  Yesterday, I just did a count on the boardwalk, and for the half-hour I was there, 7 of the last 15 bikes were e-bikes, comprising nearly half of all total cyclists.

I have had far more problems with “racer” bikes on the boardwalk (multiple times per month) than I have ever had with electric bikes (maybe 2 times in the last decade-plus).

But here’s the rub: If we subscribe to the narrative that e-bikes are going so darn fast, then why aren’t we simply ticketing them?
If the answer is “we don’t have enough police to enforce the law”, then how on earth is banning e-bikes completely going to be enforced?
The answer is not to attempt to ban more things, the answer is to enforce the existing laws.

If the problem is not with what powers bicycles, and the problem is with speed, then don’t fix the non-problem about what powers bicycles, and instead fix the problem with speed.

And yes, that cover photo is my friend Mike, who has a prosthetic leg and uses an electric bike for transportation.

Sign the petition to stop the bicycle bans, below.

Stop the Bike Bans!

Stop the Bike Bans! Do not ban any additional propulsion methods, simply enforce the existing speed limit!


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About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at michael.glenn@devion.com