Electric assist bikes have become increasingly popular, as many riders use them for the intended purpose of helping novice riders and commuters push their way up hills or gain some speed on their way to work. Some even see them as a democratizing force on city streets. And of course, the more people on bikes in the city, the more visibility we gain and the safer all cyclists are.
However, there has been some recent controversy in Boston over the fact that some people are essentially using them as motorcycles in bicycle lanes or even on paths strictly designated for bicyclists and pedestrians.
“Electric assist bikes are still bikes, but they are capable of traveling 20-miles-per-hour,” said Boston bike attorney Andrew Fischer. “When they are in bike lanes, they become a big hazard because they are proceeding as a motorized vehicle in a lane where motorized vehicles are not allowed.” Continue reading