Over the past three years, David Farrar has enjoyed riding his e-bike for around 40 miles from Tierrasanta to Pacific Beach, both for recreational purposes and as a means of exercise.
Farrar recently discovered, through an unexpected encounter with a Park and Rec employee, that the city has started enforcing its ban on e-bikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks.
Surprised, he probed further. Farrar was informed that the ban had been in place for two years. However, it’s only recently that it’s started to be actively enforced.
In 2020, the city prohibited the use of electric scooters and e-bikes on the boardwalk, following concerns raised by beach communities about the safety risks associated with these devices. Incidents of injuries and even fatalities prompted the decision.
Motorized wheelchairs are exempt from this rule.
In an interview with NBC San Diego, city spokesperson Jose Ysea emphasized the need for pedestrians to have the ability to walk safely on city sidewalks and trails. This requires the prohibition of motorized vehicles.
E-bikes and scooters are currently banned in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Bayside Walk, and La Jolla Shores.
Farrar expressed his disappointment with the decision. The new regulations have significantly impacted his e-bike enjoyment.
Farrar expressed concern about the potential expansion of these rules to other areas, which would considerably limit his mobility. Cycling is one of the main ways that Farrar is managing his type 2 diabetes and attempting to lose weight.
As San Diego police start enforcing the e-bike ban, some important questions remain unanswered.
Firstly, why is the city only enforcing the ban now? Police have not said, although it’s likely that the increased enforcement is due to some recent tragic e-bike accidents (including one in Encinitas). However, the vast majority of these e-bike accidents also involved cars.
The city is also not indicating how much it’s fining cyclists for violating the ban.
Image Source: Voice of San Diego, https://shorturl.at/bEV19