Electric Bikes and Scooters Amendments Delayed


City Staff provided the results of the community survey on electric bikes and scooters and made proposed amendments to the bicycle code to clarify ambiguities about these forms of transportation. These amendments were proposed for personal use, but also to provide regulations for any electric bike-sharing programs that might want to come to Flagstaff.
The proposed amendments included: No electric bikes or electric scooters would be allowed on sidewalks anywhere. Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes and scooters (manual-assisted and speeds no faster than 20 mph) would be allowed on the FUTS trails. Class 3 electric bikes (manual-assisted and speeds no faster than 28 mph) would only be allowed on streets along with other vehicle traffic and bike lanes directly beside streets. By updating the codes to include electric bikes and scooters, City Staff hopes to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by shifting more vehicle drivers to this newer form of transportation.
Council had mixed support for the proposed amendments. They expressed concerns for safety to regular bicyclists and pedestrians on FUTS trails, and electric-bikes in bike lanes. Discussion involved posting a speed limit on FUTS, further classification of other electric-assisted devices (hoverboards), stronger enforcement of bike laws, and specific prohibition of texting and cell phone use on all forms of wheel-assisted transportation.  Council requested more information in an Executive Session and will readdress in two weeks.
If you would like to provide your input to City Council on electric bikes and electric scooters, please send an email to council@flagstaffaz.gov . F3 generally supports the reduction of vehicle miles driven in Flagstaff and thinks electric bikes and scooters have a part to play in that goal. At the same time, infrastructure that supports the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and electric-bikes and scooters are essential for residents to feel comfortable making the choice to drive less. F3 will keep you posted on this development.