Allow E-Bikes on Beach

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The other day while ambling down the beach on our peddle-assist E-bicycles a woman began videoing us as we slowly rode past her. We smiled and waved. My speedometer read 7mph, which is a very safe, comfortable and SLOW speed on a bicycle, any bicycle.

The angry woman then began to irrationally scold us for riding our E-bikes on the beach. She said her grandchild was almost struck by a speeding E-bike a few years ago and that E-bikes are banned from FMB beach.

The following day, (again while peddling my bike at 7 mph), a beach patrolman told us there is an ordinance prohibiting E-bikes on the beach, even if we were only peddling.

Health issues prohibit many people from walking the beach. E-bikes are our answer.

While an E-bike can go up to 20 mph, most riders never ride that fast, and a traditional bike can go equally as fast. Everyone needs to use common sense, caution and consideration to others while enjoying our beach!

The speed limit on the streets of FMB are 15 – 35 mph or less.  Would banning all cars capable of going faster than that be a reasonable solution to stop speeding on our island? Of course not.

Florida State Law classifies peddle-assist electric bikes (E-bikes) the same as traditional “bicycles” providing they do not exceed a 20 mph. They are welcomed in Florida state parks and on every other beach in our state.  Why does FMB vote against the state in this matter?  We bicyclists are helping the environment not to mention the horrific traffic situation on our beach.

Please remove the E-bike ban on FMB, or better yet, change it to a safe speed limit ordinance. The beach belongs to all of us. Let everyone enjoy in their own way!

 

Barb and Kris Hodgson
Fort Myers Beach