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Monday, December 20, 2010

Windsor Star's positive editorial on eBikes

The Windsor Star, one of the province's few newspapers taking a leading role in the discussion of eBike use in Ontario, has made some very sensible suggestions in a recent editorial about eBikes.

  1. eBikes don't belong on the sidewalk.
  2. eBikes do belong in bicycle lanes on the street.
The cases they make are simple: in the former, it's too risky having a speeding eBike in the same physical space as a puppy, baby stroller or inattentive pedestrian. In the latter, they state that since eBikes are "closer to a bike than a car," they should be in the bike lanes. 

Onteba salutes the newspaper for its continuing coverage of eBike issues, and for its sensible and reasoned approach that recognizes that eBikes are not going away but are, in fact, increasing in use.

The conclusion, although stating the obvious, needed to be said because hotheads in all camps often ignore the obvious: "That will make travel safer for everyone."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Windsor roads inhospitable for eBikes: local rider

Windsor drivers are rude, aggressive and dangerous to ebikers, according to the observations of a local rider published recently in the Windsor Star.

"They'll put you in a dangerous situation every chance they can get," Joe Dupuis told the newspaper recently.

The article recounts several close calls and serious accidents dealt with recently by Windsor police, who claim that accidents are on the rise because there are more bikes on the road and that eBike riders don't know and follow the law.

Another danger is police who seem ill-equipped to deal with the evolution of road travel in their city. Staff Sergeant Stephen Bodri, quoted in the paper, applauds an upcoming city move to disallow eBikes from the sidewalks but feels eBikes, although they are limited to the same speeds as a pedal bicycle, should be licensed because they are comparable to motorcycles and mopeds.

Onteba feels that police officers should enforce the traffic laws we already have, such as failure to yield right-of-way, failure to pass other vehicles safely, failure to obey speed limits, failure to stop before turning right on red lights, etc.,  and not worry about introducing more laws that they will fail to enforce.