E-bikes would be welcome at Glen Carbon, e-scooters would not

GLEN CARBON – At Tuesday’s public safety committee, part of the agenda revolved around motorized, electric scooters and bicycles and scooters.

First, the committee discussed and approved an amended ordinance to ban the use of motorized scooters in village parks or on public lands.

Then the committee discussed electric bikes and electric scooters, like Lime Scooters. Chris Moore and his wife Teri, who own a new business in the village, Covered Bridge Bike Rental, attended the meeting after contacting the village to request information on renting electric bikes, also known as pedal bikes.

RELATED: Covered Bridge Bike Rental Comes to Village

Moore said after they arrived Chief Link asked them who they were and they explained their new business and they wanted to know what they could rent and offer to customers that would not violate any ordinances or village policies.

Currently, Moore and his wife are renting four Class 2 electric bikes, which he says are popular among those 50 and over. They plan to acquire more e-bikes but have yet to decide on the quantity. Link told them he was in favor of electric bikes.

“We are very happy with the result, it worked very well,” he said.

“I have no problem with e-bikes,” Police Chief Todd Link said. “But electric scooters, I am against them.” Popularly known as Lime Bikes, electric scooters were everywhere in downtown St. Louis during the summer of 2018.

Moore said Chief Link was concerned that potential users would leave them anywhere, in people’s backyards, on sidewalks, and that they would become potential safety hazards, not to mention a liability issue. potential for the village. He said if you already own an electric scooter you can legally drive it, but the village will not approve them for people to rent.

Link said that although well intentioned, the failure of the Lime scooters was blamed on those who rented them and then failed to return them to their point of origin, leaving them where their journey ended – on the sidewalks, streets, alleys, parking lots, etc.

“They have become a nuisance and are abandoned [in general], “he said.” I don’t want the same thing to happen in Glen Carbon and residents to find them in backyards, on sidewalks, in parking lots, etc. “

According to Illinois law, electric bikes are classified into three categories: Class 1 is electric bikes equipped with a pedal motor only, which stops when the bike reaches 20 miles per hour; Class 2 are electric bicycles equipped with a motor which can only be used to propel the bicycle and which stops when the vehicle reaches 20 miles per hour; and Class 3, electric bikes equipped with a motor that only helps when the rider pedals and stops when the rider stops pedaling or when the vehicle reaches 28 mph.

An important distinction is that these “low speed electric bikes” are not the same as mopeds or motorcycles under the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Other important points to note are that all electric bikes must be registered in Illinois; they cannot exceed 750 watts of power; riders must be 16 years or older to ride one; electric bikes are prohibited on the sidewalks but they can use the right lane on a roadway; and helmets are not mandatory.

Madison County Transit (MCT) has no restrictions on e-bikes, but requires them to adhere to a 15 mph speed limit on its trails. MCT chief executive SJ Morrison was on the road Wednesday and Thursday and was not available for comment.

The scooter amendment will now be submitted to the village board at its next meeting on Tuesday. Electric bikes will also be on the agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting, according to Link.

Contact reporter Charles Bolinger at 618-659-5735

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