Parks and recreation manager Landon Kulych presents a proposed bylaw during a council and senior management roundtable discussion on Jan. 28, which would allow for class 1 and 2 ebikes on all city trails. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Parks and recreation manager Landon Kulych presents a proposed bylaw during a council and senior management roundtable discussion on Jan. 28, which would allow for class 1 and 2 ebikes on all city trails. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

E-bike bylaw work rolls forward

Bylaw could come forward for adoption this spring

A new bylaw governing e-bikes on City of Whitehorse trails could be in place later this year.

At a Jan. 28 council and senior management roundtable discussion, parks and recreation manager Landon Kulych put forward the proposed bylaw, which would allow for class 1 and 2 e-bikes on all city trails. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are those that can reach speeds up to 32 kilometres per hour.

Class 3 e-bikes can reach speeds up to 45 km/h and would be permitted only on motorized trails.

As Kulych explained city staff from the parks, bylaw and the legislative services departments have been working on drafting a bylaw after the city’s most recent trail plan established that 57 per cent of survey respondents supported having provisions in place for bikes on trails.

Currently, there are no reference to e-bikes or other e-mobility options in any city bylaw.

With more residents purchasing and riding e-bikes, the rebate offered by Yukon government that is expected to continue encouraging bike purchases, a need for clarity, and continued questions coming from residents seeking clarity on regulations, Kulych said the city decided to look at possibilities.

Along with looking at the results of the trail plan survey, meetings have been held with a number of stakeholders including First Nations, cycling clubs, and other interest groups.

As with the bicycle bylaw, the e-bike bylaw would include provisions requiring the helmets be worn, headlights and taillights be in use when it’s dark, operational brakes are in place and that no major alterations be made to the bike.

Should the bylaw eventually be adopted, an education campaign would follow to ensure the community is aware of the new regulations. Fines of between $50 and $100 could apply when the bylaw is enforced.

With the parks department also continuing work on a trail etiquette document, Kulych said that could also serve as an opportunity for education on the potential e-bike bylaw.

He said city staff will continue working to finalize a draft bylaw followed by a legal review before it moves forward for public consultation.

Coun. Steve Roddick confirmed with Kulych there would be time for adjustments to be made depending on what comes out of the public consultation.

It’s anticipated the proposed bylaw would come forward to city council for approval in the spring after the public consultation.

Kulych noted there will also be a few changes to other bylaws, recognizing the use and definition of bikes.

Questioned by Coun. Dan Boyd about any regulations around the use of e-bikes on roads and sidewalks, Kulych noted that would be covered in the sidewalk bylaw and bicycle bylaw.

While the bylaw would propose allow class 1 and 2 e-bikes on all city trails, Kulych highlighted a portion of the bylaw stating the allowance for e-bikes on trails “unless otherwise posted.”

It’s a provision that would allow the city to post signs if, for some reason, there is a need to change it.

As the city moves forward with the draft bylaw, Coun. Dan Boyd said he was pleased with what has been proposed so far.

“It’s a fairly simple bylaw,” Boyd said, noting it would be easy for the public to understand and enforcement would be fairly straightforward as well.

It provides “basic clarity” for those using e-bikes, he said.

After the bylaw has been drafted and gone through a legal review, public consultation will begin.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

BikingTrailsWhitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read