Whitehorse city council will vote April 13 whether to move ahead with a proposed bylaw outlining regulations for e-bike and e-mobility use in the city.
The proposed bylaw came forward to council at its April 6 meeting, though it has also been the focus of council and administration roundtables in recent months.
As Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, told council, there’s been increased use of e-bikes on city trails and the city’s trail plan calls for updates to policies and bylaws to legitimize the use of the bikes.
City staff have been working with e-bike retailers and stakeholders since last fall to get input on potential regulations.
Under the proposal, the class of bike would determine what trails it would be permitted on in the city.
Class 1, pedal-assisted e-bikes that can travel speeds up to 32 km/hr could go on any trails, while Class 2 e-bikes (which can also travel speeds up to 32 km/hr, but is throttle assisted, meaning they don’t require pedalling) would be permitted on paved trails only.
Meanwhile, Class 3 e-bikes, which have more power and can travel at speeds up to 45 km/hr would be restricted to motorized multi-use trails and the Two-Mile Hill paved pathway, as bikes are not permitted to use that roadway at all under city bylaws.
All e-bikes could be used on all other roads, except Two-Mile Hill, with the same rules that apply to pedal bikes.
Fines of between $50 and $300 would apply for failing to follow the bylaw.
Along with adopting the new bylaw, council is also being asked to consider changes to other bylaws that would align with the new e-bike bylaw.
“If the e-bike bylaw and the consequential amendment bylaw are adopted, administration would initiate a public education campaign, providing the retailers and the general public with information concerning e-bike and e-mobility device usage in the city,” Kulych said. “The education campaign would also reinforce council’s priorities of environmental stewardship and its bicycle network plan.”
First reading will come forward April 13.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org