Friday, September 01, 2006

Capitola Ebikes

Correspondence with the City of Capitola, California, regarding Ebike and E-Scooter ordinance and code.


April 27, 2000

Mardi Wormhoudt Chair
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

RE: Incorporation of Electric Bicycles and Scooter into Municipal Code

Dear Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt:

The Regional Transportation Commission recognizes the potential for electric bicycles and scooter and scooters to become viable and effective alternative transportation modes and thereby reduce automobile congestion, reduce pollution and improve mobility. To realize the full potential and benefits of these new modes of transportation, they should be accomodated accordingly on our existing transportation system and consistent laws should govern their use.

At its April 6, 2000 meeting, the Regional Transportaion Commission made the following recommendations for all local jurisdictions and UCSC to consider.

1. That jurisdictions approve the same general rule for use of motorized bicycles (electric bicycles), as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 406(b), and motorized scooters, as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 407.5, on streets and bike paths within their jurisdictions;

2. That the general rule by that electric bicycles and motorized scooters be allowed to operate on all facilities where bicycles are allowed'

3. Thate each local jurisdiction consider exceptions to the general rule only for specific facilities where there are significant concers about electric bicycles and motorized scooters mixing with other users of the facility; and

4. That local jurisdictions solicit comments from the Regional Transportation Commission and its Bicycle Committee befor instituting an ordinance regulating the use of electric bicycles and scooters or instituting a restriction against these vehicles on a particular facility.

The April 6, 2000 staff report to the Regional Transportation Commission along with a copy of the electric bicycles ordinance adopted by he City of Sebastopol are enclosed for your information. The ordinance adopted by the City of Sebastopol is an example of an ordinance that meets the recommendations of the Regional Transportation Commission.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations. Regional Transportation Commission staff and the Bicycle Committe will be available to work with all local jurisdictions in drafting electric bicycle and motorized scooter ordinances. If you and ny questions or comments, pleas contact me at (831)460-3213 or Luis Mendez of my staff at (831)460-3212.

Linda Wilshusen
Executive Director

CC: Dwithg L. Herr. Santa Cruz County Counsel
Mark S. Tracy, County of Santa Cruz Sheriff


May 8, 2000

Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission
1523 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-3911

Attention: Linda Wilshusen, Executive Director


Dear Ms. Wilshusen:

In response to your letter of the same subjec, I have discussed the impace of electric bicycles and scooter with the Scotts Valley Police Department - Specifically Chief Stephen Walpole. He has reviewed the issue and responded as follows: Scotts Valley Police Department procedure is to allow electric bicycles equal access to that of pedal bicycles. We have no specific regulations governing electric bicycles and see no need to do so. The Police Department utilizes pertinent Vehicle Code sections to enforce any and all regulations for pedal bicycles and will do the same for electric bicycles and scooters.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me personally or you may with sto speak to Chief Walpole personally.

Sincerely yours,
Chuck Walker, Mayor
City of Scotts Valley

CC City Manager, Chief Walpole


Linda Wilshusen, Executive Direcor


Dear Linda,

I reviewed this letter and did some quick research. That research indicates to me that the best way of achieving the purposes set forth in numbered paragraphs 1 and 2 of your letter is do nothing.

Your paragraph 1 suggest that jurisdictions arrive at the same general rule for motorized bicycles and motorized scooters "on streets and bike paths within their jurisdictions." I have not tried to research this matter in any detail, but I think the probabilities are very high that it is not within any local authority's power to change the Vehicle Code rules as they pertain to streets. This is almost certainly a matter that has been pre-empted by state law. Not only does the Vehicle Code seem to have legilated rather comprehesively in this are, but this is exactly th eSort of thing in which state law is designed to preempt local law, namely to avoid the confusion that would result if there were a hodge-podge of rules for persons driving around on streets-particularly since the average driver does not know where a city boundary ends and a county or other city boudary begins.

Regarding bike paths, your memo urges the jurisdictiohns to follow "the general rule... that electric bicycles and motorized scooters be allowed to operate on all facilities where bicyles are allowed." Vehicle Code section 21230 says that motorized scooters may be operated on bicycle paths".. unless the local authority or governing body of a local agency having jurisdiction over that path, trail or bikeway prohibits that by operation of ordinance." Therefore, for motorized scooters the Vehicle Code already achieves the desired results so far as motor scooters are concern. For each locality that has no prohibitions on the use of "motorized bicycle" or "moped" on such paths, again the desired result is achieved without any legislation having to be passed.

I therefore conclude that the best way to achieve uniformity is to ask the jurisdictions. To check their existing ordinances and repeal any ordinances that prohibit motorized scooter or motorized bicycles on bicycle paths or trails.

So far as Capitola goes, the Vehicle Code together with Capitola's lack of any legislation on this suject, means that without having to enact any legislation, Capitola already achieves the ffect described in your letter.

Respectively Yours,
City of Capitola
Richard Manning
City Attorney!

CC: Mayor Arthur

1 comment:

Health News said...

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