Don’t penalize safe e-bike riders

August 22, 2023
In the Delaware Greenways Lewes to Georgetown Trail survey, 22% of the people responded that electric bikes should be banned. I disagree with this. As a 68-year-old with asthma, using an electric bike on pedal assist allows me to enjoy this and other trails in the area. Without one, I would not be able to ride and enjoy the trails like I do now.
AARP says that senior citizens’ use of an electric bike allows them to keep riding longer as they age. I frequently see senior citizens using them, riding in a safe manner. Yes, a few mostly younger people on electric bikes do ride fast on the trails, but I see a lot more younger riders on multi-geared bikes riding past me at speeds my electric bike cannot achieve.
To outright ban electric is not an answer to some of the problem riders. It also could be possibly seen as an issue of taking some senior citizens’ mobility rights away. Would anyone ban electric mobility scooters on the trails? It would be difficult to enforce a ban on electric bikes.
A much better solution would be to update and expand the trail signs as to proper trail manners, and remind riders to limit their speeds for the safety of other riders and walkers (especially children) partaking of the trails. 
Russell James
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