MidPen speaks out on E-bikes and disabilities- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    MidPen speaks out on E-bikes and disabilities

    As reported by ssulljm here http://forums.mtbr.com/general-discu...l#post11895821 on the former NorCal Thread, MROSD has submitted a draft policy statement.

    The whole document is here:http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...14_R-15-63.pdf

    Most interesting to me is:
    "The draft policy was developed using the above criteria and by reviewing the policies of other
    parks and open space agencies that have established OPDMD policies, including East Bay
    Regional Park District, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara County Open Space Authority,
    California State Parks and Orange County Parks. All of these policies are very similar and
    generally only allow zero emission devices, and have size and weight restrictions for safety. All
    the policies except state parks allow for the use of electric bicycles in the same manner as self
    propelled bicycles. The draft District policy follows the same guidelines including allowing the
    use of electric bicycles as OPDMDs."


    The tables at the end of the MidPen document are a good read.
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  2. #2
    Slowest Rider
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    The chart at the end summarizing other south bay and CA park policies is very interesting.

    Most agencies (except CA parks and SCC OSA) are now separately defining Electric Bikes specifically, with allowance for their long length, and generally permitting them on the trails for those with "disabilities". They are limiting the e-bikes to speeds of 15 MPH, but not discussing or limiting the bike power output, other than being electric not gas, eliminating any need for power output enforcement.

    The most restrictive policy on e-bikes looks to be CA parks and SCC OSA, due to a bike length being over 48". The other agencies provide a specific e-bike definition to allow them to exceed the 48" length limitation of OPDMDs. MidPen proposes adopting rules close to the more liberal e-bike policy of the SCC Parks, including a 15 MPH speed limit similar to existing bikes.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  3. #3
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    In my conversations with an executive within the East Bay regional Park District I was told that they had no policy concerning e–bikes. it was suggested that ADA standards might be used but if an elder rider were to use them on the trails staff would be hard-pressed to challenge it.

    What interests me about this point of view is that mountain bikers tend to be seen by Park supervisors in terms of their transgressions to regulations. The casual, blind eye, attitude toward e-bikes is curious.

    Getting back to Mid-Pen, I don't understand this phrase:

    "reviewing the policies of other parks and open space agencies that have established OPDMD policies, including East Bay Regional Park District…"
    I don't rattle.

  4. #4
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    It's amazing how quickly MidPen is reacting to what is likely to be a non event for some time to come. I wished they were that fast at opening new trails to bikes...
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  5. #5
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    And here folks, (if adopted by other locales) is the door opening to packs of boombox toting, jeans wearing skid kiddies inundating your local trails and shooting up towards you at your favorite downhill at Demo and UCSC:

    "OPDMDs are not permitted on the following:
    1. Narrow width unpaved (e.g., unpaved trails that are generally less than 10
    feet wide) except for electric powered bicycles which may go where
    bicycles are allowed.
    "

    And:

    "In lieu of a valid, state‐issued disability parking placard or card, or state‐issued proof of disability, the District shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being used for a mobility disability."

  6. #6
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    Wow! We've been fighting for 30 years for access and the e-bike just shows up and gets a pass.
    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Wow! We've been fighting for 30 years for access and the e-bike just shows up and gets a pass.
    That's not the way I see it. While I'm no lawyer, my understanding is that ADA is pretty broad and applies to ebikes. So, so long as you have a disability, they can't stop you from using an ebike. They don't get any more access than bikes do though.

    All that is pretty much a tempest in a teapot. I see two categories of users: MTBers who are too old to do it on their own or become disabled (a small %), and tourists that will rent one to go up in the mountains. I don't foresee a complete newbie spending $3-4K plus in an ebike to go ride 2x a year. The rest of us will keep throwing gobs of money at good old fashion bikes with carbon bits.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  8. #8
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    We just disagree on this, ADA notwithstanding. A former mountain biker now disabled is one thing, someone disabled just hopping aboard a motorized bike is something different. I think skill is a big factor in this. But then I'm a coach so what you expect?

    As far as who is going spend $4000 on a bike? I think that's wide open. Just think of the "older" retired with lots of disposable income, hey honey I've always wanted to try this guys out there? That is the very reason you get great deals on brand-new sets of golf clubs, rowing machines, treadmills. There are a lot of people out there that will spend that kind of money I think. But that's just guessing.

    The tourist thing, though, strikes a nerve. He is seen all those rental bikes riding around San Francisco in all the tourist spots and clogging up the Golden gate Bridge. I can see it now, those same companies offering tours to the tourists; "see the home of mountain biking (without the hard work)". Yeah, you laugh now…

    The other aspect about the ADA thing is that there is no necessity for any license/affadavit/placard nor can the ADA be checked/challenged in any way. That's weird.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 04-11-2015 at 03:36 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    I see two categories of users: MTBers who are too old to do it on their own or become disabled (a small %), and tourists that will rent one to go up in the mountains.
    Do not know if this third type will be more common in the future, I hope not:

    I know of a good AM/DH rider who tested a DIY e-bike for a while and now has bought a long travel hibike and sold all his bikes (except a FS to hang out with his friends). He explains that he can ride x2 trails in the same time. He says the physical effort is the same, the challenges are different just as when FS first appeared. With the e-bike he can try to climb techy things that were not possible before, while others climbs are not challenging anymore. Downhill is not that different he says.

    This is not in the USA.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    The other aspect about the ADA thing is that there is no necessity for any license/affadavit/placard nor can the ADA be checked/challenged in any way. That's weird.
    It's not quite like that:

    "Only individuals with a mobility disability may use OPDMDs on District lands. The
    District may stop individuals who are using an OPDMD because all powered devices
    except wheelchairs are prohibited under District ordinance.

    The District shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or OPDMD questions
    about the nature and extent of the individual’s disability. If a person using an
    OPDMD states they are using the device due to a mobility disability the District may
    ask them to provide credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of
    the person’s disability. The District shall accept the presentation of a valid,
    state‐issued, disability parking placard or card, or other state‐issued proof of disability
    as a credible assurance that the use of the OPDMD is for the individual’s mobility
    disability. In lieu of a valid, state‐issued disability parking placard or card, or
    state‐issued proof of disability, the District shall accept as a credible assurance a
    verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being
    used for a mobility disability. A “valid” disability placard or card is one that is
    presented by the person to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with
    the state of issuance’s requirements for disability placards or cards."


    They can't ask about "nature or extent" but they can certainly ask for proof of disability which could be as simple as a verbal statement but "not contradicted by observable fact" puts the matter back on the user.

    If one has the disability parking placard I suspect "have a good day but watch your speed" would be the outcome of an encounter with a ranger. No placard; your story needs to be pretty good or it'll be "we're going to wait until my supervisor gets here".

    I guess I should look up "mobility disability" defined.
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  11. #11
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    Maybe special "doctors" could provide notes for $50 that allow the user to ride an e-bike. They could issue a card to provide to the ranger just like the "doctors" people see for a "prescription" in California.

  12. #12
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    Yes, this is exactly what happens frequently with service animals and disabled parking plackards today

    3 in S.F. charged in crackdown on disabled-parking fraud - SFGate

    "There are 29,200 metered parking spaces in San Francisco and 60,700 disabled placards, which allow a person to park all day without charge at any meter or blue curb space."

    That's double the number of metered parking spaces!!

    "A 2008 study found that 45 percent of downtown spaces were being used by drivers with disabled placards."

  13. #13
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    Pregnant?

    Here's the checklist that's used for the DMV placard:




    from here:
    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...df?MOD=AJPERES
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    It's not quite like that:

    "Only individuals with a mobility disability may use OPDMDs on District lands. The
    District may stop individuals who are using an OPDMD because all powered devices
    except wheelchairs are prohibited under District ordinance.

    The District shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or OPDMD questions
    about the nature and extent of the individual’s disability. If a person using an
    OPDMD states they are using the device due to a mobility disability the District may
    ask them to provide credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of
    the person’s disability. The District shall accept the presentation of a valid,
    state‐issued, disability parking placard or card, or other state‐issued proof of disability
    as a credible assurance that the use of the OPDMD is for the individual’s mobility
    disability. In lieu of a valid, state‐issued disability parking placard or card, or
    state‐issued proof of disability, the District shall accept as a credible assurance a
    verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being
    used for a mobility disability. A “valid” disability placard or card is one that is
    presented by the person to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with
    the state of issuance’s requirements for disability placards or cards."


    They can't ask about "nature or extent" but they can certainly ask for proof of disability which could be as simple as a verbal statement but "not contradicted by observable fact" puts the matter back on the user.

    If one has the disability parking placard I suspect "have a good day but watch your speed" would be the outcome of an encounter with a ranger. No placard; your story needs to be pretty good or it'll be "we're going to wait until my supervisor gets here".

    I guess I should look up "mobility disability" defined.
    Asi said before, that was the response I got from EBRPD.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Here's the checklist that's used for the DMV placard:




    from here:
    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...df?MOD=AJPERES
    I'm a little concerned about the vision checkbox myself
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro View Post
    I'm a little concerned about the vision checkbox myself
    People can drive with surprisingly limited vision under certain conditions like only from "down to dusk.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    People can drive with surprisingly limited vision under certain conditions like only from "down to dusk.
    I'll point out this is a "parking placard"; has nothing to do with driving a vehicle:

    "The disabled person does not have to own or drive the vehicle to be able to use the placard".

    Before they all passed away I often drove elderly relatives to the store or to the doctor and used their placards.
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  18. #18
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    I've meet perfectly healthy people with back pain that have placards - never mind that walking actually helps back pain. I'm also surprised how many cars parked in handicap spots have manuals - San Francisco has some pretty agile cripples.

  19. #19
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    I'm with SS Hack on this one. My dad lived with severe pain from polio and back issues and only applied for his placard when he could no longer walk from more remote parking. Frequently, the spot he would have parked in was being used by some DB with a "disability" rather than a disability (quotes indicate sarcasm in this case). Same thing happened with bow hunters who wanted to use crossbows and blackpowder hunters who wanted to use scopes and the same thing will happen with e-bikes. Some lazy/weak DB will get a doctor's note and they'll be out there tearing it up and ruining it for the truly mobility impared.

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