Sioux Falls needs to get with the times when it comes to E-Bikes

I appreciated this informative article about E-Bike usage in Sioux Falls;

In Sioux Falls, the bike trail is designated a multiuse trail, and it has a posted 15 mph speed limit. Not every cyclist – e-bike or not – respects that. But it was one of the recent moves to set expectations for those who use the trails.

Part of the problem is that the bike trail has NO posted signs about speed limit, it also has NO posted signs about what is allowable on the trail. Think about it, what is more dangerous? An E-2 that goes 14 MPH or a lightweight pedal road bike that zings past you doing around 25 MPH?

Regulating E-Bikes comes down to two things; 1) speed control 2) throttling.

Other cities have simplified their E-2 bike regulations to just require speed control and NO throttling while on a multi-use trail.

I have argued that E-2’s can actually be safer because you can control the speed and you can set it in a mode that uses pedal assist only.

I have changed my mind about what should be allowed on the trail. I think anything that uses full throttle assist like an electric foot scooter should not be allowed.

I still go back to the economic benefit of regulating E-Bikes properly. It’s good for the sellers, the buyers and the environment. We are just shooting ourselves in the foot by continuing the status quo (which the city isn’t really enforcing anyway).

Trebilcock said the Active Transportation Board, which should convene later this year, likely will look at these issues and make recommendations to the City Council. 

I’m glad to see we may make progress!


#1 Anthony Renli on 09.01.22 at 1:19 pm

First – I agree with you. E-bikes and scooters are the future. I’ve been in cities with a good infrastructure and it makes EVERYTHING so much better. Less traffic congestion, less pollution, more convenience. While I’ve never been brave (i.e. crazy) enough to use them in crap weather, they have been incredibly useful for getting from place to place without having to dig out my car.

Second – Your point about there being no posted speed limit on the bike trail is IMHO VERY important.
Until seeing this article I had no IDEA that there was a speed limit. I know that many years (and many pounds) ago I would have been breaking this on a regular basis.

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.01.22 at 3:08 pm

All you e-bikers are bikers, not cyclists. It’s only a matter of time before you all will be heading to Sturgis. Have you started wearing more black? It’s the first sign of your transition. Your taste in woman will change, too, as well a greater love for tattoos. Body painting is the final result. It will then make the bike trail quite interesting. …. Slow down, there’s a speed limit, and I need to see your art up close.

#3 D@ily Spin on 09.01.22 at 10:32 pm

There’s a distinction for motorized and peddle power. If E Bikes then also snowmobiles and quads? Anything that doesn’t require a license/registration.

No worries, it’ll take years (like for masks) before the city council will come up with an ordinance. Then, it’ll be obsolete and unenforceable because the charter prevents court action.