(Sept. 18, 2020) The Ocean Metropolis Council might have a tough resolution to make on Monday about electrical bicycles on the Boardwalk, because the bike committee and police fee will supply opposing suggestions.
An ordinance that might amend town’s site visitors and automobile code to permit class one electrical bicycles on the Boardwalk was launched final week by bike committee liaison Councilman Tony DeLuca, however didn’t garner sufficient help.
Courses two and three electrical bicycles would have been banned on the Boardwalk.
The proposed modification was despatched again to the aforementioned committees for additional assessment.
In accordance with assembly minutes, the bike committee determined to reiterate its earlier advice, arguing that class one bicycles don’t have a throttle and are pedal assisted.
“The bike is good for people who’re rehabilitating an damage or maybe have unhealthy knees,” the minutes state.
Whereas class one bicycles can attain speeds of as much as 20 mph, as soon as it hits the utmost velocity it now not assists the rider with pedaling.
Bicycles in courses two and three are outfitted with a throttle — the previous can function sans pedaling and attain speeds of as much as 20 mph, whereas the latter features equally to class one, however can go as much as 28 mph earlier than ceasing pedal help.
In the course of the assembly, nevertheless, Sgt. Allen Hawk and Greg DeGiovanni stated implementing the electrical bicycle ruling could be difficult.
Hawk appeared at Monday’s police fee to current an in depth report on the bicycles, and why the council mustn’t approve the code modification.
Hawk serves because the assistant supervisor of the police division’s site visitors security unit, and trains seasonal and full-time officers who trip bicycles.
“In trying into this. I contacted a number of businesses akin to us,” Hawk stated. “Atlantic Metropolis and Wildwood, New Jersey, Rehoboth Seashore, [Delaware], and Virginia Seashore, [Virginia]. These are the jurisdictions proper now that prohibit the usage of electrical bicycles.”
Restrictions differ — Rehoboth Seashore permits pedal-assisted bicycles, however Virginia Seashore bans all motorized bicycles.
Hawk additionally stated the council needed to think about a number of components, comparable to congestion, security, and degree of operation proficiency.
“We had a member of the engineering division do a headcount on the Boardwalk,” Hawk stated. “August 25, 26 and 27, from 8-10 a.m., from Eighth Road to Ninth Road on the Boardwalk … 981 [bicyclists] had been going north, 1,200 roughly had been going southbound, with a complete of over 2,200 folks in these three days inside that two-hour interval.”
That’s considering the lower in inhabitants related to the covid-19 pandemic, Hawk stated, so metropolis officers wanted to acknowledge the chance that bike riders will dramatically improve as soon as the pandemic subsides.
By way of security, Hawk stated the council must focus on whether or not to implement age and helmet restrictions — Marylanders age 16 or older usually are not required to put on helmets per state regulation.
There additionally could be prices related to an allowance, as extra personnel, schooling, indicators and coaching could be wanted.
He added that this might open up the door to permitting different types of motorized gadgets on the Boardwalk.
“At this time limit I … wouldn’t permit any [class], one, two or three, on the Boardwalk,” Hawk stated.
Hawk will argue his case in entrance of the complete mayor and Metropolis Council subsequent Monday.