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City Council proposal would regulate electric bikes

  • The A2B by Ultra Motor (Photo: Business Wire)
The A2B by Ultra Motor (Photo: Business Wire)
September 11, 2013|Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

While Chicago is known as a bike-friendly city with its protected lanes and bike-sharing program, elected officials are thinking about regulating electric bicycles next.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st) introduced an ordinance on Wednesday that defines a low-speed electric bicycle and outlines operating restrictions.

Such bicycles would be defined as a two- or three-wheeled devices with pedals and an electric motor of less than one horsepower. The electric bicycles would not fall within the definition of "motor vehicle" or "motor-driven cycle."

Riders would have to be 16 and older, would not be allowed to go faster than 20 miles per hour on streets, and would be prohibited from riding on sidewalks under the proposal.

The city's code that deals with bikes would also apply to the electric bicycles.

The council's Committee on Transportation and Public Way will consider the matter.

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