Old Tech Made New Again

Add my voice to the chorus asking what on earth Supervisor Gregg Hart was thinking when he suggested that electric bicycles had not even been contemplated 30 years ago. I doubted immediately it could be true and five seconds spent on a Google search confirmed as much — they’ve been around as an idea and more since the late 1800s.

Of course, what is important here is not who knows their history, but what Hart’s gross misconception of it means for the argument he is making. If it is really a pillar of his thought on this, he needs to re-evaluate his position in support of opening the proposed Modoc bike lane extension to electric bikes.

As a bicyclist who powers his own, I think the distinction needs to be made that electric bikes are motor vehicles and should be regulated as such. They are heavier and faster than regular bikes, can cause great harm in collisions, and belong on the road and not in bike lanes where, like it or not, folks walk, often with their children and toddlers.

If you should question Hart further on this, please do not let him get away with an “oh, you know what I meant” type of non-answer. Press him to throw out any thinking related to his mistaken notion of when electric bicycles began to be developed and come up with a better reason in support of his position or else abandon it.


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