The Risk and Reward of Electric Bikes, Skateboards and Scooters.

Electric Bikes Growing in Popularity.

Environmentally friendly transportation in the Downbeach towns of Ventnor, Margate and Longport. Bikes, skate boards and scooters certainly help reduce carbon emissions, traffic jams and parking issues.

But do these fast growing mobility machines pose a safety risk to pedestrians, small children and those riding these wheeled platforms? The research says yes.

Heavy, silent and relatively fast. Some electric bikes are tweaked to go much faster than 20 mph.

E-bikes, electrically powered bicycles. In a tough spot. Too fast for boardwalks and bike lanes. Too slow for roads. A nightmare for pedestrians.

Ventnor PD Keeping Boardwalk Safe.

On Friday morning July 5, we witnessed a masked female zipping in-n-out on the Ventnor Boardwalk…on a motorized skateboard. Crazy. Minutes later, we just missed getting in the way of a gas powered scooter with no license, using the Atlantic Ave. bike lane.

E-bikes are equipped with pedals and an electric motor. Originally developed to help a rider go up a hill, or make pedaling easier. They can be used as normal bikes when the motor is switched off, or ridden like a moped or motor scooter when the motor is started.

Watch Video. How Israel Is Dealing With Electric Bikes.

VIDEO: Safety Issues. Electric Bikes.

Some e-bikes are no longer a bicycles, but motorized vehicles – potentially very dangerous for people walking. Pedestrians don’t expect those kind of speeds.

New Bike Lanes in Ventnor

Depending on your point of view, electric bicycles and electric scooters are either blights on the streets of major cities or represent the salvation for metropolitan areas choked by traffic and smog.

Electric powered bicycles going the wrong way down streets, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signals, sometimes going up on sidewalks. ‘It’s one thing if a regular bicycle does that – that’s a problem – but an electronic bicycle, it’s so much faster. It creates a real danger.”

Electric Scooters.

In Holland, one of the most cycle-friendly nations on Earth, e-bikes now make up a third of all sales, a trend accompanied by a near doubling of cycling fatalities over the past year. Experts say that, in part, the danger lies in the sheer weight of the new machines, which – with a battery, a motor and a sturdy frame to support them – can cause significant damage.

Riding an electric bike, or e-bike: speeds up to 27 miles an hour.

E-bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered “assist” to pedaling. Most come with a switch that allows you to adjust the power setting from “eco” (low) to “turbo” (high).

e-bikes are uniquely dangerous and the people who ride them are doing so recklessly.

The battery, motor, extra components, and reinforced frame make e-bikes inherently heavier than standard bikes— 20 pounds pr more.

Electric Skateboards

Insanely dangerous for the rider AND those in the path of these rolling projectiles.

Emergency room doctors asking patients to explain their injuries. A surge of broken bones connected to electric scooters, bikes and skateboards.

Riding an electric skateboard is not safe. They might look like toys, but they have the power and speed of a small electric vehicle or golf cart, without the protective shell.

9 thoughts on “The Risk and Reward of Electric Bikes, Skateboards and Scooters.”

  1. The citizens on this island must hate progress & change. History shows they come from a place of “no”…..the reasons are always the same…it’s dangerous, it’s loud, we never did it that way, or specific to an individual or their particular property. A long term vision is ignored. Do we want to be resort towns known only for three-story single family homes that all look alike? We live in seaside resort towns with mainly pizza & ice cream shops. Some of us want more….but the loudest voices are often the ones being heard. There is no parking here…ebikes & scooters would alleviate some of the congestion.
    The Commissioners are enough to battle, let’s not battle every new idea or suggestion too.

  2. chuck nardelli

    Progress is great. The idea is great. But pedestrian and bicycleonly venues should be off limits to any motorized vehicle, except for wheelchairs. The Boardwalk should be treated the same as sdewalks as far as motors are concerned.

    1. I’m 68 and ride an electric bicycle for years now and am often passed by non electrically powered cyclists. I ride from 5 to 20 mph max. And wear a helmut.
      I’m a designer with plenty of engineering experience.
      It is not that an electric bicycle weighs 20 lbs more that raises danger.

      It is SPEED x total weight that matters much much more.

      It is judgement that prevents accidents and suitable safety gear that reduces harm.

      No helmut is asking for trouble.
      Riding faster than makes sense for the particular environ will bring trouble and accidents.

      Maybe licensing all cycles and having a modest fee with 90% of funds applied to safety programs and improving conditions for all cyclists would take positive aim at an inclusive future.

  3. Nothing is enforced or regulated; they don’t care. The bikes are dangerous because the bike riders rarely follow rules. This will not be any different unfortunately.

  4. How about keeping joggers, dog walkers and baby carriage pushers out of bike only lanes so bikers don’t have to risk their lives to go around them in the street.
    On the boardwalk, it’s not necessary to walk or jog 4 or 5 abreast. That creates yet another hazard.
    Electric assist bikes are not the problem.
    Stupid and inconsiderate people are the problem.

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