On July 1st it became legal to ride an e-bike on Florida sidewalks. That’s because the legislature took a big step to define e-bikes and to give them the right to ride anywhere a bicycle can be ridden. It has always been legal to ride a bicycle on Florida sidewalks, unless prohibited by local ordinance. Now e-bikes fit into the same framework.
The law also recognizes 3 classes of e-bikes, including pedal assist up to 20 MPH (class 1), throttle only up to 20 MPH (class 2) or pedal assist up to 28 MPH (class 3). It also removed the restriction an e-bike rider had to be 16 or older. So, essentially anyone could operate an e bike on our sidewalks within their category limits.
The new law is facing tremendous pushback because of the authorization of the enhanced speeds and permitting them to be used on sidewalks and other paths. There are many in the bike community who are opposed to allowing them on the sidewalk, particularly at those potential speeds. The new law has a home rule provision which permits local communities to restrict e-bikes on sidewalks within their communities.
We’d be curious of your opinion.