E-Bikes Could Soon Hit the Sioux Falls Bike Path

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Bikers, runners, walkers and their dogs frequent the Sioux Falls bike path. Soon you might see another mode of transportation as well.

E-Bikes could soon be hitting the trails. Allowing the electric bikes passed a first round of voting at this week’s city council meeting.

“It’ll allow more people to use our trails here in Sioux Falls. It’ll give you that pedal assist for people who maybe can’t keep up with the rest of the family whether it’s a health or an age or just where you’re at, but what we’re able to do is encourage more families to use the recreation trail,” says Sioux Falls Councilor Pat Starr.

Starr supports the use of the bikes on the path.

“One of your family members has an injury or isn’t able to keep up with the rest of the family and E-Bike allows people to be part of the rest of the group, and gives you a little bit of an assist, so you can keep up with the rest,” says Starr.

Right now, the bikes are only legal on city streets because they are considered motorized vehicles. Bike trail users would like to see them allowed to increase outdoor activity.

“If  there are things that we can do to remove cars from the road. I think that’s a plus. I’d love to think we live in a city that makes it easier for people to get outdoors,” says Chad Pickard of Spoke-n-Sport.

E-Bikes look similar to regular bicycles.

“But just think of it as a little extra boost,” says Pickard.

The E-Bikes that would be allowed on the bike path would have pedals, a battery and motor.  They also have a max speed of 20 miles per hour.

Pickard believes that allowing these bikes can make Sioux Falls more attractive.

“For us to be a healthy city, and to be a city that people want to move to I think our city needs to move to making it easier to be outdoors and on the bike trail,” says Pickard.

A final vote is expected at next week’s city council meeting on Tuesday night. The public is encouraged to attend and voice their opinion.

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