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Can You Ride Electric Scooters in Bike Lanes? (Answered)

can you ride an e-scooter on a bike lane

Electric scooters have more recently taken the spotlight due to their light and easy-to-handle nature. However, can you ride electric scooters in bike lanes?

 

Bike lanes are particularly designed for cyclists, so why should electric scooters be allowed on these lanes? 

 

The short and sweet answer rests on the speed of electric scooters. Electric scooters unlike conventional motorbikes often have a lower top speed. This means electric scooters can usually only travel safely at lower speeds close to 30 MPH. 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

What is Considered an Electric Scooter? Difference between Electric Scooters and E-Bikes

 

An electric scooter, unlike an electric bike, does not have a seat or pedals. It is designed to only be ridden by the rider itself. 

 

Unlike electric bikes, which are essentially electric motorbikes, electric scooters are lightweight and are varied in consideration to road vehicles.

 

The rider has to stand up while riding the electric scooter, unlike electric bikes, which come with a seat.

 

Due to the lightweight nature of electric scooters, the vehicle cannot handle high speeds and will start to wobble. As a result of this, electric scooters unlike e-bikes cannot be safely used on roads where vehicles travel at speeds above 30 MPH. 

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

The Law Regarding Electric Scooters

 

Depending on where you live, the legal classification of electric scooters will vary. Most states in the US classify electric scooters as ‘vehicles.’ 

 

Though most places will not consider standard bicycles and scooters to be vehicles, the motorized nature of electric scooters and their ability to achieve greater speeds have led to them being classified as ‘vehicles’ in many places around the world, including California. 

 

In other places such as New York, electric scooters are classified as non-motor vehicles, even though electric scooters have an electric motor. 

 

The law aims to distinguish standard motorized vehicles and electric scooters, due to the obvious reason that electric scooters are not intended to be ridden as motorized bikes or cars. 

 

The law with regards to where electric scooters can and cannot be ridden isn’t very clear. In fact, it varies from place to place, state to state.

 

With bicycles being classified as non-motor vehicles much like electric scooters, the law simply goes to identify that an electric scooter can technically be ridden in all places where bicycles are allowed. 

 

In the state of California, electric scooters are allowed to ride with motorized vehicles. This means they can be ridden on roads alongside cars and bikes. However, with regards to whether they can ride in lanes intended for bikes, is an open question.


Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Are Bike Lanes Safer for Electric Scooters?

 

Bike lanes are designed for cyclists, which means they are separated from motorized traffic on the road. Riding electric scooters on roads alongside moving motorized vehicles is a dangerous stunt. In fact, in many states, it is against the law to actually ride electric scooters on roads. 

 

This makes bike lanes the obvious choice concerning how you use your electric scooter to get around. 

 

Not only are bike lanes safer for the riders of electric scooters, but they also provide a systematic flow of traffic. 

 

However with the top speeds of electric scooters reaching 60 MPH, bike lanes though safe for electric scooter riders become unsafe for cyclists who travel at a lower speed.

 

That being the case, the use of bike lanes for electric scooters brings about a calming harmony between road traffic and slower-moving vehicles such as electric scooters and bicycles. 

 

Popular consensus states that it is definitely considered the safer option to ride electric scooters on bike lanes. This is because electric scooters, though capable of traveling at higher speeds, usually cruise at a speed closer to a bicycle. Hence, it makes sense why electric scooters should ride on bike lanes as opposed to roads.

 

All in all, it is agreeable that opting to ride electric scooters on bike lanes provides safer roads for all parties. However, whether cyclists want to share their bike lanes with electric scooter riders is another question altogether. 



Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?


Can Electric Scooters Ride in Bike Lanes?

 

There is no universal rule that answers this question. The answer to this question rests on where you live. Many states in the US have contradictory laws which will change depending on which state you find yourself in. 

 

Similarly, if you are from another part of the world, the laws governing electric scooters will vary. Hence it is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws of the land with regard to electric scooters. 

 

Some states for instance do not allow electric scooters on sidewalks. This is a measure adopted for the purpose of maintaining a safe walking space for pedestrians. In such places, you have no option other than to hit the road or if possible a bike lane.

 

If the bike lane is situated along or on the side of the road, the answer to whether you can use the bike lane depends on the speed limit of the road. In Oklahoma for instance, you can use the bike lane to ride your electric scooter only if the speed limit of the road where the bike lane is situated has a top speed of 35 MPH or less. 

 

Hence it is important that you familiarize yourself with the law regarding electric scooters in the locality you live in. There is no hard and fast rule. Though bike lanes are considered safer for electric scooters, the problem arises when you ask cyclists if they actually want to share their bike lanes with electric scooters. 

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Do Cyclists Want to Share Bike Lanes with Electric Scooters?

 

Electric scooters, though safer than regular motorbikes, still are capable of traveling at great speeds. With the average speed of cyclists at 14 to 18 MPH, electric scooters traveling at 30 MPH could become dangerous for cyclists using the bike lanes. 

 

Due to the speeds electric scooters are capable of reaching, cyclists in general do not feel comfortable sharing their lanes with electric scooter riders. 

 

Electric scooters, though capable of traveling at higher speeds, do not have the weight or structure to allow them to be safely ridden on roads alongside traffic. As a result of this, many states do not have any other option than to allow these electric scooters to share the bike lanes with cyclists. 

 

Though the sharing of bike lanes with electric scooters makes the process safer for electric scooter riders, cyclists find it hard to feel safe in the lanes specifically designed for them. 

 

Hence if you ask a group of cyclists whether they feel safe sharing a bike lane with electric scooter riders, a handful may say that they do not feel safe due to the possibility of higher speeds of electric scooters. Though these speeds are lower than road traffic, an electric scooter traveling at 30 MPH can still be unsafe on a bike lane. 

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Should Electric Scooter Speeds on Bike Lanes Be Regulated?

 

With many places opting to allow electric scooters to share bike lanes with cyclists, it becomes an important regulatory addition to maintain a speed limit for electric scooters on bike lanes. 

 

If the speeds of electric scooters can be regulated and limited to 20 MPH, the use of bike lanes by electric scooter riders will become safer and more cohesive. 

 

It is the speed of electric scooters which makes it difficult for cyclists to share their bike lanes with electric scooter riders. Hence, if the state is able to regulate the speed limit of electric scooters on bike lanes, cyclists would feel more comfortable sharing their space with electric scooter riders. 

 

Though this is more of a recommendation than an act, what is important is that you remember the safety of cyclists on the bike lanes when riding your electric scooters in their space.

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Why are Bike Lanes Safer for Electric Scooters?

 

If you have ever seen an electric scooter, it doesn’t have a seat or shell. Much like motorbikes, electric scooters involve a sense of balance. The trouble with allowing electric scooters on roads is due to the capable top speeds coupled with the lack of protection for the rider. 

 

It is easy to lose the balance of an electric scooter traveling at 40 MPH. Allowing electric scooters on roads as opposed to bike lanes often allows the rider to ride at top speeds. These speeds can be dangerous for both the electric scooter rider and other vehicles on the road.

 

Allowing electric scooters to share bike lanes with cyclists enables the limiting of the speed of electric scooters making it a safe experience for the electric scooter rider. 

 

Oftentimes, for the safety of riders, electric scooters are not allowed on roads with a speed limit higher than 30 MPH. This enables the proper regulation of the speed of electric scooters which can reach speeds of 55+ MPH.

 

The use of bike lanes further allows for a better flow of traffic, which means road safety is ensured. It isn’t difficult to imagine how distracting and dangerous it can be for someone to be driving 30 MPH and have one of these electric scooters speed by at the same speed if not higher. 

 

The use of bike lanes for electric scooters not only makes it safer for the electric scooter rider but for everyone else on the road as well.  

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Disadvantages of Allowing Electric Scooters on Bike Lanes

 

Without a regulatory framework governing the speed of electric scooters on bike lanes, you will find electric scooter riders traveling at top speeds on bike lanes. This almost robs cyclists of the space that is awarded to them for safe travel. 

 

An electric scooter traveling at a speed of 35 MPH would still be at a speed that places the cyclists on the bike lane at risk. 

 

Though the use of bike lanes by electric scooters makes it a safer option for the electric scooter rider, cyclists resultantly have to share their space due to the lack of any other option. 

 

Allowing electric scooters on specific roads with specific speed limits allows for safer regulation of traffic. However, there are practical problems with regard to the safe passage of electric scooters on roads. 

 

Though cyclists are at a disadvantage from sharing the space with electric scooter riders, the advantages of allowing electric scooters on bike lanes trump the disadvantages. 

 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Things to Remember When Riding Electric Scooter on Bike Lanes

 

The most important thing that you will have to remember when using a bike lane on your electric scooter is, you are on a bike lane, not an electric scooter lane. 

 

Bike lanes are specifically designed for cyclists traveling at low speeds. Hence it is very important that you be mindful of other people in the lane and not travel at speeds that can place other people in danger. 

 

Try to maintain a cruising speed close to that of a bicycle and heighten your awareness to ensure there are no accidents on the bike lane. 

 

Remember, just like there can be accidents on the road, there could be accidents on the bike lane if you are not careful. 

 

Riding at unsafe speeds on a bike lane will make you the electric scooter rider the active agent in any accident. It is your responsibility to maintain safe speeds.

 

For instance, if you see a cyclist speeding by, do not be tempted to speed up and overtake him. Remember, the cyclist has a right to ride as fast as he wants on the lane designed for him. You, on your electric scooter on the bike lane, are only a guest in their house.

 

Electric scooters are allowed on bike lanes only for the sole purpose that it makes it a safer option for the rider. That being the case, it is very important that you understand that you are sharing the lanes with slower-moving bicycles and should always be mindful of the speed at which you travel.

 

Do not allow for distractions by wearing earphones or listening to music. If you are planning on listening to music while riding your electric scooter on bike lanes, we urge you to maintain low cruising speeds which are unlikely to hurt you or other users of the lane. 

 

Depending on the electric scooter you are riding, the top speed will vary. Remember 30 MPH is still a dangerous speed for a bike lane. Just because you are allowed to ride on the lanes does not mean to ride at unsafe speeds.

 

It is important that you check the policies in the city, state or country you live in and make sure it isn’t illegal for electric scooters to be ridden on bike lanes. 

 

Bike lanes can drastically improve the safety of riders of electric scooters and the laws should be regulated to allow them to use bike lanes when possible. If you live in a city which has bike lanes however you aren’t allowed to use them for electric scooters, we urge you to listen to the law or take measures to amend it. 


Can you ride an electric scooter on the bike lane? How do cyclists feel about electric scooter on bike lanes?

 

Should You Ride Your Electric Scooter on Bike Lanes?

 

If the law in the state you live in allows for it, most certainly you should use the bike lanes whenever possible. 

 

Though bike lanes were not originally intended for electric scooters, these lanes have become the safer option for many riders who should prefer to use bike lanes over roads with motorized traffic. 

 

The use of bike lanes makes for safe passage for riders. That being the case, bike lanes are usually narrow and unprotected. Hence though you are riding on a bike lane, you should not put your guard down. Stay aware and stay alert to prevent any mishaps and accidents from occurring. 

 

The use of bike lanes for electric scooters is considered one of the best practices for electric scooter riders. As mentioned in this article, familiarize yourself with the law regarding electric scooters on bike lanes in the state or country you live in. Generally, bike lanes have adopted electric scooters and it is generally considered okay for you to ride your electric scooter on bike lanes at safe speeds. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Though bike lanes are specifically designed for cyclists, with the adoption of electric scooters on the roads of cities around the world, bike lanes have become the safer option for electric scooter riders than roads. 

 

Though the law with regards to where electric scooters can be ridden changes from place to place, in general, bike lanes are considered the safer option to roads.

 

Though bike lanes are considered safer for the electric scooter rider, you now are a guest in someone else’s house. Hence be careful and aware when riding on bike lanes and be mindful of cyclists using the space.

 

Most electric scooter fatalities occur in collisions with heavier road vehicles. If you have the option to use bike lanes and regulations allow you to use them, it is most certainly advisable to use these lanes to ensure safe passage. Just remember, you are a guest in someone else’s home and it is your responsibility to ensure their safety and not put their lives at risk. 

 

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