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Manhattan Beach Ramps Up Rules, Penalties for E-Bike Violators

Sep 06, 2023 10:30PM ● By Mb News Staff

A young e-bike rider without a helmet is pulled over by Manhattan Beach Police on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

The Manhattan Beach City Council on Tuesday updated its bicycle ordinances to reflect new issues posed by e-bikes - and set down high penalties for violations.

The updates were long overdue, according to councilmembers and staff, because the previous rules were drafted in 1961 and last updated in 1972.

Highlights of the new language - which is effective immediately - include:

  • All e-bike riders under age 18 must wear properly buckled helmets and observe all regular bicycle rules of the road;
  • E-bikes are prohibited on city sidewalks, walk streets, plazas, grass areas, lawns, the Civic Center, the Manhattan Beach Library, the Metlox property, the Strand, the beach, Veterans Parkway, and city, county, and state parking structures and parking lots;
  • No bicycle may exceed a speed of 15 miles per hour on the Marvin Braude beach bicycle path (i.e. the bike path parallel to the Strand).
Along with the new rules, the council approved hefty fines for violators:
  • Up to $500 for the first violation;
  • Up to $750 for the second violation within one year; and
  • Up to $1,000 for each additional violation within one year of the first violation.

Councilmembers passed the new rules, 5-0, as an emergency ordinance with the assurance that they may enact a permanent e-bike ordinance in 2024. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Richard Montgomery called for residents to urge their legislators to vote no on AB 825, a bill that would restrict authorities from enforcing "no bikes on sidewalks" ordinances in places where there is no bike path. 

"As a densely populated beach city, Manhattan Beach sees millions of visitors but has limited space on sidewalks, especially in the downtown area during summer months," Montgomery wrote in a letter to bill sponsor Isaac Bryan. "If this legislation were passed as proposed, cyclists would be pushed into condensed areas with pedestrians and surely would cause more cyclist-on-pedestrian collisions."

With the growing popularity of e-bikes, bicycle safety has been a growing concern in Manhattan Beach. Last month, the Manhattan Beach City Council directed police to crack down on bicycle rule violators. On August 16, the Manhattan Beach police teamed up with Hawthorne police for a "directed enforcement day" to crack down on bicycle and e-bike rules violators.

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