ENCINITAS — As the popularity of electric bicycles continues to rise in Encinitas, and with an e-bike share pilot program on the way, Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz came to the Encinitas City Council this week with an idea to educate residents in e-bike safety.
In recent months, residents have raised safety concerns which lead Kranz to broach the topic.
“I have great concerns with some of the things that are happening with young people on e-bikes and so I think it would be appropriate to have a special meeting of the city council to discuss the issues of e-bike safety,” Kranz said.
A date was not set for the potential meeting but the other council members were interested in inviting law enforcement and e-bike experts from the community to join in the conversation.
“And invite as many parents and e-bike riders as possible to also join us so we can do everything possible to address some fairly significant safety issues that are cropping up as the popularity of e-bikes increases,” Kranz said.
Kranz said he hopes e-bikes continue to be successful in the city and believes they will play a role in decreasing the amount of time residents spend in their cars.
“This is the kind of thing we want to encourage and I’m afraid that’s what’s going to happen if we don’t wrestle this down a little bit and see what we can do to get some of the issues related to safety under control that we’re going to have people saying that’s the not the right route to go,” Kranz said.
An ad-hoc subcommittee was created with Kranz and Councilmember Joy Lyndes to work with staff on more details of the proposed meeting, which will likely take place sometime later this summer.
The council is scheduled to go dark in July before returning with its first in-person meeting in August.
There was also concern that holding the meeting in the middle of summer will not allow parents and young people to participate in a meaningful way.
“Come September everyone is back in town and focused,” Councilmember Joe Mosca said. “I think the timing in how we do this is really critical, about how we do this, and also planning it out to bring all the parties together.”
The meeting will likely take place sometime between late August to early September but more details should be available at a later date.
Kristine Schindler, a local cycling advocate, also expressed her support for the safety discussion.
“I think it’s important timing with e-bike share around the corner and with the things happening all across San Diego but certainly all across our coastal areas and Highway 101,” Schindler said. “So I am in support of this and willing to help with the organizing of it.”