Geofencing proposed to stop speeding on Hermosa Beach Strand

Good Stuff owner Cris Bennett, offers e-bike parking for customers at his Hermosa Beach location. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody

Geofencing e-bike rentals was among the options for slowing e-bikes on The Strand that the Hermosa City Council discussed at a special council meeting on Thursday, February 15.

Mayor Justin Massey and Councilman Raymond Jackson also suggested banning e-bikes altogether on The Strand and Pier Plaza. 

The ban was opposed by Councilmember Dean Francois, who argued the problem is not with e-bikes, but with their riders speeding. He suggested geofencing on The Strand and Pier plaza to stop speeding e-bikes. 

Denver scooter rental companies use geofencing to stop riders in areas where scooters are prohibited, according to City Manager Suja Lowenthal told the council, operators of Lime Scooters have told the city they can restrict their scooters’ speeds. But she pointed out that e-bike rentals represent a small percentage of e-bikes in the city.

The Strand speed limit is 8 mph. Most e-bikes are capable of 19 mph.

E-bikes are legal on The Strand and Pier Plaza if their pedal assist motors are not engaged. But Police Chief Paul LeBaron told the council enforcing the ban is difficult because it’s difficult for officers to tell if pedal assist motors are engaged. Additionally, it is difficult to prove in court the riders officers cite are the riders the officer radar guns show were speeding.

Hermosa Cyclery co-owner Steve Collins, attributed the problems with e-bikes on The Strand and Pier Plaza to shops that rent e-bikes to out-of-town residents.

Trick e-Bike owner Clint Hough, who rents e-bikes said after the meeting, “It’s not visiting Canadians out for a beautiful ride who are the problem. It’s crazy kids. I won’t rent to anyone under 18 because they bring the bikes back broken,” he said. Hough said he thought geofencing was impractical, and that his rentals have governors limiting his e-bike rentals to 20 mph.

On a unanimous vote, the council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would require geofencing for e-bike rentals, require e-bike riders under 18 to wear a helmet, and allow police to impound e-bikes whose riders are cited for vehicle violations. ER 


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