Are e-bikes faster than conventional bicycles?

Over the last couple years, electric bicycles (e-bikes) have been gaining momentum. E-bikes may play an important role in addressing cities’ transportation and public health problems by getting more people out of cars and onto bicycles. But as the number of users increase, so too will potential conflicts (actual or perceived) with other road users, causing policy questions to arise.

The current state of e-bikes regulation varies dramatically across state and local jurisdictions, causing confusion. The confusion stems from the wide variety of devices and technologies on the market, perceived overlap of legal entities’ jurisdiction over the device, outdated or absent laws and regulations, and inconsistency of terms used to describe e-bikes. This confusion creates uncertainty for manufacturers and dealers and makes riders wary of embracing e-bikes.

Do perceptions match reality when riding in a green lane?

By Jennifer Dill, Ph.D.
Professor, Urban Studies & Planning 
Director, TREC

This week I’m at the International Travel Survey Conference in Australia. The conference happens every three years, attracting over 100 geeky people who spend time thinking about things like stated preference experiments, smartphone data collection, combining sampling frames, and respondent burden. I presented some work from our five city Green Lanes project, comparing our survey data with “objective” measures, such as videos and traffic counts. The focus was on intersections, where the protected lane is no longer separated from motor vehicles. An example of one design used in Portland, OR is shown in the adjacent figure.