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eBikes – Safety, Guidelines and Resources

Ladera Ranch has seen a huge impact in increase in cycling and the impact of eBikes are becoming more common. As the popularity of eBikes will continue to grow, LARMAC, LARCS and the Civic Council are partnering together to gathering helpful information from local agencies, industry groups and cycling experts to provide information.

Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in outdoor activity as residents seek options to get outdoors for exercise and enjoyment. With limited entertainment options, gyms being required to close and the need for safe social activities, the local trails, sidewalks, parks and shared use spaces have become increasingly used over the past year.

As hikers, runners, walkers, and those riding a variety of personal transportation vehicles – bicycles, skateboards, Segway, scooters and eBikes – often share narrow spaces, safety has become the concern of parents, community leaders and residents. 

eBikes and personal transportation safety was a topic of discussion at the January Ladera Ranch Civic Council meeting where a panel of cycling and law enforcement experts held an open discussion with the community and Supervisor Lisa Bartlett to explore the issues surrounding eBike safety. Below are some of the main points and references that came from the meeting. 

  • Safety training when a child receives an eBike
    Its good advice for parents to take the time to review safety and discuss the ‘rules of the road’ as well as trail, sidewalk and riding etiquette. 
  • Sense of urgency and expectation to wear a helmet
    Safety starts at home with setting the expectation to wear a helmet. Protect your child from a life-altering head injury and brain damage.
  • County and other laws
    Educate yourself and your child – the vast majority of sidewalks and streets are under county jurisdiction and patrolled by the California Highway Patrol. 
  • Change the perception that eBikes are in essence, ‘toys’
    Since eBikes can now be purchased online, the transfer of knowledge and the discussion between bike shop owner and customer is lost. Instill the fact that a bike is a vehicle and should be handled accordingly.

Most streets and sidewalks are owned and maintained by the County. Open spaces and common areas owned by the LARMAC are separate from the County. LARMAC is currently evaluating the use of eBikes on LARMAC property. 

LARMAC Community Guidelines and use of eBikes and motorized vehicles on LARMAC property:

  • LARMAC is currently drafting proposed revisions to the community guidelines to address eBikes on LARMAC property.
  • Community guidelines specifically prohibit motorized vehicles (i.e. dirt bikes/motorcycles) on LARMAC trails. 
  • Damage to LARMAC property has occurred from eBikes/motorized vehicles driving on grass areas, slopes and sports fields which leads to repair costs that all homeowners pay for through HOA assessments.

Photo: This slope above Oso Grande school was recently replanted, which is why it looks bare, Dirt bikes were driven on the slope damaging new softscape. This type of damage costs Ladera Ranch homeowners thousands of dollars each year due to vandalism. 

Visit the eBike safety and resource page