City of San Diego cracking down on e-bikes, e-scooters in beach areas

The enforcement is taking place in several coastal towns

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For the past three years, David Farrar has been riding his e-bike close to 40 miles from Tierrasanta to Pacific Beach for fun and exercise.

“All the way along the boardwalk and then back out,” Farrar said.

This week, the city began enforcing its ban on e-bikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks. Farrar learned about the crackdown the hard way.

“There was a Park and Rec truck crossing the sidewalk blocking us and she wouldn’t let us go and she told us. I go, 'Oh, well that law, when did that start? She said, 'it’s been on for two years, but we’re just starting to enforce it,'" Farrar said.

Back in 2020, the city banned electric scooters and e-bikes along the boardwalk after beach communities expressed concerns about the dangers of the devices following reports of injuries and, in some cases, even fatalities.

Motorized wheelchairs are the exceptions to the rule.

“With the increase in e-bikes, as we did with the scooters a while back, we wanted to make sure people were able to walk safely on our city sidewalks and pedestrian areas,” said city spokesperson Jose Ysea.

Motorized devices like e-bikes and scooters are prohibited along Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Bayside Walk and La Jolla Shores.

“It’s pretty much ruined my e-bike fun,” Farrar said.

Farrar worries the rules will expand to other areas, making it nearly impossible to go anywhere on his e-bike.

“I don’t like it – I’m bummed. I paid a lot of money for this bike. It’s part of my exercise program to get my type 2 diabetes in line to lose weight and now I’m really going back to the drawing board to figure out where I’m going to ride,” Farrar said.

The city did not say how much someone would be fined if given a citation, but they say they will continue enforcing the laws and regulations.

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