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December 1, 2003

Bike path policy clarified: Mopeds, motorized bikes OK

By Louise Donahue

Bicycles, mopeds, motorized bicycles, and motorized scooters are OK, but forget the horses, people-powered razor scooters, and skateboards. That’s the word on bike path access from campus police and Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS).

The policy has not changed recently but has been clarified following apparent confusion about the rules.

“Bicyclists have complained that motorized scooters and cycles have been using the path, in what they assume to be a violation of UCSC regulations,” said TAPS director Wes Scott in a memo jointly distributed by campus police and TAPS to those making complaints.

In 1999, the California state legislature asked local jurisdictions throughout the state to adopt the same general rules as those in the current California Vehicle Code for use of motorized scooters and electric bicycles on streets and bike paths.

In 2000, UCSC changed its statute to allow use of those vehicles on its bike path.

“Use of such a transportation mode does remove cars from both our congested roads and our over-stressed parking facilities,” Scott’s memo stated.

Campus police captain Robert Jones said he realizes many bicyclists value a quiet ride on the bike paths, but emphasized that this is a safety issue. Jones, who rewrote the campus bike path access rules in 2000, said riders of motorized bicycles or mopeds are at risk sharing narrow roads with automobiles, buses, and trucks. “These folks need to have a safe place to ride.”

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