Bicycle Leadership Day at Capitol and eBike Update

Thursday, May 30th, the Wisconsin Bike Fed will host our first Bicycle Leadership Day in Madison. The event was put together quickly to support our legislative agenda.  All briefings and meetings will be held in Room 225NW, the Bonnie Reese Assembly Hearing Room. There will also be an eBike demonstration outside on the Capitol grounds.

9:30am Registration
10am Welcome by Bike Fed
10:15

  • Department updates from senior staff at the WDNR, WisDOT, and Dept. of Tourism
  • Eminent Domain discussion

12:00pm- 3:00pm eBike demonstrations outside
12:15 Luncheon (provided)
1:30pm Legislative Briefing by Bike Fed staff
2:30pm meeting with Governor Evers Policy Advisor Sam Munger
4pm post event reception at Park Hotel across the street (cash bar)
5pm Lifetime Achievement Award for Sen. Fred Risser at Park Hotel
6pm close

While this event is open to Bike Fed members and the public, the goal is for the Bike Fed board, senior staff, and leaders of local advocacy groups to meet with Department staff and Governor Evers office. Our legislative agenda is as follows:

  • Pass eBike legislation
  • Restore full funding to the Transportation Alternative Program
  • Restore funding for non-motorized safety programs
  • Restore the ability of local governments to use eminent domain for bicycle and pedestrian projects

Our eBike legislation (SB129/AB132)  is already moving forward. On Tuesday, the Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously voted to recommend AB132. At the same time, the Bike Fed, Trek, Harley Davidson and Randy Bailey (owner of Stadium Bike shops) testified at the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

Randy Bailey testifies before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

Randy Bailey testifies before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

 

Click to open PDF and read bill.

The Bike Fed is grateful to the bill authors, Representatives Mike Rohrkaste and Evan Goyke, and Senators Roger Roth and Fred Risser, as well as the many other cosponsors for advancing this common sense legislation.

Under current Wisconsin law, eBikes are considered “motor bicycles”, which also include bicycles fitted with combustion engines, and also as “motor vehicles” in certain contexts.  It is not legal to ride an eBike on state trails and current statutes require operators of motor bicycles to have operator’s licenses.

Our legislation creates a separate category for eBikes and eliminates many of the restrictions that currently apply to their use – in general, treating them more like traditional bicycles. Local units of governments and the Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation will have the authority to limit the their use on bikeways under their jurisdiction by ordinance or administrative rule.

The legislation also defines the three-class system established by the eBike industry so that they can be regulated more precisely.

Similar legislation has already been passed in 14 other states states, including Illinois and Michigan.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is working to keep you informed about Bicycle Legislation that affects you. If you have questions or comments about this bill, please comment below.

 

Police officer pilots a trishaw with residents from Miravida Living as part of their Cycling Without Age program.

Police officer pilots a trishaw with residents from Miravida Living as part of their Cycling Without Age program. These trishaws have electric assist and will be legal to ride on trails after our legislation passes. Photo from the Cycling Without Age website.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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