Increased E-Bike Use in Lake Oswego

Posted Mon, 06/05/2023 - 3:56pm

LAKE OSWEGO – We are seeing a significant increase in the use of Electric Assisted Bicycles (“E-Bikes”) in Lake Oswego. With their increased use, we are also seeing an increase in unsafe and unlawful behavior, particularly by young people.

An E-Bike is defined as having fully operative pedals for human propulsion and an electric motor with a power output of not more than 1,000 watts. To be considered an E-bike, it must also not be capable of going faster than 20 mph on level ground without assistance (i.e. pedaling). If it is capable of going faster than 20 mph or has a motor with a power output of more than 1,000 watts, then it is considered a moped and would require an Oregon Driver License to operate it.

E-Bikes are a fun and easy way to get around, but we want to ensure they are being used appropriately so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors safely.

Here are some basic rules for E-Bikes:

  • You must be at least 16 years old to operate it.
  • A helmet is not required for anyone over 16 years of age (but is recommended).
  • You must have approved lighting if it is operated under limited visibility.
  • They are NEVER allowed on sidewalks (ORS 814.410).
  • Riders MUST use a bike lane if one is adjacent to or near a roadway (ORS 814.420).
  • They are allowed on bike paths and in crosswalks.

Some other information to consider before operating an E-Bike can be found in ORS 814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles, ORS 814.486 Endangering bicycle operator or passenger, and LOC 32.10.810 Requirements for Operation of Bicycles Generally. The Oregon Department of Transportation has also compiled a helpful chart that lists the guidelines for Electric Assisted Bicycles, bicycles, scooters, mopeds, and more. You can find that here.