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Minutes for SB101 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Approving the operation and use of electric-assisted bicycles and regulating the use thereof.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 17, 2021

Chairperson Petersen opened the hearing of SB101.

Mr. Siebers commented on the amended definitions of electric-assisted bicycles and the regulations for operating them (Attachment 5).  He noted Section 9 as being the core of the bill; it delineates specific requirements of manufacturers, designates where class 1 and 2 bicycles are allowed to be ridden, and prohibits anyone under 16 years old from operating a class 3 electric-assisted bicycle.

Gary Robbins, noting that electric bicycles are the fastest growing category of cycle purchases in America at present, noted his support for uniform laws among states on the use of electric bicycles (Attachment 6). He said there are currently 28 states having approved this legislation with 16 other states pending adoption.  Mr. Robbins referenced the health benefits for Kansans who would not otherwise be able to enjoy bicycling safely.

Alex Logemann, speaking as a proponent via WebEx on behalf of PeopleForBikes, said the coalition is a national advocacy group and trade association working to create policies and infrastructure for bike riding terminology and regulation throughout the United States (Attachment 7).  Mr. Logemann noted a three-class system developed by manufacturers with regulations that would align Kansas' definition of electric bicycles with federal standards.  Having a uniform labeling standard for all electric bicycles will help public safety officials more easily identify the class of vehicle for law enforcement. 

Bill Maasen, via WebEx, spoke in opposition to SB101.  He indicated the use of class 2 e-bikes, which are a motorized conveyance operated with an accelerator and not with pedals, negatively impact paved trails in Johnson County Parks (Attachment 8).  Mr. Maasen described three types of units operated by means other than pedaling which are unacceptable on trails.  He commented on a pilot project conducted with public input that allows the use of class1 and class 3 e-bikes (pedal assist) to be freely operated on all paved trails in Johnson County. 

Deborah Barnes, Staff Attorney, League of Kansas Municipalities, testified opposition to SB101.  She indicated the bill limits local control. (Attachment 9).  She cited section nine as needlessly limiting a city's governing authority and offered amended language similar to that used in other states.

Written Neutral testimony was submitted by:

Caitlin Gard, Assistant City Manger, Shawnee, Kansas (Attachment 10)

City of Overland Park, Overland Park, Kansas (Attachment 11)

The hearing on SB101 was closed.