As longtime San Clemente residents—we have lived here for decades and raised a bunch of kids here, too—we wholeheartedly associate ourselves with the concerns raised by Jake Howard’s excellent piece, “Let’s Talk Electric Bikes,” which ran in a recent SC Times edition. While Mr. Howard focuses on Trestles, the problem is even more pronounced on the Beach Trail.

It’s clear to anyone who uses the beach trail that having to dodge fast-moving motor-driven vehicles while trying to enjoy the trail is an inherent problem. The trail provides easy and attractive access to the beauty of sand and sea that gives San Clemente a special place in the hearts of those of us who live here; why should we have to worry about electric bikes crowding us out?

Beyond that, if Mr. Howard is correct in his assertion that state park authorities—and by extension, the City of San Clemente, since there have been no regulations introduced related to electric bikes on the city’s swath of the trail—all say nothing will be done until someone is seriously hurt, then looming liability issues are definitely part of the problem as well.

Imagine a toddler breaking away from holding hands with her parents—who then gets run over by an electric bike. It could happen; we’ve seen it almost happen many times. What then?

Give us the beach trail back; ban electric bikes.

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comments (2)

  • So apparently the beach trail belongs only to you and those that do not ride bikes. What a selfish myopic viewpoint! FYI, the trail belongs to EVERYONE. Their are regulations regarding type of electric bike and speed limits on the trail. They just need to be enforced…just like leash laws and dog excrement laws that get regularly violated.

  • “Imagine your toddler” is just that. Fake news. Your toddler is more likely to be taken out by a mom running behind a double stroller, one hand on her phone and one hand holding the dog leash. Or a runner intent on keeping pace. We walk the the beach trail every day. Electric bikes do come through occasionally – usually a San Clemente resident with a surfboard attached. They are electric assisted bikes and not motor driven vehicles. Pedal power required. Getting run into by one is less likely than slipping on smeared dog excrement on the bridge.

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