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By Eric Heinz

At its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, the San Clemente City Council approved an amendment to its ordinances that regulate bicycles on the Beach Trail and beaches.

Bicycles and e-bikes are allowed on the Beach Trail except from June 15 to Labor Day, when there is peak pedestrian traffic in the area.

Samantha Thomas, the Beaches, Parks and Recreation (BP&R) director, said the commission assigned to these new laws recommended lowering the speed limit to 8 miles per hour, but City Council in its Tuesday deliberations said that would be hard to enforce and maintained the speed limit at 10 miles per hour and voted to give enforcement discretion to park monitors and its Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) officers.

There are different classes of electronic bicycles, with class I and II being allowed on the city beach trail, but class III, the fastest class with the most powerful motors, would be prohibited on the trails.

“We’re going to work with RSVPs on the amendment…and we’ll work with Marine Safety, since they’re focused on the water,” Thomas said.

Josh Jones, left, the owner of Murf Electric Bikes, stands with his business partner, Alan Kang. The business opened a storefront in 2017. Photo: Eric Heinz
Josh Jones, left, the owner of Murf Electric Bikes, stands with his business partner, Alan Kang. The business opened a storefront in 2017. Photo: Eric Heinz

Enforcement of the new regulations will include giving the park monitors ticketing authority at their discretion if they observe unruly behavior or aggressive driving by bicyclists.

The City Council also amended the ordinance to prohibit bicycles on the beach because some electronic bicycles have the ability to traverse the sand and could become a safety issue with the volume of foot traffic by pedestrians who frequent the area.

Bikes of all kinds would have to be walked along the bridges and narrow areas of the trail where it’s a tight squeeze to fit the bicycles anyway.

Thomas said there is signage along the Beach Trail today, but BP&R staff is going into further review to see if there are other ways to educate the public about the new regulations.

“Hopefully it brings awareness to bikers and pedestrians and the expectations of actions on the Beach Trail,” Thomas said.
City Councilmember Lori Donchack said she also wanted to explore the city’s bicycle ordinances on sidewalks and other areas of the city at a later time.

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comments (5)

  • Allowing electric bikes on the beach trail defies logic. Horrible.

  • It all looks fine on paper, however, the electronic bicycles continue to use the trail between June 15 and Labor Day with no one to enforce the issue. Living near the Lost Winds area, the bicycles race down the beach trails outside of where anyone will catch them. If there’s a motor on your bicycle, take it to the street so pedestrian traffic is safer with families walking and or exercising. Some riders abuse normal bicycles by claiming it their trail for exercise without regard to those on foot. Motors belong on the street, not a narrow beach path.

  • please be kind while riding and get a bell to let folks know your behind or even in front of them walking

    please complete the trail to the county line and widen it so it can become more useful like changing the way you park your vehicles life guard humphys

    :::::::( -:P

  • Next can we get the park system to ban them from using the Trestles trail? That would be great.

  • This whole “War against the Cyclists” is completely ridiculous.
    The Beach trail is not a problem because of bikes..
    How about the groups of people who walk 4-6 people wide and don’t move for anyone?
    How about the Dog Walkers who let their dogs use the trail as one giant restroom! How about the 3-4 Wide Baby strollers that only hold 1 baby and 3 little dogs? How about the oblivious Cellphone users who have no clue where they are or why they are there. I recently used the trail on a weekend. I walked from Linda Lane to T-Street without incident. and biked from t-street to State Park south.
    I saw all kinds of people violating every single law.. But saw no other bikers on the trail.
    I really hate that Talega residents and kooks from the SC LIFE facebook page have organized against Bike Riders. We are not the enemy.. You are!

comments (5)

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