Cape Coral exploring ways to regulate electric bikes and scooters

Published: September 21, 2022 3:24 PM EDT
Updated: September 21, 2022 3:36 PM EDT

The City of Cape Coral looking into ways to regulate a new way to get around to help keep the community safe.

The city is hoping to find a good regulatory solution for electric bikes and scooters. Cape Coral wants those e-bikes and scooters to have a maximum speed.

The discussion is still in the early stages, but the plan is to have a policy that’s good for everyone.

Downtown Cape Coral is a prime example of why the city is considering regulations. There are people driving, walking, and even riding their bikes, so as e-bikes and scooters continue to become more and more popular, the city has to be ready.

“I’ve seen them, and you know and say well, that’s something. Again, something I’m not going to do,” said Lynette Zwirlein, who’s lived in the city for close to 30 years.

Electric bikes and scooters are growing in popularity, and Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter knows it. “That’s why it’s kind of elevated our awareness. We see that it’s a trend that’s moving forward.”

To keep up with the trend, the city’s transportation advisory commission is now asking how these e-bikes and scooters can be regulated.

Their answer came in a presentation that included state statutes that allow the city to write an ordinance that will permit, control, and regulate the devices on sidewalks.

WINK News asked Mayor Gunter, who is also the commission’s chair, what he would like to see in the ordinance. He said it all comes down to the rules of the road.

“Our ultimate goal is no matter what the mode of transportation is, it can be done safely, and in order to do that, sometimes you have to identify those modes and develop, you know, a policy so everyone can stay safe,” Gunter said.

That’s all that matters to Zwirlein. “That the parameters, safety parameters are there. We get a little lackadaisical sometimes about things, and then they say, ‘oh my goodness, what’s happening?’ So maybe we can get ahead of anything like that.”

Mayor Gunter said there’s no definitive date set on when these talks will continue Right now, it’s all about getting feedback and working with the city attorney to see what they can and can’t do legally.