A fatal collision in Windsor has heated up debate over whether e-bikes should be allowed on multi-use trails.
Just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, a 62-year-old man was riding his e-bike west on Ottawa St. when he was struck by a southbound GMC Denali at the intersection of Ottawa and Parent Ave., police say.
Officers found the man lying face-down in the street when they arrived on scene. He was suffering from serious head injuries, despite having worn a helmet, and he was later pronounced dead.
The 30-year-old driver of the SUV was uninjured and charges are pending.
Brian Tucker, owner of Scoot-A-Long, said the incident is a reminder of the dangers of mixing e-bikes and cars — something that could become more common if council votes to ban e-bikes from multi-use trails.
“From my perspective this is the proof of the pudding that there are inherent dangers of being out in traffic,” said the e-bike retailer.
Windsor City Council’s transportation committee approved a ban on e-bikes — also known as power-assisted bicycles — from sidewalks and multi-use trails last month.
City council will have the final say on the issue as early as July 23.
Tucker supports enforcing bylaws prohibiting all bicycles — including e-bikes – from sidewalks, however he is not in favour of banning them from multi-use trails.
Such a ban would push e-bikes onto roads, many of which are void of adequate infrastructure, he said. A lack of bike lanes along city streets makes the mixing of e-bikes and traffic inherently dangerous.
The issue of e-bikes on multi-use trails was brought to the transportation committee’s attention after complaints power-assisted bicycles startled pedestrians strolling the trails.
To that Tucker said there’s no indication e-bikes pose any more danger to pedestrians than cyclists.
“We all have to have some consideration for the other people using the trail,” he said.