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Town Council approved an ordinance allowing lower-speed electric bicycles, commonly referred to as e-bikes, on the Town's public pathways.

  • The ordinance permits the use of lower-speed, class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles
  • To encourage safe operation of all e-bikes and regular bicycles, the ordinance requires businesses that sell and rent bicycles to provide consumers with a Town-issued safety and etiquette pamphlet.
    • This pamphlet conveys important information to visitors and residents so they are aware of and adhere to local traffic laws, take precautions to remain safe when out riding their bicycles and know how to make their bicycle riding experience enjoyable for themselves and others.
  • Pursuant to South Carolina law, any e-bike that is being operated on publicly owned pathways and roads within Town limits must have a permanent label indicating the bike's horsepower and maximum assisted speed to ensure that it falls within the class 1 and class 2 limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

As electric bicycles (e-bikes) became increasingly popular on the Island, their use on Town-owned pathways raised concerns regarding the safety of e-bike users and other pathway users due to the high speeds at which they can operate.

The Town's Municipal Code prohibits motor vehicles on publicly-owned pathways. However, South Carolina state law defines e-bikes as bicycles not motor vehicles, therefore they cannot be prohibited from Town-owned pathways without also prohibiting non-electric bicycles.

No, only class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are allowed on Town pathways.

Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes both stop providing motor assisted power at a maximum speed of 20 mph.

The requirement to have a label affixed to the bike indicating its speed and corresponding wattage is a requirement from the State of South Carolina. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess123_2019-2020/bills/3174.htm

Per the Act, the manufacturer or distributor is responsible for affixing the label to the bicycle.

The Town's e-bike ordinance applies to Town public pathways only. Please check with your POA for private pathway e-bike applicability.

No, they are not allowed. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on Town public pathways.