Lauren LeClaire

  • Framingham-Natick-Cochituate Rail Trail Ground Breaking and Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Release

    On Friday, July 19th, at 1:30 p.m., Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack will join Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Senate President Karen Spilka and state and local officials from Natick and Framingham at a ground breaking event for the Framingham-Natick-Cochituate Rail Trail. MassDOT officials will also be releasing their Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans.

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  • Bike Summits

    In June of 2019, MassBike and Mass in Motion hosted three regional bike summits in Worcester, Salem, and Springfield. These seminar style events featured experts in fields such as community organizing, engineering, equity, education, land use planning. Each speaker shared their knowledge through the lens of public health with the goal of building capacity, sharing resources and best practices related to bicycling for Mass in Motion coordinators and other aligned partners.

    With the help of our Central Mass, North Shore, and Connecticut River Valley Chapters we had three full days of fantastic content that we have shared with you below. For those of you who were able to attend in person, the slide decks and videos are a great refresher and for those who were unable to attend, we hope you enjoy the presentations!


    Presentation Slide Decks:

    American Women's Cycling Network - Monique Trammell

    Complete Streets in Worcester - Brian Pigeon, Senior Transportation Planner

    Complete Streets 201 - Tom DiPaolo, MassDOT

    Kelley Square Improvement Project - Karen Pelletier, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Don Cooke, VHB, and Paul Jahnige, DCR

    Safe Routes to School Worcester - Rachel O’Donnell, SRTS, and Galen Mook, MassBike

    Local Grassroots Advocacy Initiatives - Karin Valentine Goins, WalkBike Worcester



    Presentation Slide Decks:

    Complete Streets 201 - Michelle Danila, P.E., PTOE., Complete Streets Engineer

    City Bringing in Bike Share - Tom Devine, City of Salem

    What is a good bike network? - Anna Gartsman, MassDOT Office of Performance Management & Innovation

    Innovating for People in Salem - Karl Alexander, Zagster




    To see the full photo album from the Springfield Summit click here!

    Presentation Slide Decks:

    Complete Streets Demo Day, Using Tactical Urbanism to Educate and Advocate - Becky Basch, Pioneer Valley Planning Comission

    WalkBike Springfield and the Way Finders Healthy Hill Initiative - Beatrice Dewberry, Wayfinders

    Local Bicycle Network Planning - Jeff McCollough, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

    Safe Routes to School - Patrick Higgins, SRTS and Galen Mook, MassBike


    Check out this Worcester News clip on the event! We'll have full video of each presentation coming soon.


  • Boston Vision Zero Progress Report

    The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition released its third annual Vision Zero Progress Report for the City of Boston. MassBike is an active part of the Coalition and while this report is just for Boston, we have many municipalities throughout the state who need equal if not more work than Boston to get us to zero fatalities. The fundamentals and the processes behind this report can be applied to many cities and towns across the state as we seek to lower traffic fatalities in Massachusetts to zero.



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  • Western Massachusetts

    MassBike supports and encourages Western Mass residents and visitors to regularly ride bicycles for fun, fitness and transportation by

    • enabling educational programs for motorists and cyclists to enhance cycling safety
    • developing and supporting events that celebrate and encourage cycling
    • supporting regional efforts to develop a bicycle network that is accessible to all residents, communities and visitors

    The MassBike Connecticut River Valley Board of Directors governs the allocation of chapter resources throughout the Connecticut River Valley subregion. Our focus is to support and enable organizations to further the following mission:

    MassBike CT River Valley supports and encourages Valley residents and visitors to regularly ride bicycles for fun, fitness, and transportation by
    ·      enabling educational programs for motorists and cyclists to enhance cycling safety
    ·      developing and supporting events that celebrate and encourage cycling
    ·      supporting regional efforts to develop a bicycle network that is accessible to all Valley residents, communities, and visitors


    2021 Board of Directors

    Gary Briere
    Kate Dollard (Secretary)
    Karen Lynn
    Jonathan McHatton
    Nick Perry
    Millie Rossman
    Kristen Sykes (President)


    What's new in the Valley?

    Join the conversation, the MassBike Connecticut Valley Google Group is where we communicate about all things bicycling and bicycling advocacy in the valley. Email [email protected] to be added to the group.

    We regularly offer mini-grants to partners in the Connecticut River Valley doing work related to improving bicycling safety and access. For information on the grants, please email us at [email protected]

    MassBike CTRV is committed to encouraging bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation for all Connecticut River Valley residents. The organization is especially interested in supporting projects which benefit low-income communities and/or underrepresented demographics in bicycling (e.g. women) though all are encouraged to apply.


    Want to learn more about cycling in the Berkshires?

    With breathtaking climbs and charming towns, the Berkshires are a great place to ride.  Reach out for more information!


    Western Massachusetts is home to a rich diversity of bike-related organizations.  We feature many of them below:


    Organization Type Website
    Speed and Sprocket Cycle Works Mobile Bike Shop
    ValleyBike Share Bike Share
    Northampton Cycling Club Rides and race team
    RadSpringfield Mobile Community Bike Shop
    Hampshire Bicycle Exchange Bike Shop
    Northampton Bicycle Bike Shop, Bar
    South Hadley Bike Walk Committee Advocacy Group
    Holyoke Urban Bike School (HUBS) Community Bike Shop
    WalkBike Springfield Advocacy Group
    Friends of the Columbia Greenway Trail Advocacy
    Friends of Northampton Trails Trail Advocacy
    Cyclonauts Rides and race team
    Hampshire Bicycle Exchange Bike Shop
    Family Bike Bike Shop
    The Spoke Bike Shop
    Joe's Garage Bike Shop
    Laughing Dog Bicycles Bike Shop
    Berkshire Bike Path Council Trail Advocacy
    Shire Shredders High School MTB race team
    New Horizons Bikes Bike Shop
    New England Bike Bike Shop
    Sadie's Bikes Bike Shop
    Bicycle World Bike Shop
    Highland Hardware and Bike Bike Shop
    Competitive Edge Ski and Bike Bike Shop
    Valley Bike and Ski Werks Bike Shop
    Colorado Ski and Board and Bike Bike Shop
    Springfield Pedicab Pedicab
    Whip City BMX BMX Track
    Berkshire Bike and Board Bike Shop

  • North Shore

    North Shore Group RideMassBike North Shore came together to support and connect residents and visitors who regularly ride bicycles for fun, fitness and transportation in their area. By working on a grassroots level, the North Shore Chapter works closely with MassBike HQ to move infrastructure projects forward to make roadways safer. By identifying key supporters in cities and towns within the Chapter, the North Shore Chapter members are quickly becoming a key component of connecting these local organizations to impact state level change.

    We're currently working with our North Shore Chapter to create additional content for this page including recent North Shore news, stay tuned!

    Looking to contact the North Shore Chapter? Send them an email at [email protected].

    Below is a list of some of our partner organizations representing the North Shore:

    Organization Type Website
    Friends of the Danvers Rail Trail Trail Advocacy
    Salem Cycle Bike Shop
    Beverly Bike Committee Advocacy
    Bike to the Sea Inc. Trail Advocacy
    Melrose Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee Advocacy
    Frieends of the PIG Trail Advocacy
    Salem Zagster Bike Share
    North Shore Cycle Bike Shop

  • Central Mass

    IMG_0224_-_Lesli_Cohen.jpgMassBike Central Mass covers a large geographic area of our state, including Massachusetts' second largest city, Worcester! With grassroots advocates leading the charge to address local issues and hosting events to bring the community together, the Central Mass Chapter takes advantage of partnerships with numerous regional organizations.

    We're currently working with our Central Mass Chapter to create content for this page, stay tuned!

    Looking to contact the Central Mass Chapter? Send contact us at [email protected].

    Central Massachusetts is home to a rich diversity of bike-related organizations.  We feature many of them below.

    Organization Type Website
    Worcester Earn-A-Bike Community Bike Shop
    Major Taylor Association Advocacy, History, Service
    Fritz’s Bicycle Shop Bike Shop
    WalkBike Worcester Advocacy
    Seven Hills Wheelmen Recreational Club
    Southbridge Bicycles Bike Shop
    Landry's Bicycles Bike Shop
    Barney's Bicycle Bike Shop
    Worcester County Women Cycling Recreational Club
    American Women's Cycling Network Advocacy
    Woorides Pedicab


  • MassDOT Bike Plan

    Call for comments - your voice is needed! The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has released the Draft Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan, now available for public comment through the end of January. MassDOT is asking you to review the plan and provide feedback, either directly to the DOT (and cc us at MassBike) or to us at MassBike ([email protected]) and we will collect your comments to send into the DOT by January 31st.

    While you can read the full draft here, it's a dense document that can be tough to digest online. So we've boiled it down to highlight shorter sections and focus on the areas where you can have the most impact.

    Initiative 1: Build a Connected Trail Network

    Initiative 1 begins with data: a state-wide inventory of bike facilities, a catalog of high comfort networks and statistical model which identifies areas with the greatest potential for every day biking. This information is used to prioritize improvements to MassDOT/DCR controlled properties. It will be shared with regional planners and municipalities to encourage improvements and connectivity on locally controlled properties.


    1-1. Initiate high-comfort bikeway projects on MassDOT-owned roadways to help improve bike and trail connectivity through the Potential for Everyday Biking analysis, which identifies non-limited access roadways with the highest potential demand for bikeway investments.
    1-2. Provide guidance to 13 regional planning agencies about how to apply the Potential for Everyday Biking analysis to support local and regional bicycle network planning.
    1-3. Provide training to municipalities on how to plan for and build high-comfort bikeways and connected bicycle networks; to promote funding programs that municipalities can use to build them (i.e. Complete Streets Funding Program, Chapter 90, Safe Routes to School, regional MPO funds); and to promote the Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability.
    1-4. Coordinate with partner state agencies and regional planning agencies to develop route wayfinding design guidelines to include in all projects to help direct people to high comfort bikeway routes.
    1-5. In coordination with the RTCs, develop and communicate best practice designs and strategies to connect shared use paths, high-comfort bikeways, town centers, and end-of-trip facilities to promote bicycle tourism and economic development.

    Initiative 2: Integrate the Bike Network with the Transportation System

    Municipalities, which control about 80% of roadways in the Commonwealth, rely on MassDOT for standards and frameworks when designing and building transportation projects. Initiative 2 integrates the MassDOT bicycle data and analysis into the decision making and design processes for all transportation projects.


    2-1. Revise the Healthy Transportation Policy and Healthy Transportation Policy Engineering Directive to ensure that designs attract potential everyday bicyclists. To support this effort, MassDOT will develop design criteria and guidance for roadways and intersections based on motor vehicle volume, speed, and curbside activity.
    2-2. Use the Potential for Everyday Biking analysis (described in Initiative 1) to inform project boundaries, scope, and design of projects on state-owned roadways and bridges.
    2-3. Fill critical gaps by preserving and ensuring adequate right-of-way for high comfort bike networks when selling, leasing, transferring, or providing an easement on MassDOT or MBTA property.
    2-4. Ensure issues and opportunities to create safe and connected bikeways are studied and implemented when MassDOT is reviewing development projects as part of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act and access permit proposals. MassDOT will update the Transportation Impact Assessment guidelines for environmental review documents as needed.
    2-5. Ensure that bike access is incorporated in transportation projects within a 10-minute bike ride (1.7 miles) to a transit stop or station throughout the project development process, from scoping to scoring, design, review, and construction.
    2-6. Develop design guidance and adopt new standards for bikeway types, temporary traffic controls, and maintenance with the goal of attracting potential everyday bicyclists based on experiments and pilots in Massachusetts and across the country.

    Initiative 3: Education and Regulations

    Initiative 3 promotes roadway safety through education for people driving and people bicycling. It also pursues better safety standards for motor vehicles.


    3-1. Develop and execute a transition plan to require side guards and convex and cross-over mirrors where appropriate on MassDOT-owned and contracted trucks consistent with US DOT Volpe standards.
    3-2. Revise the Commercial Driver License manual and on-road testing with a greater emphasis on interactions with people biking in different contexts, such as urban or rural environments.
    3-3. Expand the scope of the RMV’s driver’s manual to better educate people who currently bicycle or may bicycle on the rules of the road and bicycle facilities. Update the manual periodically with new bicycle facilities and rules as they evolve.
    3-4. Expand the scope of the RMV’s driver’s manual and test to bring awareness of how people driving should interact with people biking on our roadways and where and how people bicycling should ride in public ways.
    3-5. Incorporate additional strategies into the Safe Routes to School program to increase education and training for children to learn about bicycling and also general roadway safety.

    Initiative 4: Lower Barriers to Using a Bicycle

    Initiative 4 increases the convenience of biking as an everyday travel option for people of all ages and abilities by expanding bike share and making bike share easier to use.


    4-1. Increase the ease of obtaining a bicycle by integrating bikeshare and other micro-mobility options with transit payment technologies via Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) 2.0 technology, or with MA E-Z Pass technology.
    4-2. Expand the MBTA’s bicycle parking program as part of a comprehensive mobility program to increase ease and access for people to get to and from transit without having to rely on a personally owned car.
    4-3. Increase access to bicycles through developing comprehensive bikeshare partnerships with a focus on providing first and last mile solutions to and from transit.
    4-4. Increase access to bicycle parking by collaborating with regional planning agencies on an “Everyday Bike Parking Program” to help municipalities select and site convenient bike parking at schools, transit stops, and business districts.
    4-5. Research and develop a policy that supports electric and pedal assist bicycle use to enable more people of all ages and abilities to bicycle more often and for longer trips. Partner with municipalities to pilot street designs and speed limit changes to support a variety of mobility devices.

    Initiative 5: Maintain the Bicycle Network

    Initiative 5 launches the development of a year-round maintenance and operations plan for MassDOT-owned bikeways and supports municipalities to do the same.


    5-1. Establish a winter operations pilot program on MassDOT facilities for snow and ice removal to learn about operational needs and barriers, as well as prospective partnerships.
    5-2. Develop a comprehensive winter maintenance and operations plan post-pilot program for MassDOT-owned bikeways.
    5-3. Initiate a program to collect bikeway condition data.
    5-4. Develop a maintenance plan for MassDOT-owned bikeways to address facility preservation and repair based on condition data (bikeway surface, including drainage and surface utilities, and associated elements like signs, pavement markings, signals, buffer spaces, and corner islands).
    5-5. Support municipalities to maintain their on- and off-street bikeways and related bike facilities.

    Initiative 6: Build a Data set of Bicycle Usage

    Transportation projects are currently prioritized and designed using standardized data gathered on motor vehicle usage, effectively making them motor vehicle projects. No comparable data set exists for bicycle usage. Initiative 6 develops standards for documenting bicycle usage and safety to inform transportation projects.


    6-1. Conduct public surveys to continue to learn about bicycle use and the biggest barriers to bicycling in Massachusetts to inform policy, programs, and projects.
    6-2. Identify data needs to conduct safety analysis involving vehicles in coordination with the State’s TRCC to evaluate crash data reporting, improve bicycle reporting, and adopt best practices from other states.
    6-3. Routinely update the statewide Bicycle Facility Inventory with District Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinators and municipal and regional partners. Transition the inventory into a GeoDOT web application that includes existing data and incorporates additional data to advance connected bike network planning and design statewide, including the Potential for Everyday Biking analysis results, Bicycle Level of Comfort data consistent with Action 1-1, and streets on which biking is legally allowed.
    6-4. Expand information-gathering regarding bicycle crashes through sources other than vehicle crash reports to better understand crashes involving other bicyclists, pedestrians, solo bike crashes and near misses that are typically not reported on the standard motor vehicle crash form.
    6-5. Develop a permanent pedestrian and bicycle count program with a combination of temporary and permanent counters, and travel behavior surveys. As a first step, MassDOT will conduct a pedestrian and bicycle count pilot study to assess data collection technologies.



  • Legislation

    The 192nd legislative session was a busy one, MassBike supported a slate of bills related to electric bicycles, road safety, bike commuting, and funding for rail trails.

    Below are the state-level bills that MassBike supported during the 192nd legislative session and got passed into law this session:

    An Act relative to electric bicycles

    Filed by: Representative Dylan Fernandes (Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket) and Representative Steven Owens (29th Middlesex) // Senator Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.4676 and S.2809

    What this legislation does:

    • Defines electric bicycle and differentiates between low-speed and high-speed electric bicycles
    • Standardizes regulations for electric bicycles, with regulatory control remaining with jurisdictions, landowners, and departments (default would align electric bicycles similarly with regular bicycles, yet offroad trails will be up to individual jurisdictions)
    • Implements additional regulations for Class 3 electric bicycles


    • The e-bike definition language was passed as amendments to the Transportation Bond Bill (S.2989) to include Class 1 and Class 2 definitions for e-bikes.
    • MassBike is still advocating for a class 3 definition in the future.

    An Act relative to electric bicycle rebates

    Filed by: Representative Natalie Blais (1st Franklin)

    Bill Number (192nd Session): H.3262

    What this legislation does:

    • Establishes rebates of up to $500 for electric bicycle purchases (and up to $750 for low- and moderate-income consumers), not more than 40% of the retail price of the purchase
    • Directs the Dpt of Energy Resources (DOER) to include electric bicycles in their electric vehicle rebate program
    • Directs an evaluation for whether the rebate takes place at point-of-sale through retailers


    • The e-bike rebate language passed as an amendment to the Transportation Bond Bill (S.2989) to provide $1M in funding to direct the Dpt of Energy Resources (DOER) to evaluate offering point of sale rebates for customers ($500 for general consumers and up to $750 for low- and moderate-income consumers and not more than forty percent of retail price for the purchase of new and used electric bicycles)
    • Text of the amendment: "not less than $1,000,000 shall be expended for the department of energy resources for a fund to establish new rebates up to $500 for general consumers and up to $750 for low-income and moderate-income consumers and not more than 40 percent of retail price for the purchase of new and used electric bicycles; provided further, that the department of energy resources shall evaluate offering electric bicycle rebates at the point of sale through Massachusetts owned and operated bicycle retailers;"

    An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails

    Filed by: Representative Carmine Gentile (13th Middlesex) and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (1st Hampshire) // Senator James Eldridge (Middlesex and Worcester)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.286 and S.148 

    Governor’s Budget: Section 22 – CPA Funds for Rail Trails

    • Passed in Governor's budget on July 16, 2021

    What this legislation does:

    • Clarifies that municipalities are allowed to use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to be used for acquiring federally rail banked right of ways for the development of rail trails

    Below are the state-level bills that MassBike supports for the 192nd legislative session that are currently still moving:

    An Act to reduce traffic fatalities

    Filed by: Representative Mike Moran (18th Suffolk) and Representative William Straus (10th Bristol) // Senator William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3549 and S.2636

    What this legislation does:

    • Requires "safe passing distance" to be 3+ feet at 30MPH or more
    • Lowers the default speed limit on state highways and parkways in thickly settled areas from 30 mph to 25 mph
    • Requires state-contracted trucks to be equipped with safety side-guards, mirrors, and backup cameras (in House version with Rep Moran) to reduce fatalities of people walking and biking
    • Defines ‘vulnerable road users’ to include people walking and biking; roadside workers; people using wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, etc.
    • Develops a standardized analysis tool to be used to report crashes and incidents involving a person biking or walking


    • Reported favorably by Joint Committee on Transportation
    • Currently making its way through both changes in the informal session, we are hopeful to get it in front of the governor as soon as possible.

    An Act to protect vulnerable road users by requiring certain vehicles to be equipped with side under-ride guards and blind spot mirrors

    Filed by: Representative Daniel Hunt (13th Suffolk)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3505

    What this legislation does:

    • Requires large trucks to be equipped with safety side-guards and convex mirrors to reduce fatalities of people walking and biking


    • 11/02/2021 - H - Reported favorably by Joint Committee on Transportation
    • 11/02/2021 - H - Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means

    Below are the state-level bills that MassBike supported during the 192nd legislative session but are no longer moving:

    An Act relative to automated enforcement

    Filed by: Representative Michelle Ciccolo (15th Middlesex) for H.2426 and Representative Paul Tucker (7th Essex) for H.2532 // Senator William Brownsberger (Second Suffolk and Middlesex)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.2426 and H.2532 and S.1545

    What this legislation does:

    • Enables a municipality to determine where cameras should be placed, within certain density and safety parameters
    • Provides restrictions around use and dissemination of images in order to protect drivers’ and vehicle owners’ privacy
    • Determines a maximum penalty of $25 for each violation, which will not be counted as a criminal conviction and will not be made part of the operating record of the vehicle owner (will not add points to the owner’s license, affect insurance premiums, or result in license revocation).
    • Creates procedures for notifying the public about locations where cameras are in use

    An Act relative to commuter transit benefits

    Filed by: Representative Tommy Vitolo (15th Norfolk) // Senator John Keenan (Norfolk and Plymouth)

    Bill Numbers (192nd Session): H.3088 and S.1890

    What this legislation does:

    • Adds bicycling to the pre-tax benefits claimed for commuting, amending Section 3 of Chapter 62 of the General Laws, related to taxable income, specifically for costs related to Regional Transit Authority passes, bikeshare membership, purchasing a bicycle (including electric bicycles), repairs and upgrades, and storage.
    • Lowers the cost to write off commuter expenses to $50 (from $150)


    January 2022 - MA Bike-Friendly Bills Update with MassBike ED Galen Mook

  • Electric Bikes FAQ

    Why is this legislation needed?

    In Massachusetts, electric bicycles lack a specific vehicle classification, causing them to to fall within terms primarily aimed at combustion engine vehicles such as mopeds or scooters. These classifications that were never intended to apply e-bikes. This legal scheme creates significant confusion for consumers and retailers, and hinders the electric bicycle market. In order to clarify state law and properly regulate electric bicycles like traditional bicycles, it is critical to understand the existing legal rules that govern electric bicycles.

    What other states use the classification system in this bill?

    Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Arizona, Washington, Tennessee, Arkansas, Colorado, Utah, and California.

    Why is the top speed for Class 3 e-bikes 28 MPH?

    These rules would provide uniform product standards between the US and European markets, where bikes with a top speed of 45 kph (approximately 28mph) are classified as a “speed pedelec.”

    I have read the federal definition of an e-bike and it says that the top speed is 20MPH. How are class 3 e-bikes legal given the federal definition?

    The 20 MPH threshold applies when the e-bike is being operated “solely” under motor power. However, e-bikes are most commonly ridden under a combination of human and motor power. The federal definition does not provide a top speed for when an e-bike is being operated under combined human and motor power. The class 3 definition clarifies this ambiguity by specifying the maximum assisted speed for e-bikes at 28MPH.

    Can e-bikes be safely operated on bike paths?

    Yes. Researchers who have compared riders of e-bikes and regular bikes at the University of Tennessee observed that e-bikes riders exhibit similar safety behavior as riders of traditional bicycles. Perhaps most importantly, e-bike riders traveled at similar speeds to riders of human powered bicycles. They rode slightly faster when riding on the road (+1.8 mph), but actually slower than regular bikes riders when on bicycle paths (-1 mph).

    Why not regulate e-bikes at the federal level?

    E-bikes have been regulated federally since 2002. However, as with other consumer products, the federal regulations are limited to product safety. They do not specify where e-bikes may be ridden or what rules of the road govern their use. While the federal government can intervene in these matters in very rare situations, the rules of the road are generally a matter of state law. Other emerging technologies have followed the same path of creating new state traffic laws to address the use of these devices on our streets. This includes segways, autocycles, and commercial quadricycles.

    How can anyone tell what an e-bike is?

    E-bikes are becoming more and more difficult to distinguish from regular bicycles. The labeling requirement in the model bill is a proactive measure on behalf of the industry to ensure that law enforcement or land managers can easily tell that a bicycle is in fact an e-bike, and quickly asses which type of e-bike it is.

    Can people tamper with e-bikes?

    Like other mechanized or motorized devices, it possible that a user could tamper with an e-bike. We have inserted a tampering provision in the model bill that will place the onus on the owner to have a properly labeled bike if that were to occur. If a someone was to tamper with an e-bike and create a machine that can travel faster than any of the specified classifications of e-bikes, they would presumably be operating an unlicensed and unregistered vehicle, and would be subject to any applicable penalties.

    Does the bill regulate e-bikes off-road?

    No, it only amends the traffic laws located in the revised vehicle code. The bill will provide rules for the regulation of e-bikes on our streets and on bicycle paths. The bill does not address the use of e bike on trails.

    Who is the typical purchaser of an e-bike?

    All types of people purchase and use e-bikes, especially older, baby-boomer purchasers, parents who want to carry children as passengers and cargo, and people who prefer the purchase of an e-bike over a car.

    How many e-bike are sold each year in the U.S.?

    Approximately 260,000 e-bikes are sold annually in the U.S. However, they are the fast growing segment of the bicycle sales, with approximately 75% year over year growth.

    How much do e-bikes cost?

    Entry-level e-bikes are about $1,500.

    Why distinguish between class 1 and class 2 e-bikes in the bill if the rules are the same?

    The distinction between these two types of e-bikes provides for greater local flexibility. Some municipalities have demonstrated an interest in prohibiting throttle-powered e-bikes from certain types of infrastructure, and this bill provides the flexibility to take those measures if they are desired on a local level.

    Does the rider have to be pedaling for the e-bike's motor to be engaged?

    It depends on the type of e-bike. For Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes, the rider must be pedaling for the motor to be engaged. For Class 2 e-bikes, the motor can propel the e-bike without the rider pedaling.

    FAQ created with help from peopleforbikes.png

    Want to read even more about e-bikes? Visit peopleforbikes!

  • Electric Bikes

    The use of electric-assist bicycles (“e-bikes”) has grown rapidly over the last 5 years. Modern e-bikes often look indistinguishable from a “regular” bike but have robust batteries and technology which are capable of sensing when a rider needs a helping hand over a hill, into a headwind, or accelerating from a stop. While e-bikes have existed for years, recent advances in technology have allowed batteries to become smaller, lighter, cheaper, and longer range, enhancing the usefulness, appeal, and affordability of these machines. E-bikes appeal to many types of people but particularly for those who use them as a tool to overcome limited physical fitness, for people running everyday errands who want to carry heavier loads, and for parents transporting children. In addition, several bike share systems have begun adding e-bikes to their fleet in Pioneer Valley, in the LimeBike network, and elsewhere around the system, enhancing the appeal of bikeshare for everyday riding.

    Unfortunately, in Massachusetts the laws around motorized bicycles were written originally with mopeds and scooters in mind, before the widespread adoption of modern e-bike technology. As e-bike sales continue to climb and bike share operators seek to integrate these into their fleets, opportunity for conflict and confusion with existing laws will grow.

    Current E-Bike Law in Massachusetts

    As of August 10, 2022, the e-bike definition language was passed as amendments to the Transportation Bond Bill (S.2989) to include Class 1 and Class 2 definitions for e-bikes.

    MassBike will continue to advocate for a class 3 definition in future legislative sessions.

    The Previous Law

    Before the e-bike definition amendment passed in the Transportation Bond Bill, there was no designation with which to regulate e-bikes. However a “motorized bicycle” is defined as having a helper motor with a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which is capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per hour. Motorized bicycle riders must be licensed, and are prohibited from off-street pathways.

    The lack of similar designation for e-bike riders left ambiguity in where electric bicycles should be ridden on paths, trails, and sidewalks.

    Our Proposed Changes:

    MassBike proposed to update Massachusetts’ e-bike law to differentiate between low-speed and higher-speed electric bicycles. While regulatory control would remain with the jurisdictions, landowners, and departments, MassBike suggests low-speed electric bicycles be treated like regular bicycles, while higher-speed e-bikes would have additional safety requirements.

    The same rules of the road would apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles when it comes to speed, proper passing, following local traffic laws, obeying posted speed limits, and other state and local ordinances.

    The proposed change would be consistent with laws already passed in the majority of the country and based off Federal regulations.

    Our proposal would define an electric bicycle as a device with 2 or 3 wheels which has a saddle and fully-operative pedals for human propulsion and an electric motor having a power output of not more than 750 watts. An electric bicycle would meet one of the following three classes:

    CLASS 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    CLASS 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    CLASS 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

    Cities and towns would retain the right to restrict, regulate, or prohibit the use of e-bikes in parks, paths, and trails. MassBike recommends that in the absence of local ordinances, slower e-bikes would be allowed on paths and trails, and for off-road and "natural surface" trails would be dependent on decisions by land managers, jurisdictions, or agencies who control the land.

    The e-bike class model also allows municipalities to permit e-bikes on paths or bikeways where they are traditionally not allowed, for example, in the event that an alternative route is considered hazardous.

    These regulatory updates would also mean that:

    • E-bikes and e-bike riders would not be subject to the provisions of the code relating to financial responsibility, vehicle insurance, driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, or certificates of title.
    • Helmets would be required for riders of Class 3 e-bikes
    • Persons under 16 years would not be able to ride a Class 3 e-bike, unless as a passenger on a bike designed for that purpose.
    • All e-bike manufacturers must apply a standard label to each e-bike specifying its type and wattage.
    • Any tampering or modification of the motor would require replacement of the standard label.
    • The definitions of motorized bicycle or motor vehicle would exclude that of an electric bicycle.

    Our proposed changes are outlined in our Massachusetts E-Bike Law Info Sheet.

    Want to read more about e-bikes? Click here for our in depth FAQ.

    Status of Legislation:

    As of August 10, 2022, the e-bike definition language was passed as amendments to the Transportation Bond Bill (S.2989) to include Class 1 and Class 2 definitions for e-bikes.

    MassBike will continue to advocate for a class 3 definition in future legislative sessions.

    National Legislation

    There is a bill in the House of Representatives, Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment Act or the E-BIKE Act, which would allow a refundable tax credit for 30% of the cost of a qualified electric bicycle. You can see the full bill here: H.R. 1019 - E-Bike Act

    Tell Congress to support a consumer credit for electric bicycles:

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    Supporting MassBike with a year long membership will ensure that our statewide work will continue. The impact we have in communities across the state grows each year and with your help Massachusetts can be the number one state for bicycling.


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