Letters to the Editor

The time has come to reel in electric bike concerns

Electric bikes have become the “new” and “cool” thing to ride. As this has happened, and more people rent, own, and ride electric bikes, many beach communities have been experiencing issues concerning safety. We have all seen it at one time or another where someone on an electric bike speeds carelessly along weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic on the boardwalk.

About a year ago, Manhattan Beach took some steps to promote safety. They tried educating the public about electric bike safety through social media. When that wasn’t enough, they began enforcing the rules. Under their city ordinance, only bikes that are propelled by human power are allowed on the bike path. Electric bikes are allowed on the bike path, but people have to pedal and cannot use the electric power.

Earlier this year, after evaluating the concerns and complaints of residents regarding the speed of electric bicyclists and offering educational opportunities, San Clemente’s city council enacted a ban prohibiting electric bikes from beaches and beach trails within the city limits.

What about Newport Beach? What is our city doing about this? It appears not enough. Newport seems to be focused on education. Ambassadors have been hired to walk along the boardwalk and inform bicyclists who are speeding to slow down. But people only reduce speed until they are out of sight!

I know at city council meetings in the past, discussions around placing speed bumps were brought up as a possible solution. But this isn’t enough. As residents of the city have said before, and I will say again, we need rules around electric bikes and enforcement of these rules. Otherwise, I feel there will come a day – probably sooner than later – where someone will be seriously injured or even killed and the city of Newport Beach will end up all over the news for not properly responding to the numerous concerns of local residents over the years regarding this issue.

Electric bikes are becoming very common. Police need to handle the problem with enforcement of the rules that exist. If this is not possible, then I do believe and support a decision to ban electric bikes from the boardwalk and to implement similar restrictions like those that are now in place in Manhattan Beach and in San Clemente.

Manju Lal

Newport Beach

Bring back Coco’s

I was not too surprised to read that Fig and Olive is closing down. 

As a longtime resident of Corona del Mar, I would love to see a return of the very popular Coco’s restaurant that originally was in that location. I realize it might not fit the “image” of Fashion Island/Newport Center, but I can guarantee it will be busy!!!

Karen Carlson

Corona del Mar