Got a motorized bicycle? Stay off the Sand Creek bike path

Chad Frey
The Kansan
In light of complaints from area citizens, city officials reiterated that motorized bikes are not permitted on the bike paths.

Doug Bruggeman and his wife bought a property on North Elm in 2018, one that butts up against the Sand Creek bike and walking path. It did not take long for the couple to fall in love with that path. 

"We were impressed when we started taking trees out with how much use the bike path got," Bruggeman said. "People jogging, walking, kids and people riding bikes. We were impressed to see how well it had been done and the use it got."

But there is a problem. He's spotted motorized bicylces on the path, several times. He does not believe those belong on the Sand Creek path. 

"I have seen those motorized bicycles fly bay and almost wipe out a family with a couple of kids,"  Bruggeman said.  "... These kids are flying at 25 to 30 miles an hour and people are jumping off the path out of their way. ... Something is going to happen, and someone is going to get hurt."

He's seen minibikes, motorcycles, electric scooters and other motorized vehicles on the path. He recently told the city commission he sees two or three vehicles per day. 

He has called police several times, and police have been able to speak with motorized bicycle riders about staying away from the path. But no tickets have been written. The impression at the time was there was nothing to legally prevent motorized bicycles from using the path. 

That impression was wrong — and Bruggeman is right that those vehicles are not allowed. 

According to city attorney Chris Towle, city code prohibits the use of motorized bicycles — motorized vehicles of any kind — on the bike path. He told the city commission this week city code makes usage of motorized vehicles illegal on the path right of way, specifically. 

"It is  pretty straightforward," Towle said. "In short, it is not allowed. No motor driven cycles on that right of way area. It is an unclassified violation."

Towle said to take on the issue the city is faced with some options — educational efforts and signage on the path among them. 

"I don't know that we would cite people without a lot of education," Towle said. "But it is fair game and it is on the books."

At this time the police will not write tickets, but will talk with those using the path while on a motorized vehicle. 

"I am one for education," said mayor Richard Stinnett. "I would encourage us to get the word out and for people to help their neighbor."