City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Q. Do you know what the law is regarding motorized bicycles? Do you have to have motorcycle endorsement to ride one? Are they legal to ride on the street? Thank you.

Dear Juneau Resident,

State law defines 'Motorcycle' as 'having an engine with more than 50 cubic centimeters of displacement' so unless this bicycle can flat get up and scoot with a BIG engine, you don't need a motorcycle endorsement. Pardon the mental picture of someone wearing a bicycle helmet and goggles, cheeks flapping in the g-force wind...having put such an engine on a bicycle. Not a good idea from a safety or engineering standpoint.

An electric bicycle, with a engine that is a reasonable size for a bike, is going to have to stay out of areas that are posted 'No Motorized Vehicles', like the bike paths. All bicycles operated in the street, including electric bikes, have to be operated under the same rules of the road that apply to cars. This includes stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, that kind of thing.

Common sense must prevail if you are considering giving your child an electric bike for Christmas. If that is the case spend some time considering if there is really a convenient, legal, and safe place for a child of that age to ride.


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