Can an electric assist bicycle operate on the sidewalk in Oregon?
One of the most surprising laws in Oregon is that e-assist bicycles are banned, statewide, from being operated on the sidewalk.
E-assist bicycles, called electric assisted bicycles in the legal code, are considered bicycles under the law so long as they are limited to the specific qualifications found in ORS 801.258 (otherwise it may be considered a moped or even a motorcycle). However, the portion of ORS 814.405 that grants electric bicycles the same legal status as bicycles makes it clear that the law can specifically call them out for special restrictions.
The only law that does so in Oregon is ORS 814.410 Unlawful operation of bicycle on sidewalk. Statewide in Oregon, bicyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk expect for those places specifically prohibited (like in some downtown business districts). However, paragraph (1)(e) prohibited the operation of an electric assisted bicycle on a sidewalk anywhere in the state.
Charley Gee is a Portland personal injury attorney. He focuses his practice on representing bicyclists and pedestrians against insurance companies, corporations, and the government in the Pacific NW.
Thank you to Kara Bredahl who assisted in the research for this post.