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New Signs Posted for the City of Irvine E-Bike Ordinance

New signs detail City of Irvine e-bike regulations.

You may notice some new signs as you hit the trails in the City of Irvine Open Space Preserve in the new year. These signs posted at trailheads and entry points detail the latest updates to the City of Irvine Municipal Code 3-4-128, which disallows the operation of e-bikes in the open space area. City Council Ordinance No. 23-17 states, “Unless specifically authorized, no person shall drive or propel any automobile, truck, dune buggy, electric bike, motorcycle, motor scooter, ATV, or any other motor-powered vehicle within the open space area.” Here is some more information on what this means for you.

The City of Irvine is the first to have a specific sign pointing to the e-bikes ordinance. It states that e-bikes are prohibited from all open space areas, including equestrian, hiking, or recreational trails. That means if you have an electric bike, you cannot take it out in the open space in the City of Irvine. Non-motorized mountain biking is still allowed. To ensure safety and compliance, the Irvine Police Department will strictly enforce this ordinance, and citations will be imposed for non-compliance.

New signs detail City of Irvine e-bike regulations.
New signs detail City of Irvine e-bike regulations.

This ruling was enacted in July 2023 and is based on several factors. The City of Irvine Open Space Preserve is part of the Natural Community Conservation Plan, which has regulations and protections on what the land can be used for, prohibiting motorized recreation in protected habitats. The California Vehicle Code states that bicycles with a motor (even electric with pedal assist) are considered motorized and prohibited on equestrian, hiking, or recreational trails. Additionally, e-bikes pose safety concerns to trail users and wildfire risks in Orange County’s urban wildlands, as some electric bikes have combusted when on trails. Furthermore, e-bikes can also cause damage to the trails and may increase collisions with non-motorized recreationists, resulting in conflicts and potential injuries.

For more information on this Ordinance, please visit cityofirvine.org. Irvine Ranch Conservancy is grateful to work with its landowning partners to support their mission of restoring, protecting, and enhancing the land.