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Tempe passes new rules for bike and scooter riders

Post Date:08/15/2019 8:00 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. (Aug. 15, 2019) – There are new rules for operating bikes and scooters in Tempe. Here is what you need to know.

  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must use a bike lane when one is provided.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride in the street when the speed limit is 25 mph or below.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters are allowed on the sidewalk when there are no bikes lanes available and the speed limit is greater than 25 mph.
    • E-bike motors must be disengaged.
  • Minors, with the consent of, or accompanied by a parent or guardian, may ride on the sidewalk at all times. Parents and guardians may also ride on the sidewalk when accompanying a minor.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian; slow down to 5 mph; and give an audible signal before passing.
  • Riders must be over the age of 16 to operate all non-human powered vehicles (scooters and other electric mobility devices).
  • Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet if operating a human-powered or non-human-powered vehicle.

Studies continue to show that riding on the sidewalk increases a bicyclist’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.  That risk increases even more when riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic.

Tonight, the Tempe City Council voted unanimously to approve these safety measures, which included repealing Chapter 7 and expanding and amending Chapter 19. Changes will go in to effect in 30 days.

Councilmember Randy Keating initiated the City Council working group that explored the issue. Mayor Mark Mitchell and Councilmember Joel Navarro also served on the working group. 
"After months of work and public input, I am thrilled that the Council unanimously supported these new rules. We were thinking about the many community members who would benefit - pedestrians, residents walking dogs, ASU students and commuters," Keating said. "When these new rules take effect, Tempeans will be safer than they were before and that was the whole goal."

The enacted changes were designed to align with Tempe’s Vision Zero policy. Vision Zero is a traffic safety policy that takes an ethical approach towards achieving safety for all road users. The goal is to achieve a reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes to zero in Tempe, because no loss of life is acceptable.

To view the full ordinance, please visit For more information about Vision Zero, please visit


Media Contact: TaiAnna Yee
Public Information Officer, Transportation

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