Alaska and Anchorage Bicycle Laws 101 – Addendum Non-Human Powered Bikes

Alaska and Anchorage Bicycle Laws 101 – Addendum Non-Human Powered Bikes

 

List originally compiled by Christopher Souser June 2012 in response to public queries, updated February 2014.

Summary:

  • Motorized (even under 50CC) and Electrically powered or assisted bicycles, or simply non-100% non-human powered bicycles, are not bicycles under Alaska law and are considers “scooters” requiring at least an M2 Class license by the operator and may not be operated on sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, or off of streets or roadways.
    • Exceptions: Those specifically outlined are those such as “assistive technology” such as wheelchairs and other specific assistive devices designed specifically to assist persons with disabilities.
    • Exceptions: Those defined as “electric personal motor vehicle” that is a self-balancing  non-tandem wheeled device designed to carry one individual at less than 15 mph.  This is specifically written to support “Segway” style devices.
      • Not legal on all Municipality of Anchorage paved trails or sidewalks.
      • The current understanding is these are also not legal on Anchorage non-paved trails,  BLM land, or in any Alaska State Parks; we are clarifying.

Important Bullets:

  • Gas Assisted Bicycles / Non-100% Human Powered bicycles (even under 50cc) are classified as Motor Driven Cycles (or Scooters) under Alaska law.
  • Their registration, and as a motor-driven cycle in the state of Alaska and equipped with all required safety equipment, and the operator has to be licensed with a motorcycle (M1)  or motor-driven cycle (M2) license.
  • As to qualify under bicycle laws you must be entirely human powered and otherwise be registered as a motorcycle.
  • Operating a non-human powered vehicle on city bike trails, bike lanes, side walks, and off of streets or road ways can also result in fines and/or confiscation of the motor-driven cycle depending on the particular local ordinance.
  • The Municipality of Anchorage is one of those that will impound under “9.40.170  Unlawful operation; impoundment as public nuisance.” for doing so.
  • 28.90.990 defines
    • “motor-driven cycle” means a motorcycle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle, or similar conveyance with a motor attached and having an engine with 50 or less cubic centimeters of displacement;
    • “electric personal motor vehicle” means an electric personal assistive mobility device that is a self-balancing vehicle with two nontandem wheels, designed to transport only one person, has an electric propulsion system, and has a maximum speed of not more than 15 miles an hour;”