MCBC's Statement on Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway Fatality MCBC’s E-Bike Statement

Tragic Fatality Another Reminder to Ride Safely

The staff and board at Marin County Bicycle Coalition were saddened to learn of the death of James Charles Gordon, a Sausalito resident who was walking on the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway, struck by a person riding an e-bike, and killed. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Gordon’s loved ones.

The Sheriff’s office has thus far released little about the crash. We do not know the age of the rider, the type of e-bike, or the circumstances surrounding the incident. Yet, what we do know is that this death was likely preventable.

While we understand that the vast majority of fatal pedestrian crashes involve people struck by automobiles, and that incidents like this are a relative rarity, MCBC takes these tragedies seriously. We strive for a transportation system where everyone can get where they need to go safely. In most cases, this involves the development of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure fully separated from vehicular traffic. But on shared use paths like the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway, people walking are more vulnerable than bicyclists and should be treated accordingly. While most cyclists travel at a safe speed and pass pedestrians with care, we know that this behavior is not universal. Unless and until all riders follow the rules and slow down when they come across another community member enjoying the path, this is unlikely to be the last tragedy in our community.

Electric bikes are at the forefront of our necessary transition away from gas-powered cars. Yet as more people replace car trips with e-bikes, there is a valid and growing concern about the safety of those who share our multi-use paths. There is special concern around younger community members who may not know the rules of the road. Every day, MCBC receives emails and calls from people worried about unsafe behavior by teens on e-bikes.

The fact that people of all ages are foregoing cars for e-bikes is a net good for our planet and our community, but let’s take this time to stop and consider our behavior.

Parents, please consider the power you are placing in your teen’s hands: do they understand the rules of the road? Can they be trusted to respect the safety of those around them? Just as drivers need to be courteous and safe while traveling around bicyclists and pedestrians, adult riders (especially those on e-bikes) must set an example for how to safely ride around people walking.

In October, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, in partnership with Marin County and our Safe Routes to Schools staff, will be starting a new program called E-bike Smart Marin. The program will offer safety education for teens riding e-bikes as well as safety and encouragement programs for older adults and elected officials. Though a good start, this program will only be successful if we all work together to treat each other with respect and civility.

If you’d like information about E-Bike Smart Marin, please email us at

Tarrell Kullaway

Executive Director
Marin County Bicycle Coalition

E-bike Statement


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