E-Biking In The Big Apple

E-BIKES IN THE BIG APPLE

NYC Mayor favors Class 1 only

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out at a news conference about his thought that throttle e-bikes should still be banned in NYC. When asked whether statistics show throttle e-bikes—favored by many food delivery workers in Manhattan—create a bigger safety risk than pedal-assist bikes, he said, “I keep coming back with something that is, bluntly, in my view, better than data. It is common sense,” the New York Post quoted de Blasio. “I have seen them with my own eyes, as have so many people I’ve talked to all over the city.”

New York Governor Cuomo vetoed legislation that would have given all classes of e-bikes, including those with throttle control, the same rights of the road as traditional bicycles throughout the state. Only pedal-assist bikes are allowed in the city. Governor Cuomo tweeted after his veto that his e-bike bill will not be a choice “between legalizing e-bikes and safety, and I will propose a bill that does both.”

When Cuomo announced the veto, citing an absence of a helmet and other safety requirements, he said he would propose a new bill. After the state legislature passed the e-bike and e-scooter bill in the summer, Cuomo noted safety concerns with food delivery workers using throttle-control e-bikes.

De Blasio began an initiative in 2014 to curb dangerous driving, which included e-bike riders. Throttle-activated e-bike riders can be fined as much as $500 and can have their bikes seized. “They go on sidewalks; they go the wrong way down the street; they go too fast,” de Blasio said of delivery riders.


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