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Queens councilmember introduces bill to ban E-Bikes and E-Scooters

(Photo Facebook and DOT)

Council Member Robert Holden (L) has introduced legislation that would electric scooters and electric bikes (Photos: Facebook (L) and DOT (R))

Jan. 24, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

Council Member Robert Holden, who represents the Queens neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale, says that electric scooters and electric bikes are putting New Yorkers in danger and has introduced legislation that would ban them until they can be properly policed.

Holden introduced a bill last week that would repeal city regulations that allow e-bikes and e-scooters to be driven throughout the five boroughs.

The lawmaker says that some riders are ignoring traffic laws — since they are not required to have a license to ride their bikes – which is leading to crashes. In addition, he said, there have been instances where the batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters have sparked fires.

Holden wants the ban imposed until state lawmakers pass legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured.

The legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured, can only be enacted at state level since state lawmakers legalized the vehicles in the first place in 2020, Holden said. The state law gave municipalities the ability to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.

“The scourge of these devices throughout our city has led to people disregarding traffic laws resulting in injuries or death, lithium ion-based fires that killed several people and injured hundreds, and a feeling of disorder on our streets and sidewalks as well as a diminished quality of life,” Holden said.

“We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets.”

Holden’s bill, if passed, would effectively ban e-scooters and e-bikes from being operated in the city.

A $500 fine would be imposed on riders caught breaking the law.

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5 Comments

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ROSAMOND GIANUTSOS

The law is already in place: the “no-peds” (mopeds – without pedals) are not legal. So why can they be purchased without VIN and registration, just like cars. They should also have speed limiters. My Class 2 pedal-assist e-bike maxes out at 18 mph. It enables this 77 year old senior to get around the city without polluting – a car replacement that is in everyone’s interest. CM Holden’s legislation would deprive me of this opportunity. Where’s the data that show micromobility devices are causing injuries and deaths? The city’s open data shows that it’s cars and trucks that kill. We do need to refine the categories pertaining to cause of injury in our emergency rooms and crash reporting: Before we target micromobility, we need to know what kinds of devices are involved. The lithium battery fires are a serious concern: My e-bike charges on an ordinary wall plug with a $12. timer.

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SenorLIC

I don’t disagree that ebikes in particular are dangerous and out of control. But your hyperbole is the kind of frantic nonsense that does nothing to cure the problem.

NYC is the “deadliest and worst pedestrian city in the world???” That is absurd. It reminds me of the famous New Yorker cover that depicts a New Yorkers view of the world.

Pedestrian deaths are actually down from 10 years ago. They hit a nadir in 2020 due to the pandemic. But over the past five years, they have run from 94 to 125 per year. The previous five years averaged more than 150.

If we are going to have a discussion about licensing and insuring this admitted plague of motorcycles screaming down our bike lanes and sidewalks, we need to do it in an intelligent fashion.

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Sharon Katz

OMG — In the immortal words of Meg Ryan: yes, yes, yes! It is completely out of control, and NYC went from being the most pedestrian friendly City to being the deadliest and worst pedestrian city in the world. It’s like a free for all and you are the target dodging deadly rays streaming from all directions. Bikes running red lights, going the wrong way up one way streets, in and out of the bike land, all over the sidewalk — and they have gotten so bad, that the contagion has spread to motor-scooters and big, heavy motorcycles now doing it, too. I am afraid the City will never recall the e-bikes, but at least they can be licensed, insured, forced to have lights, and obey ALL rules of the road that apply to cars. Otherwise, I expect to see cars doing all of these next. There is NO surviving getting hit by one of these things, either. I have to walk everywhere, and have severe arthritis, and am terrified outside all the time. Let us know what we can do to help push this legislation and get it done!

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Merman

We absolutely need this ban. e-bikes and scooters are a nuisance and dangerous. Try riding a normal bike like a normal person and get some exercise while in the process. These morons riding the wrong way on roads and zipping up and down sidewalks is unacceptable and dangerous.

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