Friday, October 20, 2017

Mayor vows to crack down on e-bikes

Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will crack down on businesses who allow their employees to use e-bikes for deliveries.

Here's part of the official announcement:

“E-bikes are illegal to operate in New York City and the NYPD is stepping up enforcement,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable. That’s why instead of merely targeting riders, we’re going after businesses that look the other way and leave their workers to shoulder the fine.”

E-bikes are illegal to operate on New York City streets. According to the City Administrative Code, an “e-bike” constitutes a “motorized scooter” and “no person shall operate a motorized scooter in the City of New York.” So far this year, the NYPD has seized 923 e-bikes compared to the 341 it confiscated this time last year, an increase of more than 170 percent. Nearly 1,800 civil and moving summonses have been issued to e-bike operators year-to-date.

Businesses that enable e-bike use and turn a blind eye to employees who operate them are also at fault. City law states that “a business using a bicycle for commercial purposes shall not possess any motorized scooter and shall not permit any person to operate a motorized scooter on behalf of such business.”

Beginning in 2018, the NYPD will issue a new department directive and provide officers with the necessary forms and training to execute civil enforcement against businesses much more efficiently by allowing officers to issue civil summonses to businesses through the mail. While the NYPD will continue confiscating e-bikes and issuing summonses to riders — particularly those riding in a hazardous manner — officers will step up enforcement activity against businesses that too often put their employees in a position to break the law.

Currently, riders caught operating an e-bike are subject to a civil summons, confiscation and fines of up to $500. Beginning next year, businesses that utilize e-bikes or allow employees to operate them will receive a civil summons and a $100 fine for a first offenses and a $200 fine for each subsequent offense.

Jay Cai, the owner of Banhmigos restaurant in Brooklyn, told The Wall Street Journal that e-bikes are valuable "because of the increased and heavy traffic in New York and lack of parking spots." He said on average he gets 25 delivery orders an hour for a profit of $30,000 a month. Without an e-bike, he claimed that would drop by 50 percent.

Customers would be upset if they had to wait longer for deliveries, and “they’re not going to order again,” Mr. Cai said. “We’re not going to survive.”


Anonymous said...

Zero reason to be cracking down on ebikes, they're no worse then any other bikers (who as a group are terrible and follow no traffic laws).

NYC is built around delivery services, ebikes are much better then having cars do that job.

errg said...

This is absurd. Cars kill hundreds of people every year in New York, (229 in 2016, including 144 pedestrians) and we're cracking down on e-bikes?

If he wants to regulate them more closely fine, but they're better than more cars on the road.

afbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ebikes are dangerous because they are virtually silent and travel twice the speed of a standed bike. Delivery guys are know to blow through red lights, go down the up bike lane to get deliveries done as fast as possible, the "silent but deadly" bikes add another level of trepidation to being a pedestrian.

The city is well within its rights to regulate modes of transport in the city.

xootrman said...

Btw electric skateboards are also not legal either on the sidewalk or road.

Anonymous said...

Well first let's realize they are already illegal in NYC. This is just a crack down. I wouldn't mind if they were regulated and given a license like a motorcycle...this way they are held accountable for violations. Most of the time these bikes are homemade and dangerous. That being said. There are so many other things to worry about...

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Bikes are not the problem here, cars are.
But car owners are rich, unlike the bike people.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they issue a new license for these vehicles and drivers
and then treat them like motorcycle and not bicycle

cmarrtyy said...

What took Mayor Bill so long to talk ebikes!? This should be an essential part of his Vision Zero initiative. And the crack down should include front and rear lights, insurance and tkts to the restaurant they deliver for. The longer it takes to control ebikes the more lives are threatened everyday.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:13 Actually people seem to be the main problem - people that ride ebikes (or any bike) the wrong way down one way streets, on sidewalks, through the park.

Anonymous said...

e-bikes should be forced to operate as a vehicle not a bicycle. Enforce like they are motorcycles, which to be pedantic they are. If the generic delivery rider wants to bootleg a block and go the wrong direction before locking up as long as it's under their own power and they don't negatively impact pedestrians I personally have no problem. If the cops want, give them a ticket.

The e-bikes are motorized so no running red lights when the street is empty, no bike lanes, no wrong way, no sidewalk. That crackdown is overdue.

(this being an evgrieve comment thread I'm expecting more BIKES ARE HITLER tangents)

Anonymous said...

Pre-election bullshit from this empty suit. This is at least the fourth 'crackdown' in the last two years. If he and the other worthless beaurocrats were serious they would be licensing and ticketing all of the bicyclists who are the true menace to our health and safety

Anonymous said...

About time. The proliferation of these illegal motorized bicycles has got to stop. It never used to be so many. Delivery guys on regular bikes can be dangerous enough with disregard for theirs & others safety in a quest to make a living. Many are probably not making even minimum wage. Prices for delivery probably should be higher. Im glad the city realizes it needs to target the businesses too. Need your delivery faster? Order from a place closer to home. Nothing closer? Then cook it yourself. If you want regular bikers to obey all the laws, pedestrians should as well.

Shawn said...

So long as you are pedaling, the NYPD will not stop you on your e-bike.

They're not illegal to own, just use, which shows you just how ridiculous the laws are. Additionally, Federal Law allows for e-bikes so long as they are governed to 20MPH, and trust me, there are people in NYC who pedal a lot faster than that. So its not a speed issue.

This is a huge waste or resources and priorities. Citibikes are far worse offenders of traffic rules, riding on sidewalks, and going the wrong way.

Ma and pa small business need all the HELP they can get, not being punished for a problem that doesn't exist!

Anonymous said...

I almost got knocked down by a regular peddle Bicyclist going the wrong way on Broadway and 10th Street. Speaking of Broadway and 10th Street--several weeks ago I wrote asking our council person, Ms. Mendez if, before she retires to greener ($$$$) pastures, she could get the Cooper Sq Post Office to post the hours of collection on the postal box at Broadway and 10th Street. Typical of Ms. Mendez' constituent services, nothing has happened.

Anonymous said...

How about deliveries on regular bikes? Remember that? Ebikes are faster but not having them isn't going to kill profits by 50%. Ebikes more than regular bikes are breaking the speed limit. Delivery guys have a very hard job, but ebikes aren't the way to go- unless you want to license all motorized bikes and scooters.

Anonymous said...

Can we make "citizen's arrests" on these "lawbreakers"? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

@2:10 PM -
> Can we make "citizen's arrests" on these "lawbreakers"?

No. You can take pictures but you can't physically detain. Ask any cop. And if you're feeling like punching out guys doing food delivery then New York City probably isn't for you.

Anonymous said...

As a cyclist who's regularly buzzbombed by ebiking delivery drivers while I'm beetling down the bike lane, I have to say: this is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard. They're annoying, and occasionally a little frightening. Big fucking whoop. How is this worth wasting NYPD's time over? Election year bullshit.

Mayor, focus on saving CHARAS, improving and desegregating our schools and building more actually affordable housing. Stay in your lane (and if you want to do something about Cuomo's destruction of the MTA, build more bike lanes, expand Citibike and crack down on shithead motorists).

afbp said...

difficult (understand a restaurant wanting to maximize)
we live in stuyvesant town
have proliferated beyond logic and are very difficult to evade (very quiet)
are illegal

ps why are we discussing motorcycles/scooters/bikes/citibikes/cars?
pps can we (for OGT comment on the subject)
pps if not then---why did we elect a schmuck for president? why are restaurants charging $30.00 for a $2.00 chicken? why is there so much garbage on our streets?

ov said...

seems like another way to unfairly target already struggling populations.
the rise of ebikes is linked to the rise of small business and PoC labor collectives.
ebikes also represent an unregulated form of motor transportation, i am not surprised by this initiative, but i am surprised by how blatantly it targets small business and poc collectives.

chris flash said...

The Ninth Precinct post bragging about their theft of dozens of e-bikes from people and businesses who can least afford to lose them is pretty fucking disgusting -- are they REALLY proud of this? WHOTHEFUCK was served by this? Certainly not members of our community!!

Keep in mind that if they confiscate e-bikes today, they will do the same to pedal-powered bikes tomorrow.....

Anonymous said...

Every new pronouncement from De Blasio has me humming "It's beginning to sound a lot like Election Year" (to the tune of "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas").

Anonymous said...

@Shawn Chittle: So to help out mom & pop businesses, I need to have my life and health be at risk from electric bikes?

When I get food delivery, I get it only from businesses that use either a car OR a regular bike (and yeah, I *do* actually check that!).

I don't believe that mom & pop businesses are threatened by the use of a regular bike for deliveries; I just don't.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, electric bikes and powered skate boards are illegal in NYC. You know what else is illegal in NYC? Smoking pot on the front stoop next door to me. I don't see genuine interest on the part of NYC to actually regulate ANY of those items.

Anonymous said...

These motorized bikes are dangerous. You have to have a license to operate a Vespa. Why should you haven't have a license to drive one of these things? It's crazy how fast they zip up First Avenue in the bike lane.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop pretending bikes aren't dangerous. A neighbor had teeth knocked out after she was hit by a cyclist a few months ago. Michael Musto was injured when he was hit by a cyclist and had to have surgery on his leg. I was in the deli with a guy the other day who also wound up in the hospital after being hit by a bike. I saw two separate incidents this summer in the bike lane--both times one cyclist crashed into another, and they were both going the the same. The person behind in both cases wasn't paying attention. People are getting hurt by cyclists. It's a problem. Cars are a problem, too. But we can't act like bicyclists aren't hurting people. There are way more bikes in the city now and the bike lanes seem to encourage people to ride faster. I don't know what the solution is. But this ridiculous back and forth about what's worse--bikes or cars--isn't productive. They are both hurting people and both need to be dealt with.

JQ LLC said...

This is base covering pandering by the dispicable mayor to make him look like he's still an enforcer despite his fuaxgressive stands. He must have felt some heat after his embarrassing debate with Nicole and Bo and is trying to sway poach some republican votes (you can add his dismissal of helping refugees from Puerto Rico with housing)

The NYPD priorities continue to be screwy. They only go after the easy prey. It's frustrating and embarrassing to watch. In fact, I seen cops waiting by the locked bikes for it's rider to come out after making a delivery.

There have been crackdowns and sweeps before and it's led to more ebike/motorcycle usage. There might be thousands of them out there. And it's not your mom and pop stores, these are being used and encouraged by app delivery services with million dollar investments. Most notably the new postmates and our good caring friends at Amazon. Maxdelivery has a huge fleet of them and they go up to 30 mph and cops "inspect" that place constantly. I found this out when I went there to complain about one of their bikers who blazed by and nearly hit me.

These ebikes, oops, motorcycles need to be licensed. These bikes go too fast and their users know it, and can get very territorial. Some of them don't even know how to control the speed they're traveling, they are always stopping short.

We will see what happens in 2018, but don't expect anything to change, there are way too many out there, and the market is too big right now with so many lazy hipshits and their lack of domestic skills with the proliferation of towers containing them.

I don't think they should take the bikes away, just take the motor, the cartridge comes right off the bike. A lot of these delivery guys are young and they can manage, they don't pedal that far, the majority of their deliveries aren't that far.

If anything should be yanked from real scofflaws, it's the motorized skateboards. I don't know who invented this thing, but there is no business for these things to be used in public, especially on the busy city streets and in the bike lanes. (I still am trying to figure out when did it become cool for 30 year olds to commute with regular skateboards). These toys go about 25 to 30 mph. They really have no purpose except show how lazy, arrogant, and idiotic the user is. Same with these single wheel devices that they stand on too. But the inevitable will happen when one of these dorks gets plowed under a truck and killed and then the NYPD will take action and go on a confiscation spree.

Ebikes/motorcycles and even power scooters, which I also abhor, at least have handles and bars to hold on to and steer. These spazzes just stand there with nothing to grab if they need to stop suddenly. Well they are holding a remote, which actually makes it worse.

These restaurants knew what they were getting into and didn't give a shit about the public. Don't believe for one minute that their business will suffer if these motor bikes are off the street, before their workers were riding mountain bikes, a lot still do.

If these guys can't ride without motors, they should just go the blink and practice on a gym bike every weekend to build up stamina.

Anonymous said...

I love these threads

Bikers scare me!

Cars kill people!

Eradicate racism and sexism and smash the patriarchy first!

First they came for the scooters ...

DeBlasio SUCKS!


blue glass said...

cars and bikes (electric or not) arw all a danger to pedestrians (and other drivers).
drivers must be licensed and have insurance. they most often obey traffic laws. they go in the right direction and stayi off sidewalks. they have horns and lights.they get tickets.

biker think they are in the wild wild west and take great pleasure in going in all directions, in all lanes, at all speeds, regardless of traffic laws or common sense or decency.
i'd wager that more pedestrians are hit by bikes than by cars.
and don't forget skate boards, scooters, and whatever inventions of mankind that move along our streets AND sidewalks.

this is not to defend cars. there are just too many of everything..

Anonymous said...

Well said. I ride a normal bike every day and ebikes are a problem. Because of their speed they pass regular bikes in bike lanes at a much greater speed causing alarm and many near accidents. Good riddance as far as I’m concerned

Anonymous said...

Federal law on thus type of issue would not supercede local regulations if such law exists which I seriously doubt.

Anonymous said...

@6:18 smoking weed has been decriminalized in nyc by the mayor. Why are ebikes and eskateboards illegal to use in nyc , but you can buy and sell them? What about those two wheeled segways why are those legal? Not defending the crazy ebike riders who ride around crazy, just curious about why some things are legal and others are not.

JQ LLC said...

What about those two wheeled segways why are those legal?

Those things are illegal, but rich shithead tech brahs use them and are willing to spend 3000 to live in a 400 sq ft apt. so the cops let em slide because they and their frivolous spending habits are the backbone of this city's economy and real estate market.

Like I wrote, enforcement will not happen unless someone dies first.

Anonymous said...

I guess we don't dare mention "aggressive" policing if we want to crack down on ebikes or regular bikes that don't follow the traffic rules. I'm for having roving groups of police stationed in various places to hand out summons to violators of the traffic rules (and that means peddle bikes must go with the flow of traffic and must stop at the lights--even if they are in a bike lane). I guess we can't expect anything except verbiage from our do nothing mayor who will coast to a second term within weeks and then be an absent mayor as he pursues his dream of becoming a national figure.

Catze said...

my dog and i were struck outside our home last year by an e-bike. i didnt hear it even coming, what with the noise from cars, and restaurants. the idiot riding it thought he would somehow slip silently between me and my dog, while somehow forgetting dogs had leashes, and snatched us both down. this has also happened to the school kids in the area, going to or from school one of these quiet, fast bikes would flick them down, and both the embarrassed kid, and rider went their separate ways,
i am never usually one to complain or even notice alot of these things, at first they seemed pretty cool, but living in a neighborhood which has loads of restaurants, constantly pulling people back on the sidewalk, (when we have the light) and even against buildings in order to get out of their way, its about time some change is bought to how these things are operated. they are silent, and quick as all hell, and appear like a fly in the corner of your eye. they speed around cars and through pedestrians when people are crossing streets, my mother (who's disabled) was getting off a bus when a delivery man sped past on the sidewalk, and ran into the ramp of the bus, and got into an argument with the driver. something has to be done, but the cheapness of the bike (you can buy one at the world mall in flushing for a little over a hundred bucks) makes these crack downs a bit pointless.

Anonymous said...

E-bikes are pretty much silent, they are an extreme hazard to deaf people -
and if it is going to be a motor bike, then there should be
some sort of insurance, motor vehicle test, license, etc.

It is enough as it is with bikes going and coming at people from
every direction.

Anonymous said...

@2:54pm: If you think it's bad for deaf people (who aren't hearing cars or horns or sirens in the first place), it's even worse for non-deaf people b/c most of us who are lucky enough to have our hearing count on HEARING a car or bus or truck at a distance. Electric bikes (like electric cars) are a major hazard for EVERYONE.

I don't miss Giuliani as mayor, but I wish to hell we could get a mayor with enough balls to actually ENFORCE things like a ban on e-bikes and e-skateboards. But I guess this is what happens when the techies take over with their slogan being "run fast and break things" - and I guess we other humans are just "things" to them.

Anonymous said...

Federal law leaves all licensing and road laws, etc., up to the states. They are illegal to operate on the road in NY State. So de Blasio wants plaudits for enforcing a state law, which he's sworn to do anyway. He's a horse's ass.

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with the E-Bikes are the reckless drivers who constantly ride against traffic in already tight bike lanes, run red lights, and who cut off pedestrians who have the right of way by law. The bikes themselves aren't the problem.. it's the imbeciles who pilot them.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal:

The bike lanes are meant for BIKES, not motorized scooters or their wannabes called "ebikes."

The most effective way to crack down on the ebike is simple:

Hit every restaurant offering delivery and see if they use an ebike. If they use one, tell them not to use one and if they do fine them $5000. That'll end ebike deliveries.

As for individuals using them without a license, confiscate the ebike and fine them $1000. That'll end ebike use by unlicensed individuals.

As for individuals using them with a license in the bike lane, fine them $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1000 with confiscation for the third. That'll end illegal ebike use by licensed individuals.