May 5, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
Two Queens legislators held a joint press conference in Corona on Friday to announce a bill they introduced in Albany last month that would legalize the use of e-bikes and e-scooters across the state.
State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Jackson Heights) and Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) promoted the legislation they introduced April 23 that would legalize most e-bikes and e-scooters.
The pair argue that e-bikes and e-scooters are heavily used by low-wage immigrants and the bill would protect them from being fined and having their bikes unfairly confiscated. Additionally, they argue, its a cleaner method of transportation and does not add to traffic congestion.
“For many of my neighbors, who are immigrant delivery workers, using alternative modes of transportation is a matter of livelihood,’ Ramos said. “Especially since we have not yet restored everyone’s right to a driver’s license, legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters is a matter of mobility and equal access to our streets and our city.”
New York City banned e-bikes and e-scooters back in 2004. It, however, does permit pedal-assist e-bikes–where the motor kicks in after the rider pedals.
However, riders of throttle-powered e-bikes–popular among delivery workers–and e-scooters currently face $500 fines and having their bikes confiscated. The city council said it wouldn’t change the laws to allow these bikes until the state explicitly legalized them.
The new bill would legalize them by defining most e-scooters and e-bikes not as motor vehicles, but as bicycles.
E-scooters that weigh less than a hundred pounds and have a maximum speed of 20 MPH would be legal. Pedal-assist e-bikes with a top speed of 28 MPH and e-bikes that go as fast as 20 MPH without requiring pedaling would be legal.
The bill would let local authorities determine the rules and regulations governing the use of the bikes.
The bill has the backing of advocacy groups such as Transportation Alternatives, Make the Road New York, Biking Public Project, among others.
New York State is one of the few remaining states that has yet to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters, which Rozic says is holding New York back from progress.
“We are falling behind the rest of the country in adopting this next generation of sustainable mobility but we can change that by passing this legislation,” Rozic said.
Today I stood with my colleague @nily to announce the bill we have introduced to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters. For delivery workers, e-bikes are a matter of survival. We must give our immigrants equal mobility and access to our streets. #SeenIn13 #DeliveryJustice pic.twitter.com/DDjfZbOyNY
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) May 3, 2019
So when are the e-tanks coming?
Hey Jessica. Look it up. Your bill will never pass period. Anything powered by other than human means or sails is classified A motor vehicle in NYS. They do have to be insured or registered just like a car and adhere to the same MV laws as cars.
There are e scooters and e bikes here in San Jose. They are a nightmare. Many of these riders ride on the sidewalk and it can be dangerous for people walking in the streets. When they are finished with their trip the scooters will be left laying on the streets and you have to be very careful where you are walking especially if you are turning a corner. Lots of luck you will need it.
Oh no. Can’t fine people that almost mow you down because they’re going too fast, ignoring traffic lights, riding the wrong way and on sidewalks. Don’t get me started on bikes doing the same thing. Can’t walk in peace without e-bikes silently creeping up on you.
And who is giving out these fines?
Have NEVER seen anyone getting a ticket.
Ramos should be responsible for medical bills due to injuries that result from getting hit by her stupid e-bikes and e-scooters.
Guess e-tanks are next!!!
they want the city to resemble 3rd world nations. Given the drivers of these vehicles are here illegally they want to make them feel at home
There are no third-world nations with delivery guys riding e-bikes in bike lanes. Do you know what “third world” means?
Is there any reason to believe that “the drivers of these vehicles are here illegally” or you’re just afraid of brown people?
Yes I have traveled to 3rd world nations and their modes of transportation are these scooters. Where in my comment did I say 3rd nations have food delivery done on mopeds? I am not afraid of anyone. Not all of these are driven by brown people either-so why to stereotype you closeted bigot. I am afraid of my government bending over backwards to placate menaces to society and their modes of transportation. When someone you know is mowed down by one of these driven by someone from a 3rd world nation have fun paying all of the medical expenses associated with it. Elected officials do NOT CARE what happens-they want to people please those that will make them seem empathetic.
Is there any reason to believe that “the drivers of these vehicles are here illegally” or you’re just a huge bigot?
You’ve never ordered delivery food, providing an incentive for them to exist, have you? Otherwise you’d be a giant hypocrite…
A good move…finally! Jackson Heights desperately needs some control.
They should be registered w/license tags and the drivers held responsible for not parking them to block sidewalk traffic. There should be NO traveling on sidewalks or the wrong day down one-way streets.
This is insane. These “bikes” do not belong in bike lanes. Many are as large as gas fueled motorcycles. Many of the riders ignore basic traffic laws and common sense. If any legalization is appropriate, it should be as limited use motorcycles which would require licensing and insurance.
Just what this city needs – more obstacles and chances for accidents or deaths for people walking and driving!
These bikes have been around for many years now, and there havent been any fatalities/serious injuries due to those e-bike yet.
Actually I do know a person who was run over by an e-bike on the sidewalk and broke several bones in her face. The cyclist got away. So full regulation of these bikes with strict fines and enforcement would be good for public safety while still allowing delivery workers do their job.
I swear Ramos gets dumber and dumber every day. Has she ever ridden one of those e-scooters? I used to think they would do well in NYC until I rode Lime scooters in Denver. Even on their super wife and empty streets they create CHAOS! while riding those it’s impossible to signal when you turn speed up or stop. A lot of people will get hurt if they allow them on packed streets of NYC. Do your research first before promoting stupid ideas!
They should all be legal ebikes with peddles should be equal to reg bikes. Ebikes without peddles should be equal to gas powered motor scooter s an require license plates and insurance.