To E or not to E.

Electric bicycles and electric assist bicycles are apparently banned in New York City but you’d never know it by the amount of them whipping by you on the sidewalk with a rush order of hot wings.

I know New Yorkers feel threatened by these vehicles, who seem to want their cake and eat it too…literally. They want instant food delivery to their doorstep and somehow want it to be courteous and unencumbered in the fastest paced city in America, where everyone in multitasking on their smart phone. The geniuses from Stanford are constantly coming up with ways to streamline delivery with apps like Seamless and Grubhub and until Spock develops the teleporter…the food has to get there by human beings.

Sure. I’m annoyed by these pseudo scooters zipping by at 30mph the wrong way in the bike lane-giving us urban riders a bad name. Their bad biking behavior comes down to operator control or common sense street rules such as don’t ride on the sidewalk, unless no one is around…no matter how badly your tip will reflect by forgetting the free soda or the dumplings.

But banned? I think e-bikes are a better alternative than carbon polluting motorcycles or scooters. They also have reduced bike theft since food delivery used to be the number one recipient of your recently stolen beater.

And what about those people who just like a little help pedaling on their commute and occasionally want to kick in the motor? New riders who want an electric assist bike to encourage them to ride more?

Like most things in NYC, I think there’s a place for it, like a wholesale area or a Red Light district, where things can be regulated by the city. Why can’t these motorized bikes be registered as work vehicles, leaving out the e-assist bikes of newbie enthusiasts. Distinctions need to be made. Besides, if they’re banned-why are they still here?

Here is more about this legality delemna Tree Hugger.

E-bikes in NYC: How not to solve a problem

By: David Bergman
February 25th, 2014

In the past few years, under the auspices of former transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC has taken great strides in promoting “alternative” means of transportation. Bicycling is moving into the mainstream, courtesy of expanded bike lanes and Citibikes. Pedestrian safety is improving through street and intersection design improvements. Buses are actually becoming a viable means of getting around with the implementation of NYC’s version of
bus rapid transit, Select Bus Service.

Read more: here.

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