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E-bikes Likely to be Banned From City Streets

May 2, 2013 By Christian Murray

Those e-bikes and scooters that go screeching down the sidewalks and streets are most likely going to be banned.

The city council passed a bill last Thursday that would take all of them off the streets.

The bill would also impose penalties on businesses—such as Chinese take-out restaurants–that have e-bikes on their premises. The bill, which awaits the mayor’s signature, would fine businesses $100 for a first offense and $250 thereafter. Mayor Bloomberg is likely expected to sign it.

In addition, the legislation would hold business owners responsible for any penalties incurred by employees caught using e-bikes while making deliveries.

The so-called “e-bikes” have long been outlawed on city streets but cops couldn’t issue a citation unless they could prove the rider was exceeding 15 mph.

The bill prohibits all e-bikes regardless of their speed, as well as motorized scooters that are not able to be registered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Local residents have often complained about e-bike riders at police precinct meetings, noting their high speeds.

“They are a danger to New Yorkers because they are significantly faster and heavier than regular bikes,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in a statement.

Meanwhile, a series of new rules went into effect last week that regulate delivery cyclists.

Under the new rules, business owners must provide their delivery people with helmets, lights and retro-reflective vests; proper identification showing their business names; and post signs on their premises explaining their legal obligations.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer sponsored the bill after hearing from residents that delivery people had almost run them over at night.

Don McCallian, president of the United 40s Civic Association, said in a statement: “Over time this law will save lives and help deter injuries not only to delivery bikers but also to pedestrians, automobile drivers and their occupants. “

The Department of Transportation said that the city will begin monitoring and enforcing the new bicycle delivery rules, which include fines ranging from $100 to $250 for businesses found to be in non-compliance.

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JJ Joseph

” . . .screeching down the sidewalks. . .”??

C’mon – these ebikes top out at about 15mph. That’s bicycle speed. But maybe the answer is to encourage everybody to drive cars. It’s much easier for the cops to manage citizens in cars instead of citizens doing the low-energy thing.

Richard M.

Does this apply to non-commercial use as well?
Just because THESE cyclists are IDIOTS does not mean everyone who has an e-bike is an idiot. Also does this apply to PEDAL ASSIST cycles or the conversion kits which take your existing bicycle and add the ability to use electricity?


Why is the owner of this store keeping open motor oil bottles on the sidewalk? Is he going to clean the sidewalk? We need State RCRA inspectors here to look into this.


Nanny state. Fine them on sidewalks – but when they’re in the street or in the bike lane they help make our air cleaner.

Rick Duro

OM=OCD. It’s time to discover the world outside of your computer screen! There’s a park just across the street, though I don’t think you’ve been in it in decades! Perhaps walking around the park, or playing soccer/volleyball/softball will help you with your OCD traits?

While I am very glad that the use of these bikes is being dealt with, I don’t believe they should be banned. They are a great/cheap alternative to cars.

But, they don’t belong on sidewalks. I see it several times each day, with the Golden (We got a B grade) Wok the worst offender of the bunch. Very dangerous and selfish.



It is NEWS when it happens. An article reporting that something is “likely” to happen is pretty lame, but I guess there’s nothing else going on.

Annie D

I’ve yelled at at least three of these jerks speeding up or down the SIDEWALK on 46th Street. You’re not even supposed to ride regular pedal bikes on the sidewalk in NYC. Reckless and unsafe – good call, City Council!


JVB has worked very hard for for our neigherhood. He s a really nice man and works very hard. All I hav to say is god bless him and keep up the good work. Just wish we could catch the scum that killed Lou.

Clive Hamilton

It’s great that Van Bramer sponsored this bill but I think we, even the oldest most conservative of his constituents, cares more about a living wage for New Yorkers, paid sick leave, and affordable housing. We would like to know if he would sponsor those bills. Hell would he introduce them and not just sponsor them? Let’s get some action that really matters from Van Bramer.


Now if we can only do something about these jerks on their motorcycles racing at 3-4 am on Sundays.

Sunnyside Native

Can we get some of these loud, really annoying scooters to buzz past Oppressed Masses Mommy’s home? Oppressed Masses lives in her basement apartment and he loves street traffic noise. Thanks!

Oppressed Masses

Oh happy day! It’s satisfying to see that public officials are dealing with the two biggest scourges in Sunnyside: dog poop on our sidewalks and dangerous ebikes. Together, the Rick the Wonder Dog poster campaign and banning ebikes will vastly improve safety on our sidewalks both at ground level and waist level. It’s a great day to be a Sunnysider!


Those bikes are actually kinda cool. It’s a pity that a few reckless delivery men had to ruin it for everybody.


The Chinese delivery guy will now use a skateboard to deliver food. Radical!


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