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NYC must curb e-bikes or more will die like Lisa Banes

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NYC should curb e-bikes or extra will die like Lisa Banes

I might’ve been Lisa Banes.

Just like the “Gone Lady” actress, who died this week from traumatic mind accidents sustained in a June 4 hit-and-run scooter accident, I used to be mowed down in Manhattan by an e-bike that got here — silently — out of nowhere and left me for useless.

Listening to about Banes’ tragic, unfair passing introduced all of it again for me. And now I need to know: What number of extra mindless accidents, accidents and deaths must happen earlier than we lastly get these menaces off our streets?

It’s been almost two years since my hit-and-run. I used to be crossing Sixth Avenue and thirty seventh avenue on a gleaming Sunday in July when a Postmates supply driver got here roaring within the mistaken path down the one-way avenue, on the other aspect from the bike lane, and crashed into me.

It occurred so quick, I wasn’t certain if I used to be alive or useless. He instantly sped off, dropping the bubble tea order from Gong Cha.

He will need to have been flying. The affect was catastrophic, and he solely began out lower than a block away.

Coated in blood, I crawled across the avenue, attempting in useless to collect my knocked-out tooth. A vacationer from North Carolina would later publish on Fb about his journey to New York, and the way he noticed a motorbike hit a lady who afterwards regarded like a “hockey participant after taking a puck to the mouth.”

The accident price me six high tooth and broken 11 others. It decimated my jaw and left me with an in depth nostril fracture and everlasting bone loss. I’ve had 5 surgical procedures. I had a horrible response to antibiotics after my first surgical procedure, breaking out in hives over each inch of my physique, in order that even the breeze from a fan made me cry. For months, it was troublesome to talk and the radiating ache was so intense that any modest motion — from laughing to getting dressed to turning on the bathe — was wrenching.

Docs have informed me that I’ll by no means totally recuperate from a few of my accidents.

Regardless of having medical insurance coverage, a lot of the prices have been out of pocket for a parade of specialists — a lot cash that I might’ve purchased a home upstate. However something is best than funeral prices.

Proper now, anybody 16 and older can drive e-bikes within the metropolis, utilizing them in bike lanes and on streets with pace limits no larger than 30 mph. You don’t want a license or registration — and that should change.

Larger accountability can also be very important. Bikes for business functions, primarily these used for meals supply, seldom observe the NYC administrative code, which requires {that a} enterprise be recognized on the bike by identify and identification quantity; that the operator put on higher physique attire with the enterprise’ identify and operator’s identification quantity on the again; and that the enterprise present or be sure that every bicycle is supplied with a bell or system able to giving a sign from a distance of at the very least 100 ft. These guidelines should be enforced.

It’s additionally vital that supply corporations be mandated to supply insurance coverage for his or her couriers, lots of whom are barely making minimal wage.

If our leaders do nothing, much more tragedy is across the nook.

Simply two months earlier than Banes’ accident, a 71-year-old man, Hing Chung, died after being struck by an e-bike on the Higher West Aspect. A day earlier than that, a New York Metropolis photographer was hit by a rushing e-biker — a supply driver, she believes — in Midtown. “The particular person didn’t cease. He simply saved going. He knocked me down, I fell so quick it was unbelievable,” she informed The Put up.

I’m not the one Postmates sufferer. In 2019, a person who was on a supply run for Postmates was charged with reckless endangerment after he ran a crimson mild on a motorbike with out brakes and fatally struck a 67-year-old pedestrian, Donna Sturm.

In 2020, e-bike fatalities surged 233 percent — to twenty from simply six in 2019, based on metropolis Division of Transportation information. There have been eight fatalities up to now this 12 months, together with at the very least two pedestrians.

A Neighborhood Board 7 committee voted last week to ban electrical bikes from bike lanes, underscoring the mayhem and shut calls they’ve brought about on the Higher West Aspect.

As for my case, the courier has not been charged as a result of Postmates has did not positively establish the driving force or settle for duty. Neither the identify nor Newark handle they’d for the driving force was actual, but they supposedly vet their supply individuals. I hope for the general public’s security that he’s not nonetheless on the market, delivering for this or every other firm.

These couriers will be reckless, however so can the businesses they work for.

Scenes like this e-scooter accident from May 11, 2021, are becoming more common. In 2020, e-bike fatalities surged 233 percent — to 20 from just six in 2019.
Scenes like this e-scooter accident from Might 11, 2021, have gotten extra frequent. In 2020, e-bike fatalities surged 233 p.c — to twenty from simply six in 2019.

Take into account that Postmates — a $2-billion firm that was simply purchased by Uber — primarily encourages extremely harmful situations by incentivizing couriers to ship as a lot as doable as quick as doable, even providing time-frame bonuses known as “crushers.” How ironic.

As for my incident, an Uber consultant informed The Put up, “Postmates was a separate firm on the time, so we will’t touch upon the particulars.”

So many pleasures of life are actually elusive for me. Even consuming is a battle. Earlier than the accident, I used to be all the time socializing and networking. Now I keep away from individuals and conditions that make me anxious as a result of I’ve no higher tooth and I don’t have the musculature to crack a smile — as soon as my greatest characteristic. The accidents trigger me disgrace and humiliation.

Finally, after I can lastly get implants, the trauma nonetheless gained’t be behind me — and never simply because I’ll doubtless must undergo much more surgical procedures in 10 or 15 years.

As a lifelong New Yorker I all the time felt intrepid. Now, I’m fearful at each flip. I used to stroll a number of miles a day, however the easy act of crossing the road really scares me. When an e-bike comes round a nook like a bat out of hell, I scream, “Watch it!” and burst into tears.

We are able to not be terrorized by this hell on two wheels. The town should significantly prohibit e-bikes earlier than having a brush with dying turns into a perverse ceremony of passage for New Yorkers.

Doree Lewak is a characteristic author for The Put up.


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