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‘Progressive’ Manhattanites Push For Cop Crackdown On E-Bike Riders (Again) – Streetsblog New York City

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‘Progressive’ Manhattanites Push For Cop Crackdown On E-Bike Riders (Once more) – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

Self-styled progressives in Manhattan are calling within the cops to crack down on e-bike riders, once more, regardless of a legislation that legalizes the rides and their very own professed opposition to police brutality.

The Hudson River Park Belief Advisory Council needs e-bike riders to be ticketed on the Hudson River Greenway — the place electrical bicycles had been made unlawful underneath a state legislation legalizing them all over the place else — and New York State Division of Transportation Regional Director Craig Ruyle informed the group that his company may do extra about “enforcement” (learn: police) towards e-bike riders.

“We are able to work with HRPT to attempt to get NYPD to do some enforcement, however by ourselves we don’t have any enforcement functionality. However we’re greater than keen to work with NYPD to see what we are able to do,” Ruyle informed the council after one member kicked off complaints concerning the presence of e-bike riders on the greenway.

The park’s Advisory Council is made up in a part of members of Manhattan Group Boards 1, 2 and 4. Earlier this yr, CB2 established an Equity Working Group “to empower and have a good time the contributions of our historically marginalized, underrepresented and underresourced neighborhood members,” while CB1 passed a resolution relating to “Unequivocal Help For Black Lives and The Proper to Protest Police Brutality.” But these resolutions didn’t cease the HRPT from asking the state DOT to contain the identical NYPD that’s brutalized cyclists of color and imposed hardships on working cyclists in a misguided public security marketing campaign.

“Is there something that you are able to do to truly implement the principles of the greenway?” requested HRPT Vice-Chair Daniel Miller, “To get the motor scooters which can be going 30, 40 miles an hour on the Greenway and truly implement it in order that they’re punished? And put signage up that claims this isn’t a racetrack…reasonably than having to navigate whereas a 40 mile an hour bicycle owner is passing you?”

Miller, whose signature was on the CB2 letter purporting to “acknowledge the generational and institutional racism that our Black and brown brothers, sisters and non-binary neighborhood members have suffered,” both conflated using precise mopeds with using e-bikes, or caught by the outdated canard that the bikes transfer a lot sooner than they really do.

Class 3 e-bikes, the throttle-powered sort most popular by supply riders, max out at 28 miles per hour, however state legislation restricts the bikes to 25 miles per hour. Ruyle didn’t specify whether or not the e-bike ban could be a blanket ban on each class of e-bike, or if some sorts could be exempted from the ban. Below state legislation, e-bikes are categorized as Class 1 (pedal-assist bikes that max out at 20 miles per hour), Class 2 (throttle-powered e-bikes that max out at 20 miles per hour) and Class 3 (throttle-powered e-bikes that max out at 25 miles per hour and are solely authorized in New York Metropolis) e-bikes. All are unlawful on the greenway — even pedal-assist Citi Bike bikes.

“We are able to work with HRPT to place some signage up indicating that so it’s recognized that it’s unlawful to be on the bikeway with electrical bikes and scooters,” mentioned Ruyle.

However Transportation Options Deputy Director Marco Conner DiAquoi cautioned towards a ban on simply Class 3 bikes, which he mentioned was not backed up by any information and put supply riders in danger.

“Within the absence of precise information that reveals it is a security difficulty, there shouldn’t be a ban on Class 3 e-bikes, as a result of we have now over 30,000 supply riders in New York Metropolis, and the greenway is a spot for them to journey safely,” mentioned Conner.

The info on e-bikes reveals them to be comparatively secure. As an illustration, the NYPD’s 2018 traffic collision data confirmed that e-bike riders had been concerned in simply 31 out of 45,775 motorized vehicle collisions and solely injured 9 pedestrians all yr.

Analysis by Do Lee and Alex Rhodd.
Evaluation by Do Lee and Alex Rhodd

The dialog on enforcement was an unlucky outgrowth of the said goal for why the state DOT confirmed up on the advisory council assembly. Ruyle was there to debate the proposal that West Facet neighborhood boards had made to take a lane of site visitors from West Avenue and switch it right into a southbound bike lane, which they requested for due to overcrowded circumstances on the greenway’s bike and pedestrian path. However Ruyle told the council that the state DOT was “not comfortable” with the concept of eradicating a lane of site visitors, shortly earlier than each side decided they had been comfy asking the NYPD to get entangled on the greenway.

Ruyle’s promise to work on signage and police staffing on the greenway places extra urgency behind advocates’ previous calls for the Metropolis Council to make use of its house rule powers to open the greenway bike path for e-bike riders, which they mentioned was a obligatory repair again in April.

The Council didn’t act on the difficulty when it passed its own package of e-bike and e-scooter legislation, a set of payments (since signed by Mayor de Blasio) that mirrored the state legislation creating Class 1, 2 and three e-bikes in New York, however native legislators mentioned that the state DOT announcement would spur them into motion.

“As a substitute of constructing out the suitable sources in metropolis and state infrastructure, they’re banning issues and stopping individuals from utilizing these bikes just like the legislation meant,” mentioned Metropolis Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “I feel it’s unhealthy planning, and the onus must be on the town to do one thing, not on the state to over-regulate and ban of us from utilizing the greenway. I’ll be engaged on it fairly shortly with a few my colleagues to determine one thing we are able to do instantly.”

The state bill legalizing pedal-assist and throttle e-bikes prohibited riders from utilizing them on any greenways throughout the state, however the invoice does provides broad house rule powers to municipalities to set their very own guidelines. Conner beforehand argued that provision of the invoice meant that the town can clear the best way for e-bike riders with the powers it has underneath New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1642, which says cities with a inhabitants of over a million individuals are allowed to “regulate site visitors on or pedestrian use of any freeway (which, for the needs of this part, shall embody any non-public highway open to public motorized vehicle site visitors).”

The greenway itself is topic to a confusing mishmash of bureaucracies. It’s owned by the state DOT, the town DOT is liable for policing and site visitors sign timing on the trail and the Hudson River Park Belief is liable for path upkeep. However in accordance with Conner, the Metropolis Council has the authority to set a pace restrict on the greenway, and as such instructed {that a} pace restrict is a greater choice than a complete e-bike ban.

“Now we have vehicles on the highway that may attain speeds of 100 miles per hour, ruled by pace limits of 25 miles per hour. A a lot simpler means of doing this is able to be to place up indicators a couple of pace restrict of say, 20 miles per hour. You wish to watch out about the way it’s enforced, however simply as with highway pace limits, though there’s a minority of drivers who don’t comply with the legislation, that’s no motive to cast off it,” he mentioned.

Metropolis Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the Transportation Committee, additionally mentioned that he most popular a pace restrict on the greenway as an alternative.

“I’m able to work with my colleagues and advocates on laws that can prioritize the security of riders and pedestrians, whereas additionally defending the supply staff from pointless seizures,” mentioned Rodriguez. “Nonetheless, I do imagine that because the greenways encompass shared areas between pedestrians and cyclists, we should regulate the pace restrict at which e-bikes must be allowed to go whereas touring on them.”

The newest effort by supposed liberals to name within the cops towards individuals who more likely to be harmed by the police than the mostly White residents of the neighborhood. In June, a Group Board 7 committee voted 7-1 to ask the NYPD to step up its enforcement of dog-off-leash tickets. Earlier that month, the identical “progressive” neighborhood board requested for extra policing of motorcycle site visitors in Central Park.

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