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  1. #1
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    Delivery People Using Electric Bikes.

    I live NYC and see delivery people using electric bikes all the the time. They seem to do many things wrong:

    1) At night they don't use the lights even though the bike comes with them

    2) Ride on side walks and go the wrong way on one way streets

    3) Never ever pedal

    4) Smoke will riding

    I think that electric bikes fill a need and they are much better 2 cycle scooters I think that delivery people should follow the rules and if they use it as a motorized cycle (never pedal) they should be forced on the street and out of the bike lanes.
    Last edited by v70cat; 01-28-12 at 12:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    I'll agree, no lights is bad (and hopefully illegal in NYC), I have no idea about your sidewalk laws.. and smoking well... I'll just assume you've got an agenda there and remind you, you may not like it but it's perfectly legal.

    And how exactly would police determine if you don't pedal at all? I'm not trying to be mean man.. but yeah that's kinda unrealistic and screws anyone else on an electric, hell for that matter what are they gonna do pull over anyone with a big enough looking hub and panniers?

    An analogy for what you want (probably about to get me in trouble), Motorist sees moronic cyclists in the road cutting out from sidewalks etc into traffic and back... decides they want the law to keep these pesky cyclists on the sidewalk and starts campaigning for it.. (I bet you don't like this scenario?).
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  3. #3
    Interdimensional Spy Apache Thunder's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with not pedaling so long as one rides responsibly, there would be no difference between pedaling and using the e-bike throttle. Granted I don't live in a crowded city like New York, but generally when I ride my e-bike to an area that has a lot of pedestrians, I don't go much faster then I would have with pedaling. Due to how my motor is geared, it doesn't have the same amount of acceleration that pedaling does with my 38 gear pedal crank driving a 32tooth gear on the first gear of my 6 speed. I can get moving a lot faster and can cross streets very quickly. Much more quickly then I could on electric power alone. One would say in that situation it could be more dangerous to pedal then to use the motor. I can easily accelerate into something very fast with pedaling alone.

    I remember when I was a kid I was riding my bike down a sidewalk. I saw a ramp and wanted to jump it. So I sped up (it was not electric either!) to probably a good 10-15mph in preparation. My sister along with a small toddler was on the right side of the sidewalk in a small patch of grass area that separates the sidewalk from the road.

    Just as I was about to approach it, the toddler runs out in an attempt to get accross. Only thing is, he did so a mere 2-3 feet in front of me while I was pedaling full speed. I mowed him down with his head getting hit by the left handle bar. He got off with a few stitches, but luckily he was not caught up into the front wheel which would have made things worse. I nearly lost control of the bike as a result of the collision, but somehow managed to get it to a stop without falling off of it. Needless to say the parents of that kid who was in the front yard when it happened were not happy one bit.

    Even normal bikes are dangerous if not ridden properly.


    That and going 20mph + on a sidewalk is just plain stupid. Any one that needs to go that fast needs to go on a surface street where there won't be pedestrians. Perhaps a general speed limit law for any bike on a sidewalk instead of trying to restrict the bike type used on the sidewalk would be the best route.
    Last edited by Apache Thunder; 01-28-12 at 01:12 PM.

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    If you don't pedal it is a motorized scooter and should be subject to DMV licensing rules. My agenda is simple a bike with electric assist is great, helps you get up hills and carry loads but if you never pedal it not a bicycle it is a scooter and needs a plate and insurance. I can even live with private citizen using it as a scooter (never pedal) but not a commercial use like delivery.

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    ROTFLMAO...

    NOW it comes out...

    Well...
    1.) Technically speaking... A cyclist on a regular bicycle can (re: is allowed to) go faster than an electric bike.
    (Speed limit on an ebike is 20)

    2.) Riding at night without lights, riding on the sidewalk fast, weaving in and out of cars, is just STUPID and CARELESS (as well as illegal) on either an electric OR REGULAR bicycle.

    3.) IF it has (working) pedals and the rider chooses NOT to pedal, that is their choice...
    (Some states/municipalities DO require (by law) that the ebike must be pedal assist (re:motor doesn't run unless you're pedaling) and most don't.)
    a.) What if the law doesn't require the rider to pedal and they have bad knees or are handicapped in some way that they really don't have the ability to pedal, even if they wanted to? Does that mean they're riding a scooter? (Remember that EPMD's are available and they go up to 20mph too are LARGER than ebikes and do NOT require a license!)

    4.) I'm not up on NYS/NYC laws, but I think there is still some contention about ebikes.

  6. #6
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v70cat View Post
    If you don't pedal it is a motorized scooter and should be subject to DMV licensing rules. My agenda is simple a bike with electric assist is great, helps you get up hills and carry loads but if you never pedal it not a bicycle it is a scooter and needs a plate and insurance. I can even live with private citizen using it as a scooter (never pedal) but not a commercial use like delivery.
    In Washington, DC a gas motor scooter (vespa style) or gas moped do not have to get a license or anything. However, I don't see them on sidewalks or anything.

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    In EVERY state, there is no riding of any motorized vehicle on a sidewalk. (Except for a mobility scooter aka EMAPD)

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    Well...
    1.) Technically speaking... A cyclist on a regular bicycle can (re: is allowed to) go faster than an electric bike.
    (Speed limit on an ebike is 20)
    I'm going to say not true. AFAIK an e bike is limited to 20 MPH with a 170 pound rider under electric power only. That doesn't mean you can't pedal or coast down hill over that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Man View Post
    I'm going to say not true. AFAIK an e bike is limited to 20 MPH with a 170 pound rider under electric power only. That doesn't mean you can't pedal or coast down hill over that.
    That's supposed to be a joke, right? Your response makes no sense?!?!

    What did you think I meant by that statement?
    (What difference would it be if the same bike type, one with an electric motor and one without, going down hill coasting faster than 20mph, would be?)
    And the 170lb thing might be in your state, but not in mine..

    The main point the OP was trying to make was that he doesn't like electric bikes in NYC..
    My point was, there is no difference between a regular bicycle and an ELECTRIC bicycle.. The problem is with the RIDER and NOT the bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangesf View Post
    In EVERY state, there is no riding of any motorized vehicle on a sidewalk. (Except for a mobility scooter aka EMAPD)
    really? maybe just my area but i see segways, electric scooters (the kind that you stand on like a big razor / xootr type), etc. if they're illegal, the laws don't seem to be enforced too often.
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    Sangesf, uh no I'm not joking. I was referring only to the 20MPH speed. Isn't there a federal law that says something to that effect, some states may have something more strict? AFAIK what I am referring to says that the motor alone may not push the bike faster than 20MPH, but that doesn't mean the it is illegal to pedal and go faster than that.
    That doesn't mean you can or should do it on a sidewalk.

  12. #12
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Is the issue not freedom here? I don't understand in this country when did it become fashionable to restrict anothers right to pursue happyness? As long as I am not hurting another it is my right to do as I please. When I campaign for laws against other American citizens I am placed under the same burdens and laws. If an electric bicyclist is a law breaking criminal then he is not free.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVD72 View Post
    really? maybe just my area but i see segways, electric scooters (the kind that you stand on like a big razor / xootr type), etc. if they're illegal, the laws don't seem to be enforced too often.
    Yep, pretty much.. GENERALLY SPEAKING (You'd have to check you state/local laws, for your specific area tho..)

    FYI.. Segways are considered EMAPDs, the razor scooters and the like are technically toys (you wouldnt (or in most places legally can't) ride them on the street), etc.

    To speak on the "not being enforced", I'm right there with ya..
    Example:
    About a year ago, me and my son were riding home late one night (after dark)..
    My son's bike didn't have a light on it, well this officer (who was a real b*tch), basically rides onto my lawn as we pull in... Starts complaining to me that my son doesn't have a light on his bike.. Ok, fine...
    Well, what do I say..
    "Thank you officer, I'm sure you're just concerned for his safety"
    (I say it so that my son hears/acknowledges it)
    Then I say to my son... (with a tinge of sarcasm)
    (So that the officer hears it)...
    "And I'm sure the officer will ALSO speak to those 4 parents over there with their THREE KIDS riding IN the MIDDLE of the street on their Big Wheels too! Since they don't have lights on their toys either!"

    Well, the officer was a bit pissed and just drove off.. LOL

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Man View Post
    Sangesf, uh no I'm not joking. I was referring only to the 20MPH speed. Isn't there a federal law that says something to that effect, some states may have something more strict? AFAIK what I am referring to says that the motor alone may not push the bike faster than 20MPH, but that doesn't mean the it is illegal to pedal and go faster than that.
    That doesn't mean you can or should do it on a sidewalk.
    Forget the federal law, has NOTHING to do with states laws for vehicles on their own roadways..

    And yes, for motor power alone, that (20mph) is true for most places.. (Again state laws vary)
    But that is not relevant to the OPs original "issue"...
    My point was, that from my viewpoint, a regular bicycle and an electric bicycle are the same..
    Its the RIDER that makes a difference..

    IMO, The OP is one of those "I want it MY way and not what everyone else wants"..
    Complaining about a delivery person on an electric bicycle has NOTHING to do with the bicycle itself, it's the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RIDER, that should be of concern, NOT the fact that the bicycle is electric or that the rider CHOOSES not to pedal it.
    (As to whether it's legal to ride an electric bicycle that "motors" without pedaling, depends on the Country, State, Region and/or local municipalities' laws.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    In NYC, sidewalks are off limits to bicycles unless you're under... either 12 or 14 years old.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangesf View Post
    IMO, The OP is one of those "I want it MY way and not what everyone else wants"..
    Complaining about a delivery person on an electric bicycle has NOTHING to do with the bicycle itself, it's the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RIDER, that should be of concern, NOT the fact that the bicycle is electric or that the rider CHOOSES not to pedal it.
    (As to whether it's legal to ride an electric bicycle that "motors" without pedaling, depends on the Country, State, Region and/or local municipalities' laws.)
    I don't know where you live, but if you're in NYC, you must be living under a rock if you're not aware of what a widespread nuisance they're becoming. If you don't think that the type of bike has anything to do with the behavior of the rider, you are, again, off base.

    On a non-eBike, most of the delivery guys that I see piloting these things couldn't even come close to maintaining the same speeds, for an entire shift, that these guys are cruising around at. Think about it - the lack of physical effort necessary means that anyone can step in and be a nuisance for a full shift, whereas a human powered bicycle will require that either a) the rider maintain a much slower average speed or b) the rider spend a lot of time in the saddle to acquire the fitness necessary to maintain those speeds (presumably, all of that saddle time would also result in some kind of street/traffic savvy). Also, I have to wonder, as the OP has alluded to, if these were regulated as vehicles, would we see the same careless riders? I have a very hard time believing that the majority of these delivery guys have drivers licenses.

    ...but yeah, it probably has NOTHING to do with the type of bicycle... other than the fact that it imposes no physical limitations and its rider isn't subject to testing to insure that they understand the laws governing traffic.
    It's the spandex.

  16. #16
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    I saw a delivery guy last night he was going flat out and almost hit a person riding a bike. He was swerving all over the road and totally unsafe.

    That same night I saw another delivery person doing everything right lights on driving safe, but still not pedaling.

    NYC is supposed to have a law requiring licensing for delivery people on regular bikes but it is not enforced.

  17. #17
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    There is NO WAY that NYC requires a person to have a DRIVER'S LICENSE to ride a BICYCLE..
    (That would CERTAINLY be unconstitutional - "right to travel" and all that..)

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    The commercial delivery bike is supposed to have a plate.

  19. #19
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Driver's license isn't required for commercial cycling (but I would agree that it should be), but there are quite a few laws pertaining to messengers and delivery people that aren't being inforced -

    § 10-157 - Bicycles used for commercial purposes
    • Business must be identified on the bike by name and identification number.
    • Operator must wear upper body apparel with business' name and operator's number on
    the back.
    • Business must provide operator with a helmet according to A.N.S.I. or Snell standards.
    • Operator shall wear a helmet provided by business.
    • Operator must carry and produce on demand a numbered ID card with operator's photo,
    name, home address and business' name, address and phone number.
    • Business must maintain log book that includes the name, identification number and
    place of residence of each bicycle operator; and the date of employment and discharge.
    The log book must also include information on daily trips, identifying the bicycle
    operator’s identification number and name; and name and place of origin and
    destination.
    • Owner of business must file an annual report with the Police Department identifying the
    number of bicycles it owns and the identification number and identity of any employees
    It's the spandex.

  20. #20
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    Plate, yes!
    License, no..

    P.S. I worked in NYC for over 10 years...

    If you see a bicyclist (commercial) and he's doing something illegal, get as much info as you can and make a (VALID) report...

  21. #21
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Are you taking a piss? If you worked in NYC for 10 years, you would know that 98% of these guys have no identifying information (as required by law), making it impossible to provide enough meaningful info for a report. Further, if you worked in NYC for 10 years, you'd know that the sheer number of incidences would mean that reporting them would be a full-time job.
    It's the spandex.

  22. #22
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    Nothing the occasional clothesline don't solve..


  23. #23
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    Was in a bike shop yesterday and this lady comes in looking for a rear reflector for a bike. I suggested a light with a reflector instead. She then said that it was for her restaurants delivery bike and the delivery guys were to dumb to turn the light on and off. She was a real jerk and it clear that the only way to address this problem is to fine the owners of business.
    Last edited by v70cat; 02-01-12 at 08:07 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DarthSensate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v70cat View Post
    She then said that it was for her restaurants delivery bike and the delivery guys were to dumb to turn the light on and off. She was a real jerk and it clear that the only way to address this problem is to fine the owners of business.
    As they say, " You can't patch stupid." but you can try to work around it.
    Automatic on/off, motion and brightness activated bike lights:
    www.amazon.com/Cateye-TL-LD570-BR-Reflex-Bicycle-Light/dp/B003WCFJZE

    IMO as long as the ebikes are limited to the speed limits of a normally operated bicycle, only the operators should be fined/cited for reckless operation or behavior or nuisance.

    The business owners need to be cited if their employees are operating overvolted or un-registered or un-equiped commercial "vehicles". I think commercial ebikes should be compelled to have pedelecs attached to their cranks to require pedalling to move the ebike. This is already a requirement in a lot of countries for ALL ebikes.

    Unfortunately the police are VERY unlikely to enforce many of these laws unless pushed to do so. Such is the police officer's discretion to enforce the laws. Without police discretion we would end up with a bureaucratic nightmare ever more so than any government has now. I don't want to see police officers turned into automoton drones any more than I want to see them knocking riders of their bikes or liberally taze-ing and bullying citizens.

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  25. #25
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    The sad thing is that the police in NYC last year were giving tickets to riders but never seem to deal with the delivery people.

    Now delivery people are generally hard working people trying to get by but a lot of them are also the one that give cyclist a bad name.

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