View Single Post
Old 06-16-19, 10:06 PM
Senior Member
UniChris's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NYC
Posts: 830

Bikes: 36" Unicycle

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I understand this and to much government intervention can create another kind of problem. Look what happened in New York City. I believe they have banned the use of all electric bikes of any kind. Some of the food delivery people were using 2500w and up ebikes. It quickly got out of control. It was dangerous. 40mph plus and on the sidewalk.
It's actually the other way around; they were banned before they existed; the actual issue is that they've never met the safety equipment requirements for registration as motor vehicles, though they clearly are (and have been interpreted to be such), therefore they are illegal - not as "e-bikes" (though of course that is the wording popularly used), but rather as unregistered electric motorcycles.

And that ban is not really being enforced; they're all over the place, going the wrong way, making pedestrians on sidewalks dodge them (personal experience!), etc, there's enough lip service to enforcement to ruin the occasional delivery guy's day and wipe out a week's wages, but not enough to actually replace an industry-wide illegal practice with a legal one; which to an extent out of competitiveness would require that everyone go legal. This isn't a case of "police officer sees illegal behavior and stops it" but rather that a few officers are assigned to go somewhere and confiscate throttle e-bikes (or write bike red lights or whatever) and ignore whatever unrelated violations not on the day's specific agenda they see while doing so.

Ironically the delivery folks suffer from that inconsistency as much as anyone. If there were a near-certainty of being stopped anytime they rode something illegal past a cop, they'd have stayed on a legal footing and not be in the mess they're in where their boss (and the customers while ordering) demand one thing but the city (and the very same customers when not thinking of food) through the police demand another.

I will not purchase an ebike with a throttle. It has to be pedal activated.
Good for you. And those actually are legal here (there were some in one share fleet pulled over braking issues, and just saw some from another uptown yesterday). It's been argued the illegal electric motorcycles dominate delivery because they are cheaper; the reality is that pedal assist probably wouldn't be competitive in the current delivery market where the race to the bottom of app based ordering has made it unreasonably inexpensive to order from restaurants unreasonably far away.

If delivery fees were consistent with pedal power, that wouldn't solve everything, but the current situation would be toned down quite a bit.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-16-19 at 10:23 PM.
UniChris is offline