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Growing pain for e-bikes.

Old 07-22-23, 02:48 PM
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California wants to create a driver’s license for electric bikes

https://electrek.co/2023/07/22/calif...lectric-bikes/
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Old 07-24-23, 06:35 AM
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Not sure if licensing is the right approach.
Education at schools about traffic safety & laws should be implemented, from childhood all the way to high school.
In many countries around the world, cycling and traffic laws are part of curriculum required for their schools.
Cycling should be like a life long skill that everyone should know, like swimming.. or maybe even math.

I feel that in America, most drivers think bicycles & motorcycles don't belong on public roads, which is a mentality that's been imbedded across decades of car culture and cheap oil in America.

As a teenager (in the 80's), I pedaled across the N American Continent from Seattle, WA to Ocean City, MD, on a Huffy 10-speed packed with 35-40 lb. of camping gear. Long before the time of cell phones & GPS. The slower pace gave me the chance to see America at 15-20 mph and how Americans really lived along the way.
Nowadays, I don't think most people in America even bother to try to understand how the rest of the country live. More over when homeless people in the streets are considered to be criminals and the real criminals getting government bailouts, tax breaks & tax write-offs for private jets or yachts.

Meanwhile, I still think parents should also be held accountable when their child is caught breaking traffic laws, causing accidents on high-seed e-bikes. If they can afford high cost, high speed e-bikes to for their children, they can also afford higher (x5 or x10) auto insurance premiums.
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Old 07-25-23, 07:56 AM
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I don't think required licensing is The Answer either. Just enforce the laws that are already on the books, esp. speed limits and where they are allowed. Hire enough cops to do this effectively and things will come into line. They can use the proceeds to work on mass water de-salinization and bike infrastructure.
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Old 07-25-23, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I don't think required licensing is The Answer either. Just enforce the laws that are already on the books, esp. speed limits and where they are allowed. Hire enough cops to do this effectively and things will come into line. They can use the proceeds to work on mass water de-salinization and bike infrastructure.
I'm assuming your comment was in regard to something that was said previously, but I couldn't agree more. Anytime the government sees a revenue path and gets their greedy little hands on a project everything is amok. They killed the moped industry in CA that way 30 or so years ago.
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Old 07-25-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Hire enough cops to do this effectively and things will come into line.
A nice idea, but one that isn't really working in any other aspect of society. The theory is good but the execution always fails.
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Old 07-25-23, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
A nice idea, but one that isn't really working in any other aspect of society. The theory is good but the execution always fails.
Where I live (NYC) it isn't going so smoothly. The city has hired tons of new cops, and it hasn't helped a single bit. All we see are batches of police officers hanging around most of the time. There are boroughs where they try to do something, but it's been met with the "us against them" attitude, mostly due to the lack of faith in a fair legal system in NYC. I've personally witnessed police doing quite the opposite of what you would expect. So I agree with what you're saying. Good theory, failed execution.
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Old 07-25-23, 12:49 PM
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Fortunately it seems like budgetary constraints have kept policing to a minimum in Orange County, CA (possibly all of CA), although it also means the little gremlins on SurRons and Talarias ride rampantly. CA has too many trains, roads and bridges to nowhere to afford much of anything else.
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Old 07-25-23, 01:55 PM
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IMO, government money should be better spent else where than the police. .
The U.S. spent nearly $129 billion was spent on policing.
Here in NYC, police budget is about $10.4 billion; I'm curious how much crime actually is prevented or solved.
That's despite all the protests & calls for defund the police.
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Old 07-28-23, 05:44 AM
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Horrific Crash on Manhattan Bridge Bike Path Underscores Moped Crisis

According to the NYPD's crash statistics, there were 44,754 reported crashes between January 1 and June 23.
Of those, 43,188 — or 96 percent — were caused by drivers of cars, SUVs, trucks, ambulances, vans and other heavy motorized vehicles.
Just 826 crashes — or 1.8 percent — were caused by the operators of e-bikes, e-scooters, mopeds or motorbikes, according to the police.
Another 740 crashes — or 1.6 percent — were caused by regular bike riders, the cops said.

Drilling down further, there have been 3,952 crashes that caused injuries to at least one pedestrian.
Of those crashes, 3,784 — or 96 percent again — were caused by car and truck drivers.
Only 168 — or 4.2 percent — were caused by the operators of e-bikes, e-scooters, mopeds or motorbikes, according to the police.

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2023/07/...s-moped-crisis
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Old 07-28-23, 05:57 AM
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Why New York City wants electric bikes stopped at the border

https://electrek.co/2023/07/27/why-n...at-the-border/
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Old 07-28-23, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912

Like the NYC "ebike fire problem" it's mostly attributable to user error, not the ebike itself

/markp

..no..it's an e-bike problem. When you're (e-bike mfgs) dealing with batteries that can turn into a white-hot torch if mis-handled, then the safest approach would be to (correctly) assume that the general population are morons and potential problems need to be engineered out of the e-bike design. That lack of that comprehensive approach to design (and cost-cutting that accompanies it) is the root of the fire problem.
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Old 07-28-23, 12:48 PM
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When freeways were first introduced in the USA the large increase in incidents and fatalities was blamed by the highway people on the drivers. When studies were done it was determined that the majority of incidents were the result of bad freeway designs on the part of the highway engineers. To give some perspective at the California Division of Highways the more important departments were on the upper floors. The Value Engineering department, tasked with making freeways safer, was located in the basement along with my group that worked on pedestrian and bicycle integration.

In Europe and in China it is quite a different matter with bicycle and pedestrian safety considered to be important. In major cities in Germany and Austria the inner city streets are often closed to all motor vehicular traffic during the day making them safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians and bicyclist of all ages. In China there are dedicated bike and scooter (most are electric) areas that are physically separate from the streets carrying cars, buses, and trucks.

Unless someone has traveled extensively in other parts of the world they fail to realize just how aggressive American drivers are on the road. In Paris many street have space for two lanes but do not mark the lanes and drivers cooperate. When a car is approaching a parked car or a delivery truck the drivers in the left "lane" slow down to let the other driver safely pass the truck. This would never happen in the USA. In Cambodia an entire family would be on a motorcycle and with no traffic lights they would pull into oncoming trucks to make a left turn and the trucks would always slow down to allow them to make the turn. In the USA the vast majority of drivers would speed up instead.

In California the transportation advisory board that sets priorities has been comprised of individuals working in real estate, auto dealerships, heavy construction, and other businesses that profit from the status quo where half of every city is physically devoted to motor vehicles and 100% of all funding goes to constructing and maintaining and repairing roads that are 20x more expensive to be able to take the weight of very heavy trucks.

I planned after college to go into city planning but within a year I came to realize that the planning was being done by the land developers and not the professional staff. The elected officials would always side with the commercial interests as these were the businesses that funded their election campaigns and provided a wide variety of kickbacks.
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Old 07-28-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020
Horrific Crash on Manhattan Bridge Bike Path Underscores Moped Crisis

According to the NYPD's crash statistics, there were 44,754 reported crashes between January 1 and June 23.
Of those, 43,188 — or 96 percent — were caused by drivers of cars, SUVs, trucks, ambulances, vans and other heavy motorized vehicles.
Just 826 crashes — or 1.8 percent — were caused by the operators of e-bikes, e-scooters, mopeds or motorbikes, according to the police.
Another 740 crashes — or 1.6 percent — were caused by regular bike riders, the cops said.

Drilling down further, there have been 3,952 crashes that caused injuries to at least one pedestrian.
Of those crashes, 3,784 — or 96 percent again — were caused by car and truck drivers.
Only 168 — or 4.2 percent — were caused by the operators of e-bikes, e-scooters, mopeds or motorbikes, according to the police.

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2023/07/...s-moped-crisis
Good info; thanks for sharing. It won't apply to most of us here, but these things tend to start in places like NYC and LA and slowly spread across cities in the USA.
What I get from this is that NYC motorists feel entitled to all of the road and are aggressive enough to intimidate or hit cyclists.
The question then, is why are we regulating eBikes more, instead of of keeping cyclists from being hit by automotive traffic? It has already been proven that they're the main problem!

Originally Posted by cat0020
Why New York City wants electric bikes stopped at the border

https://electrek.co/2023/07/27/why-n...at-the-border/
As a regulatory engineer at a company that makes cordless power tools, I can understand this well. I was working at UL when hoverboards were going through the same thing. The government didn't make the connection between eBikes and hoverboards. (it's the chargers and batteries, not the product itself!) UL Listed products don't allow safety-critical components to be substituted willy-nilly. This includes battery cells, charge controllers, battery chargers, fuses, electrical insulation and many other components.

Even 2nd tier safety certifications (Intertek, TUV, SGS, CSA) are better than nothing.

When you see the CE mark on an inexpensive Chinese product, be aware that it is self-declared by the manufacturer. The onus is on them to prove they did the right testing in case of trouble or audit, but until they're caught, it's strictly honor system. These mushroom Chinese companies will just close up the business if that happens, move down the block and start over with a new business registration.

Also, realize that CE is for Europe, so it doesn't mean anything in the US, since we don't audit it here. When you see the cULus Mark on a product, it is a 3rd party certification and that construction is being audited quarterly by un-announced factory visits from the inspectors to be sure no unauthorized component substitutions are made.

I've noticed in my own eBike purchases (5 in the past year) that the chargers usually carry some proper certification, but only the more expensive battery packs do.
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Old 07-30-23, 11:56 AM
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The New York Times attacks e-bikes while ignoring the real danger all around us

https://electrek.co/2023/07/30/the-n...ng-car-danger/

Every crash in this story involves a e-bike colliding with a motor vehicle.

All could’ve been avoided if e-bike riders were protected from cars (or if there were no cars).

Fight the real enemy.https://t.co/POH4IM68Xf

— David Zipper (@DavidZipper) July 29, 2023

“By various measures, the risks of serious injury and death rise sharply at around 20 m.p.h.,
although much of that research involved collisions between cars and pedestrians.
For instance, the risk of severe injury to a pedestrian is 25 percent when the car is moving at 16 m.p.h.,
and it rises to 50 percent at 23 m.p.h., according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.”
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Old 07-31-23, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cat0020
Education at schools about traffic safety & laws should be implemented, from childhood all the way to high school.
I teach at a middle school and what passes for "education" in "traffic safety & laws" is not what you want. The kids are taught to ride on the sidewalks, opposed to traffic. If no sidewalk is available, they are to ride facing traffic in the gutter portion of the street. Yes, this leads to the kids popping in and out of the street as they move around parked cars.

In my opinion, it is incredibly unsafe, but it is what they are taught to do.
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Old 07-31-23, 09:38 AM
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One of my gripes about the "government's" acute interest in our safety is they allow cars to park in bike lanes, so riders have the same task popping in and out of them and needing to ride in a traffic lane part of the time. The usual lip service with no substance we can expect from our leaders.
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Old 07-31-23, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C
I teach at a middle school and what passes for "education" in "traffic safety & laws" is not what you want. The kids are taught to ride on the sidewalks, opposed to traffic. If no sidewalk is available, they are to ride facing traffic in the gutter portion of the street. Yes, this leads to the kids popping in and out of the street as they move around parked cars.

In my opinion, it is incredibly unsafe, but it is what they are taught to do.
Can you specify who "they" are?
When was the last time "they" have reviewed or updated the materials for "traffic safety & laws"?
What does your school district do to update the materials when lessons are out-of-date?
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Old 07-31-23, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old
The usual lip service with no substance we can expect from our leaders.
Leaders are only as good as you hold them accountable.
Do you write to your "leaders" to hold them accountable?
Expecting from our "leaders" only applies when you actually have a written record of demand for accountability.
In the age of emails, records are easily kept each time you contact your "leader" and "leaders" can easily be held accountable if you keep good record.
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Old 07-31-23, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C
I teach at a middle school and what passes for "education" in "traffic safety & laws" is not what you want. The kids are taught to ride on the sidewalks, opposed to traffic. If no sidewalk is available, they are to ride facing traffic in the gutter portion of the street. Yes, this leads to the kids popping in and out of the street as they move around parked cars.

In my opinion, it is incredibly unsafe, but it is what they are taught to do.
If they're teaching kids to ride facing traffic they are astoundingly out of touch. They taught us that was incorrect 50+ years ago. I don't know if that was ever widely perceived as being appropriate but it certainly hasn't been in any of our lifetimes.

Ironically it is mostly ebike riders I see doing that. And it's a fair percentage of them (although the overall numbers are not large). I assume these are folks with no prior bicycling experience.
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Old 07-31-23, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
If they're teaching kids to ride facing traffic they are astoundingly out of touch. They taught us that was incorrect 50+ years ago. I don't know if that was ever widely perceived as being appropriate but it certainly hasn't been in any of our lifetimes.
+1

Everything I've read says to ride in the street WITH traffic, so the closing speed is subtractive instead of additive. Even when riding on sidewalks (where allowed) it's better to be going with traffic, so that when a car is waiting to pull out and turn right, the driver is looking left and seeing a cyclist. My ex-wife got hit by a car when riding in the gutter against traffic for this very reason. The guy was looking to his left and when it was clear, he started to pull out to turn right, never having looked that way. Knocked her off her bike, scraped up her frace, loosened a couple teeth. I almost had both my knees broken when crossing in a crosswalk for the same reason.

I would have a hard time teaching that, even if it were my job. I would probably run it up the line and make an issue of it.
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Old 07-31-23, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020
Can you specify who "they" are?
When was the last time "they" have reviewed or updated the materials for "traffic safety & laws"?
What does your school district do to update the materials when lessons are out-of-date?
No, I will not identify my district. That would expose me to disciplinary action. Teachers are only allowed free speech as it pertains to issues of broad public interest and as a private person. The fact that I have identified myself as a teacher means that I do not have the right to speak on the topic other than to share district policy.

That is a very long way of saying, please don't dox me.

With that out of the way, the district police department is responsible for providing bicycle education. When I have voiced my concerns I have been told that I am not to contradict the district police, as that would send mixed messages.

That said, when I am asked by students about my riding practices, I take the opportunity to tell them that it is safer and is the way that the state law requires me to ride.

I have frequently had students point out that what I am doing is not what they (the students) have been told to do. I respond by pointing them to the DOT handouts (and yes, I have several in my classroom) and tell them that I am not doing to say anything against the bicycle safety instruction that they have been given. However, I will do what is safe and required by law.



Originally Posted by jon c.
If they're teaching kids to ride facing traffic they are astoundingly out of touch. They taught us that was incorrect 50+ years ago. I don't know if that was ever widely perceived as being appropriate but it certainly hasn't been in any of our lifetimes.

Ironically it is mostly ebike riders I see doing that. And it's a fair percentage of them (although the overall numbers are not large). I assume these are folks with no prior bicycling experience.
I can't and won't try to speak for the masses of eBike riders that you see.

Originally Posted by Smaug1
+1

Everything I've read says to ride in the street WITH traffic, so the closing speed is subtractive instead of additive. Even when riding on sidewalks (where allowed) it's better to be going with traffic, so that when a car is waiting to pull out and turn right, the driver is looking left and seeing a cyclist. My ex-wife got hit by a car when riding in the gutter against traffic for this very reason. The guy was looking to his left and when it was clear, he started to pull out to turn right, never having looked that way. Knocked her off her bike, scraped up her frace, loosened a couple teeth. I almost had both my knees broken when crossing in a crosswalk for the same reason.

I would have a hard time teaching that, even if it were my job. I would probably run it up the line and make an issue of it.
I don't teach it. I do not teach the bicycle safety class. While there was an interest in having me teach a short bicycle maintenance elective, that idea was dropped.

Bicycle safety is taught by the district police department. As I have commented, I have clear instructions that I am not to "undermine" their instruction.
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Old 08-01-23, 07:29 AM
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As an educator myself, I take on the responsibility of educating the children (& public) what the rules of the roads are; regardless what disciplinary action I may face.
Maybe that had limited my teaching career in the past, but I don't let it stop me from teaching what's right from wrong; especially when it comes to rules of the road & police department.

I have many friends who are police officers & cyclists for decades now.
As an avid cyclist and bike shop employee since my teens;
I have conducted a few training sessions on cycling safety for police departments by myself.

When local police department is looking to start a bicycle patrol unit, the bike shop that I worked at provided the training, bikes & much custom requirements to the police bikes.
Just think how many years of training, schooling & certification you have to go through to teach in schools vs how much training an average police office had to go through for a badge.
Having a badge doesn't mean you know how to teach, nor understand the road safety when it comes to bicycle riding.
Contradicting the police when you know right from wrong is not "undermine" their instruction;
when you know better what's right from wrong, it's your responsibility not to propagate the wrong.

Call me a troublemaker, disrespecting the badge, but I know the rules of public roads.
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Old 08-03-23, 02:27 PM
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Stop blaming e-bikes for the results of poor bicycle infrastructure

https://velo.outsideonline.com/urban...banist-update/
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Old 08-04-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020
Stop blaming e-bikes for the results of poor bicycle infrastructure

https://velo.outsideonline.com/urban...banist-update/
I couldn't find the actual content in that link. Did you mean to link to this one?
https://electrek.co/2023/07/30/the-n...ng-car-danger/
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Old 08-04-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I couldn't find the actual content in that link. Did you mean to link to this one?
https://electrek.co/2023/07/30/the-n...ng-car-danger/
Not the same..

Try again.. scroll down a bit:

https://velo.outsideonline.com/urban...banist-update/
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