NYC is notorious for safety issues regarding bicycling. However with increasing pollution, chronic traffic congestion and a failing subway system, New York seems to finally be embracing Europe’s (and San Francisco’s) fascination with the two wheeler.
Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said in a press release, “As cycling continues to grow in popularity for commuting, deliveries and tourism, we are seeing the demand for pedal-assist bicycles that can help cyclists travel longer distances and more easily climb steep hills. With new and clear guidelines, cyclists, delivery workers and businesses alike will now understand exactly what devices are allowed.”
Before yesterday, it was legal to own an e-bike, but it was illegal to operate it. The Department of Transportation is now working on regulations to make pedal-assist bikes (with a max of 20 MPH) legal to ride in the city.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said, “cycling, including on pedal-assist bikes, is not only fun, it’s a fast, affordable, healthy and sustainable way of getting around. With challenges like the L train tunnel closure on the horizon, our aim is to balance moving even more New Yorkers on two wheels with the need to manage that growth safely.”
JUMP, a NYC bike sharing startup, has been operating in San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington D.C. for some time now with relative success due to the pedal assist bikes which make riding easier for people of all ages and physical abilities.
The DOT is also currently exploring the idea of dock-less bike sharing and is investigating potential companies with interest in mounting businesses in the city.
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