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Advocacy group: Delay in bill signing discriminatory against New York City delivery workers

Published December 23, 2019
Supporters protest outside Cuomo's office.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — A nonprofit group advocating for bicycle and pedestrian rights in New York City says the delay in passing an e-bike access bill is discriminatory against delivery workers.

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In five tweets on Dec. 20, Transportational Alternatives called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not signing the e-bike and e-scooter bill that was passed by the state legislature in June. Supporters of the bill protested outside Cuomo's midtown office on Dec. 20, holding signs demanding he legalize e-bikes.

The bill, which needs to be signed by the Dec. 31 deadline to become law, would give the three classes of e-bikes the same rights of the road as traditional bicyclists throughout the state and give local municipalities the right to regulate them at their discretion. Currently, only pedal-assist e-bikes are allowed.

Concerns over the food delivery workers using e-bikes in a dangerous manner also has contributed to the New York City's e-bike backlash. The city council's public safety chair, Donovan Richards, said the New York Police Department has been harassing e-bike delivery workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio began an initiative in 2014 to curb dangerous driving, which included e-bike riders.

The legislation recognizes three classes of e-bikes: pedal-assist and throttle-control with 20 mph maximum speed and throttle-control with 25 mph maximum speed. E-scooters would be capped at 20 mph. Riders would need to be at least 16 years old, and local municipalities would decide if they would be allowed on sidewalks. E-scooters would not be allowed in Manhattan because it's the city's busiest borough.

Since the 1970s, Transportation Alternatives has fought for construction of bike lanes and bike-share programs among other green alternatives to "reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile and advocate for better bicycling, walking and public transit for all New Yorkers," according to its website.

Transportational Alternatives called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not signing the e-bike and e-scooter bill.
Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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