Following outrage and protests from delivery workers – who were even joined by one of the council members who supported the initial crackdown – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken a step to relieve the city’s misguided crusade against e-Bikes.
There’s one problem.
His solution, an exemption for a very specific category of e-bikes, does little to help the immigrant delivery workers that are being hurt most by the crackdown.
The exception allows only pedal-assist bikes that are equipped by the manufacturer. The problem with this is that most delivery workers use combination bikes that have been modified.
The city has not provided any evidence that e-bikes in any form pose a legitimate public safety risk or are involved in more accidents than regular bikes or other vehicles.
This policy is ignoring reality in order to target people who are unable to fight back against it. It is damaging to individuals, as well as to the overall New York economy. Immigrant delivery workers are receiving tickets, their bikes are being confiscated, and their livelihoods are being threatened.
There will be a public hearing on May 29th regarding the pedal-assist rule. It is important that this rule pass, and that it be taken further to include the bikes that are being used most.