Stopping e-bikes would be easier if they were legal, Sunset Parkers say

Flouting the law: A delivery man rides his electric bike on the sidewalk on 52nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues.
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The only way to curb the scourge of unsanctioned electronic scooters is to legalize them, according to Sunset Parkers.

Police aren’t doing anything to stop so-called “e-bike” riders from wantonly disobeying traffic rules, and the vehicles’ legality is hazy at best, so officials must codify the rides and start slapping bad actors with tickets, one local said.

“The police cannot or will not stop them, so we want to legalize and regulate them,” said Tony Giordano the executive director of the Sunset Park Restoration. “It makes them identifiable, so if they have a license plate on the back then the police have no excuse, they can say, ‘Oh this one doesn’t have a license plate grab him,’ or ‘This one does, check that he has insurance.’ ”

The devices are legal to own, but the state Department of Motor Vehicles will not let users register them — effectively making it illegal to ride them on city streets.

Creating a way to register the e-bikes would make it easier for police to ticket dangerous operators, but it would also protect riders and property owners by limiting who can helm such shooters and compelling drivers to get insurance, according to a rep for a local pol who is working on such legislation.

“It’s a very problematic issue in Sunset Park,” said Jeffrey Wice, special counsel to Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D–Sunset Park). “We’re approaching this from a safety and responsibility perspective. We want to make sure young people are limited from using these bikes and that adults are registered and insured.”

Pols introduced a bill last year to regulate the battery-powered scooters as bicycles, but it went flat, Ortiz instead hopes to treat them more like cars.

Meantime, e-bikers are scooting all over town with relative impunity, Giordano said.

“These things are silent killers,” he said. “I’ve stepped out of my car at 10 pm and suddenly something just blew past me at 30 miles per hour.”

The 72nd Precinct did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Me from Bay Ridge says:
Why is it that you never see a Chinaman without a cigarette in his mouth?
Sept. 16, 2016, 12:58 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Me from Bay Ridge: Because you still live in 1850 when Chinese people were called "Chinamen"? Smoking is ubiquitous in many cultures, including among Greeks and Russians.
Sept. 16, 2016, 1:13 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Why would the police enforce any rules against electric bikes? They don't enforce the rules against non-electric bikes, or double-parked cars, or against those Swegway scooters that everyone was so worried about last Christmas. The last thing any police officer wants to do is spend his day checking IDs and arrest records, and writing tickets. They should do it, but they won't.
Sept. 16, 2016, 1:14 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Sean F from Bensonhurst,

WTF is a "Swegway"?
You sir, are a dullard.
Sept. 16, 2016, 1:36 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
It's another name for "hoverboards". Makes more sense then "hoverboard" since they don't actually hover.

"Dullard" = a slow or stupid person. I'm not the one so far behind I'm using 19th Century slurs, or who doesn't know the latest slang.
Sept. 16, 2016, 1:48 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Now the creep is imitating me on other stories than the one about the boy getting hit by the bike. I didn't write those two above. He or she also thinks I'm a man so that shows you how smart he or she is. This paper really needs a registration system.
Sept. 16, 2016, 2:01 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
I reported the fake comments on the other story but they are still there.
Sept. 16, 2016, 2:06 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Asian American, please, sir. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
John Wasserman
Sept. 16, 2016, 3:50 pm
mariposaman from Canada says:
Silent killers? Name one fatality caused by an ebike. Ebikes are silent like pedal bicycles, and are limited to 20 mph, not 30. Besides, maybe if Mr. Giordano looked before getting out of his car, he would not be surprised by an ebike or bicycle.
Sept. 16, 2016, 11:50 pm
Joshua from Bay Ridge says:
Those cycling activists are propably against those electric bikes, hey! How can someone use electricity to commute anywhere?! Ban it now, they have to cycle even if it's 0 Degrees! lol
Sept. 17, 2016, 1:39 am
samir kabir from downtown says:
Riding a motorized vehicle on city sidewalks is illegal.
Sept. 17, 2016, 6:53 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
First, we need to stop calling them "bikes." They are electric motor vehicles, and they are turning Brooklyn into Calcutta with all of their drivers ignoring red lights, driving the wrong way on the one way or a street, and zooming up onto sidewalks whenever they so choose. Penalties such as confiscation and hefty fines should be implemented after the first offense that endangers the public.
Sept. 17, 2016, 12:13 pm
Jackie O from Sunset Park says:
As long as my lo mein is still warm I got no complaints
Sept. 17, 2016, 3:28 pm
Hunter from Sunset Park says:
Jackie O - you'll be dead before that lomein comes to you if you get hit by one of these out-of-control Chinese drivers! They'll hit anyone, they don't care! Even you! Even their own damned customers! They don't care at all!
Sept. 19, 2016, 3:48 am
Wang Poo from Virginia says:
Hot lo mein in sunset? Good luck. These sleazy Chinese will give you chow fun and call it hot noodles! They just want to zoom around like maniacs. Don't care who they hurt.
Sept. 19, 2016, 11:01 am
Guest from NYC says:
“These things are silent killers,”

I dare anyone to name one person killed by an ebike in NYC, ever.

The riders of these things are scapegoats because they have been typically immigrants conducting deliveries. Now that they are getting very cheap, and an increasing number of commuters use them, the laws will be forced to change.
Sept. 20, 2016, 3:23 pm

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