Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Aug 24 2018 1:38pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 24 2018 9:57am
wturber wrote:
Aug 23 2018 11:00pm
Nah - that doesn't work either. I can change my bike to Class 1, 2 or 3 by changing a few options using the LCD panel. So you configure your bike for the desired class, get it registered, slap on a sticker, and then reconfigure it. Suddenly enforcement isn't so easy.
If it is reconfigurable, it's not on the list of class 1 bikes. Easy (bureaucratic) solution.
Not easy at all. Now the City needs to be able to determine if something is reconfigurable or not. Maybe my controller case is from a "legal" Model A but the innards are actually from an illegal Model B (shoved a Phaserunner inside :^). And, of course, they need to deal with the possibility of swapping out parts like the controller after inspection. Essentially any bike is reconfigurable. It's just a matter of how hard or easy it is to do so. So now you need stickers for all the components?!? And all this assumes that counterfeiting the stickers is hard - which it may not be and that regulators and cops know to beware of the ways systems can be reconfigured at the outset.

Some of this may seem a tad extreme, but if this was my job or if I was an enthusiast, it might be easily worth the trouble. And those folks are the "problem" groups to begin with. Right?
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by billvon » Aug 24 2018 3:08pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 24 2018 1:38pm
Not easy at all. Now the City needs to be able to determine if something is reconfigurable or not.
No, they don't. They require manufacturers to certify that they are not reconfigurable. Then that gets put on the approved list. It wouldn't take more than a few dozen forms, clerks, DMV procedures and rules. Bureaucrats love this stuff.

And if someone cheats and has a "trick" way to enable a higher power? Then they fine the manufacturer. Cha-ching!

And if there's a corner case? Why, that's another dozen forms they can print out and have you fill out, which will keep them and their department employed for a good long time.

Which is why it is wise, IMO, to avoid such problems _before_ a bureaucrat gets enough incentive to "solve" it.
Essentially any bike is reconfigurable.
So is any car (or airplane, or gun.) And people do use that to get around laws. But since it's hard to do, most people don't do it - and the system mostly works.
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Aug 24 2018 3:58pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 24 2018 3:08pm

So is any car (or airplane, or gun.) And people do use that to get around laws. But since it's hard to do, most people don't do it - and the system mostly works.
But there aren't speed and power limits on cars to try to get around. That's why they don't do it.

The problem with bikes and ebikes is that it seems that most people don't want to require issuing licenses, registration and insurance for bikes and ebikes. And without at least an operator's license requirement, enforcing traffic violations (which IMO is the best approach) becomes a problem. So the response is to regulate the bike instead. But I don't think mods are nearly as difficult and problematic as you do. I think they are pretty easy. And you don't see such things with cars because cars aren't generally limited top speed or power. And while more regs and paperwork may give politicians and bureaucrats the warm fuzzies and an illusion of efficacy, my bet is that they will be largely ineffective when it comes to behavior on the street. And that probably leads to more stringent regulations until eventually they regulate the ebike out of existence - which is where actually NYC was up until recently.

The more I think about it, license and registration may be best approach given that there is a real problem. But I'm not sure that there's a "real" problem in NYC as much as there is a distorted perspective and very biased impression of a real problem. That's why If I were riding in NYC, I'd be jumping all over the recent change that allows pedelecs and would be converting my bike right away. Whether I'd hide a throttle or not ... well who knows? :^)
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Aug 24 2018 3:59pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 24 2018 3:08pm

Which is why it is wise, IMO, to avoid such problems _before_ a bureaucrat gets enough incentive to "solve" it.
Agreed. Because their solution is probably gonna be worse than the initial problem.
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8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by billvon » Aug 24 2018 4:05pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 24 2018 3:58pm
But there aren't speed and power limits on cars to try to get around. That's why they don't do it.
There are plenty of laws on muffler noise, taillights, window tinting, emissions etc. Indeed, there is at least one business I know of that used to tune your car to pass emissions so you'd pass the test, then tune it right back afterwards.
The problem with bikes and ebikes is that it seems that most people don't want to require issuing licenses, registration and insurance for bikes and ebikes. And without at least an operator's license requirement, enforcing traffic violations (which IMO is the best approach) becomes a problem. So the response is to regulate the bike instead. But I don't think mods are nearly as difficult and problematic as you do. I think they are pretty easy.
So do I - but I'm an electrical engineer.
And you don't see such things with cars because cars aren't generally limited top speed or power. And while more regs and paperwork may give politicians and bureaucrats the warm fuzzies and an illusion of efficacy, my bet is that they will be largely ineffective when it comes to behavior on the street. And that probably leads to more stringent regulations until eventually they regulate the ebike out of existence - which is where actually NYC was up until recently.
100% right. Which is why (IMO) it's a good idea to avoid giving them the ammunition to go down that road.
But I'm not sure that there's a "real" problem in NYC as much as there is a distorted perspective and very biased impression of a real problem.
There is certainly a real problem. It's much _less_ of a problem than, say, injuries and deaths due to cars. But most people have cars, and most people don't have ebikes. And everyone's favorite thing to regulate is "something I don't have."
--bill von

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by LockH » Aug 24 2018 8:39pm

Hehe... But is it "noisy"? ("Smelly"?... and "Stinky" and "consumes a lot of energy"?) I "rest my case". :mrgreen:
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by LockH » Aug 27 2018 7:41am

Image
(They say:)
Documented is a news site devoted solely to covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives.

We provide original reporting on the ground-level impact of shifts in labor policy, law–enforcement practices and bureaucratic requirements, and on the effects of new federal directives. And we’ll keep you updated on the most important news from elsewhere.
Early Arrival: State Pension Sells Stock After Documented Report
("Monday's edition of Early Arrival: Investment Banks Doubled Down on Immigration Detention — A Look Inside Smugglers' Stash Houses — TPS Termination Questions"):
https://documentedny.com/2018/08/27/ear ... ed-report/

Starts:
A New Jersey state pension fund announced on Friday it would sell $1.3 million of stock in private prison company Geo Group.
Includes:
Local

De Blasio Sees No Need to Help Immigrant Deliverymen


Bicycle deliverymen, who are predominantly immigrants, should not look to Mayor Bill de Blasio for help converting their illegal electric bikes into legal e-bikes. During his weekly interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, de Blasio argued against the city stepping in to help convert the electric bikes into legal electric bikes like the Citi Bikes now being rolled out. The mayor has rallied against electric bikes ever since the issue was raised by a WNYC listener, despite no data to support the notion that they are a public safety threat. Politico New York:
https://www.politico.com/states/new-yor ... own-575095

:evil:
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by LockH » Aug 28 2018 4:41pm

Image
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Streetsblog connects people to information about how to reduce dependence on private automobiles and improve conditions for walking, biking, and transit. Since 2006, our reporters have broken important stories about efforts to prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths, build out bicycle networks, and make transit more useful. Our writing raises the profile of these issues with policy makers and turns arcane topics like parking requirements and induced traffic into accessible stories for a broad audience.

Today, hundreds of thousands of readers rely on Streetsblog and our video production partners at Streetfilms to link into a national movement for transportation reform. Streetsblog USA, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Denver produce original reporting and commentary that aims to change the cars-first status quo on their cities’ streets.
Judge: Restaurant Owners, Not Workers, Must Pay Fines for E-Bikes
("In ruling, an administrative judge cited city law and the mayor's own words to blame business owners for e-bike operation."):
https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2018/08/28/ ... r-e-bikes/

Starts:
ew York City businesses — not their delivery people — are liable for fines incurred by workers operating e-bikes on their behalf, a city administrative judge has ruled, blowing a huge legal hole in Mayor de Blasio’s misguided crackdown on the types of electric bikes preferred by the workers.

On July 12, an unidentified Office of Administrating Trials and Hearings judge dismissed two $500 e-bike tickets against Soho Sushi restaurant worker Yili Liu — and at the same time, rebuked the city for continuing to charge delivery people like Liu instead of their employees [PDF].

Liu’s lawyer, Legal Aid Society attorney Steven Wasserman, agreed that city law prohibits the operation of throttle-powered e-bikes like the one Liu was riding because they are classified as “electric scooters” under section 19-176.2(b) of the city administrative code. But another section — 10-157(k) — states that businesses are “liable for any AC 19-176.2(b) violations committed by any person operating a motorized scooter on behalf of such businesses.”

“I agree with Mr. Wasserman,” the judge ruled. It was the first time Wasserman said he had gotten such a response in roughly two dozen e-bike cases that he has argued citing section 10-157(k).
Will fears and ignorance rule New York City? Stay tuned...
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by billvon » Aug 28 2018 4:49pm

LockH wrote:
Aug 28 2018 4:41pm
Judge: Restaurant Owners, Not Workers, Must Pay Fines for E-Bikes
("In ruling, an administrative judge cited city law and the mayor's own words to blame business owners for e-bike operation."):
https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2018/08/28/ ... r-e-bikes/

Starts:
New York City businesses — not their delivery people — are liable for fines incurred by workers operating e-bikes on their behalf, a city administrative judge has ruled, blowing a huge legal hole in Mayor de Blasio’s misguided crackdown on the types of electric bikes preferred by the workers.
Good! This will reduce the incentive for restaraunts to hire riders who ride at unsafe speeds, and who misuse overpowered bikes.
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by LockH » Aug 28 2018 5:00pm

^^ "overpowered"... Care to define? :wink: Happy to "restrict behaviours"... and LOATH to restrict technology. :)
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by billvon » Aug 28 2018 5:07pm

LockH wrote:
Aug 28 2018 5:00pm
^^ "overpowered"... Care to define?
>20mph on motor power.
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Aug 28 2018 5:09pm

So here are links to the two codes:
https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2 ... 176.2.html

https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/new ... ode_10-157

Make it so that your throttle can't work unless you are pedaling or limit your e-bike to below 15 and you don't violate 19-176.2. As with Class 1 definitions, there is no prohibition of having a throttle. The bike simply must not be capable of being propelled without human power. Given that the punishment is a $500 fine, impounding of the "scooter", and fees for recovery of the impounded "scooter", it boggles my mind that any significant number of people would choose to violate this regulation.

Also, I can see why the lawyer had not found a judge to agree with him. There's a fair bit of ambiguity in the law. The way I read these laws, both the restaurant and the "scooter" operator are potentially liable. There's also a possible loophole for the business if they aren't also employing legit bicycles. As worded, 10-157 would not apply if you were only operating or hiring scooters. The way it is written doesn't seem sensible to me, but that's what it sez.
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Aug 28 2018 5:12pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 28 2018 5:07pm
LockH wrote:
Aug 28 2018 5:00pm
^^ "overpowered"... Care to define?
>20mph on motor power.
Per the code, that would be 15 mph or less. The two codes previously cited don't give a speed limit if the bike is also human powered. Though there may be some other code.
...For the
purposes of this section, the term motorized scooter shall not include
wheelchairs or other mobility aids designed for use by disabled persons,
electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour
or
https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2 ... 176.2.html
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8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by LockH » Sep 24 2018 10:38pm

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(Wiki:)
AM New York (stylized as amNewYork) is a morning free daily newspaper that is published in New York City by Newsday. According to the company, the average Friday circulation in September 2013 was 335,900. When launched on October 10, 2003, amNewYork was the first free daily newspaper in New York City. Its main competitor is Metro New York, which followed amNewYork into the market, using similar distribution and marketing strategies.
Imagine your L train shutdown pains abated by legalized electric scooters
("Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes parts of Williamsburg and Bushwick, joins other lawmakers in his pro-e-scooter stance."):
https://www.amny.com/transit/l-train-sh ... 1.21245220

Starts:
New Yorkers affected by the impending L train shutdown could have a chance to commute to work via electric scooter if an effort to legalize them gains traction.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes parts of Williamsburg and Bushwick, wants the city to legalize e-scooters, he said at a news conference Monday.

As of August, council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Rafael Espinal were in the process of drafting legislation that would legalize the scooters. That legislation hasn’t yet been introduced, a spokeswoman for Reynoso said Monday.
:)
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by Offroader » Dec 23 2018 9:12pm

Do you really feel they are going after ebikes in NYC?

Speaking specifically about Manhattan, I plan on taking my super ebikes, my Qulbix and Sur-Ron from the south ferry to mid-town for commuting.

I want to ride right up the west side highway as I believe that is the quickest way to get from south ferry to mid-town.

I want to avoid the bike path on the west side because I don't want to get stopped there in a sting. I'm not sure if the police crack down on that bike path.

Do you really think I will get bothered by police on the west side highway?

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Dec 23 2018 9:40pm

Offroader wrote:
Dec 23 2018 9:12pm

Do you really think I will get bothered by police on the west side highway?
You should read this entire thread. Look specifically for references to the law and how ambiguous it is and how its enforcement seems to shift with the political winds. I'd be especially careful about riding in NYC if my ebike had a hand operated throttle.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/nyre ... lasio.html
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by Offroader » Dec 23 2018 10:03pm

What I find is that they mostly go after the typical delivery guy ebike. I don't think they bother with the super ebikes.

It seems that right now there are more ebikes in Manhattan than ever before. I notice them everywhere but they are not a problem as they stay in the streets.

I wonder how they even enforce the rules in Manhattan, there is so much traffic how could they even catch up to you to pull you over? Wouldn't someone just continue driving in the traffic instead of letting a cop pull them over and write them a $500 ticket and confiscate their bike?
There is no way a NYC police officer is going to be chasing anyone on an ebike, I believe there are rules against this and for good reason, its to easy for someone to get killed if they start chasing.

I'm just really curious how they enforce ebikes laws in manhattan as its too chaotic and too much traffic.

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Dec 24 2018 3:36am

wturber wrote:
Dec 23 2018 9:40pm
Offroader wrote:
Dec 23 2018 9:12pm

Do you really think I will get bothered by police on the west side highway?
You should read this entire thread. Look specifically for references to the law and how ambiguous it is and how its enforcement seems to shift with the political winds. I'd be especially careful about riding in NYC if my ebike had a hand operated throttle.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/nyre ... lasio.html
Actually, you should start at the link below since this thread was revived about a year ago.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 0#p1339496
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by Offroader » Dec 24 2018 10:42am

Thanks for the links. I'll read more of the threads.

I'll give an update when I start commuting with my bike if I see any problems.

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by matt912836 » Dec 24 2018 1:06pm

Offroader wrote:
Dec 23 2018 10:03pm
What I find is that they mostly go after the typical delivery guy ebike. I don't think they bother with the super ebikes.

It seems that right now there are more ebikes in Manhattan than ever before. I notice them everywhere but they are not a problem as they stay in the streets.

I wonder how they even enforce the rules in Manhattan, there is so much traffic how could they even catch up to you to pull you over? Wouldn't someone just continue driving in the traffic instead of letting a cop pull them over and write them a $500 ticket and confiscate their bike?
There is no way a NYC police officer is going to be chasing anyone on an ebike, I believe there are rules against this and for good reason, its to easy for someone to get killed if they start chasing.

I'm just really curious how they enforce ebikes laws in manhattan as its too chaotic and too much traffic.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it...

Being a bike messenger for 3+ years in NYC, primarily on high power non-stealthy bikes, no it does not make a sound, as long as it doesnt hit anyone or cause any obvious disruptions in traffic...

You must really have bad luck if you get pulled over on an ebike. And your way more likely to get pulled over on a slow ebike vs one that can keep up and beat traffic with.

I regularly take the west side highway (even the highway only parts after 56th st) since its the only place I can really open up. Just make sure your bike is up for the task electrically and mechanically! the last time trip i made on the highway, a cell group in my battery failed and the bike completelty shut off on me. It was 100% my fault as i did notice my battery was sagging more than normal, most likely due to an imbalance in the cells, yet i still took the chance of throwing myself into a continuous high current situation where i had to maintain 50+mph. luckily it cut off seconds after an exit, with grass on the side allowing me to safely pull over! If not I would have been stuck in a BAD situation.

If your bike cant handle this, dont bother taking it on any legnthy high speed roads:
https://www.instagram.com/tv/BqxdQ4xA14 ... rnxlg9gd1b

When in doubt, fake pedal it out!

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by Offroader » Dec 24 2018 10:39pm

Loved the video. I had my 8KW bike on the west side once and was popping wheelies also. I always wondered what it would be like to see another high powered ebike in the city. I've yet to see any other high powered ebike in NYC. My 8KW ebike can hit about 50-55MPH and I also have my motor fan cooled so I can do longer stretches at higher speeds.

I agree with what you are saying about making sure the bike is up to it. It does take a while to make sure its reliable.

What would you do if the police tried to pull you over, would you even stop for them? I'm thinking just act like you don't hear or see them and just get lost in the traffic. This is NYC police and not some state trooper from the country, the police treat citizens like babies in the city.

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by onemorejoltwarden » Dec 26 2018 3:32pm

Fine, but that's just not a bike, it's a motorcycle and needs to be treated as one.



https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/ ... astructure
good discussion of how to mkae bikes work in diverse cities with role of ebiking explored and discussed well
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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by Offroader » Dec 26 2018 4:29pm

onemorejoltwarden wrote:
Dec 26 2018 3:32pm
Fine, but that's just not a bike, it's a motorcycle and needs to be treated as one.



https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/ ... astructure
good discussion of how to mkae bikes work in diverse cities with role of ebiking explored and discussed well
yes we are pushing the limits, but that is what you need to get places fast in the city. You need a bike that can push 55MPH. The thing is we are not doing that in the bike lanes, we go right on the highway.

Its more like a motorcycle when it needs to be but can pass as a bike when it needs to be.

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by amberwolf » Dec 26 2018 4:40pm

Offroader wrote:
Dec 24 2018 10:39pm
What would you do if the police tried to pull you over, would you even stop for them? I'm thinking just act like you don't hear or see them and just get lost in the traffic.
Remember that you're dealing with an organization with instant communications between individuals.

It's easy enough for the one that sees you and decides you shouldn't be allowed to do what you're doing to call someone else (or dispatch) and have someone else meet you where you can't get past them. Even if it is a "waste" of manhours, fuel, etc., they can still decide to setup a blockade that encompasses all exits from an area, including those pedestrians and bicycles could use.

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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Persecuting E-Bikes in New York City

Post by wturber » Dec 26 2018 6:28pm

amberwolf wrote:
Dec 26 2018 4:40pm

It's easy enough for the one that sees you and decides you shouldn't be allowed to do what you're doing to call someone else (or dispatch) and have someone else meet you where you can't get past them. Even if it is a "waste" of manhours, fuel, etc., they can still decide to setup a blockade that encompasses all exits from an area, including those pedestrians and bicycles could use.
Maybe. But I'm guessing that the "authorities" been trying to take the easier way out by coming down fairly hard on ebikes in general - hence the sweeps earlier in 2018 where parked ebikes were confiscated. They apparently eased back in late 2018 by clarifying that pedelec/no-throttle ebikes were legal if they did not go faster than 20 mph. That's fairly heavy handed since regular bicycles can easily exceeed 25 mph with a fit rider and even hit 30 mph with a really fit rider.
Last edited by wturber on Dec 27 2018 5:11pm, edited 1 time in total.
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