By Scott Etkin
The DeHostos Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development on the corner of 93rd Street and Amsterdam, was selected to be part of a pilot program by Con Edison to install outdoor e-bike and e-scooter charging and storage for its residents.
The test project, which was announced by Mayor Eric Adams earlier this week, is intended to “determine whether providing safe, secure charging and storage outdoors would reduce indoor charging, which can be dangerous,” and measure how much demand there is among residents for this service, according to ConEd’s press release.
DeHostos Houses, a 22-story building with 219 apartments, was one of four NYCHA developments selected for the program. The other sites are in Queens and Brooklyn.
“[DeHostos] was chosen because residents had expressed strong interest in safe charging options for e-bike batteries. City Council Member Gale Brewer had also suggested this location,” said Allan Drury, a spokesperson for ConEd, in an email to WSR.
The program is still in its early stages, so details about how big each facility will be are not yet available. Currently, ConEd is in the process of finding a vendor to build the storage and charging units. Doing a site visit with the vendor will then allow ConEd to determine how many chargers each site will accommodate. ConEd is expecting the work to install the chargers to begin in late 2023.
E-bikes are a…charged topic on the Upper West Side. Community Board 7 recently rejected a proposal from the City for a deliversita hub in the traffic island south of the 72nd Street subway station on Broadway, primarily due to concerns around pedestrian safety, but also because of the risk of fires from e-bike batteries. Last summer, NYCHA considered banning e-bikes from its apartments and common spaces due to fire risk.
The safety concerns around charging e-bikes indoors are a top focus of the new program. “We want to encourage outdoor charging, as opposed to indoor charging, which can be dangerous,” said Mr. Drury. “The chargers will be a safe distance from residences and comply with Fire Department of New York (FDNY) guidelines for safety.”
While the dangers of e-bikes are real, there are also benefits. Rides on e-bikes and e-scooters can replace car and motorcycle trips, which reduces pollution, noise, and traffic congestion. Some low-income individuals also rely on e-bikes to make money delivering food and other goods throughout the city for delivery apps that don’t provide a mode of transportation to their independent contractors.
“Making micromobility safer and easier will be a plus for the many hard-working people who earn their living delivering food to our homes and businesses,” said Raghu Sudhakara, vice president, Distributed Resource Integration, for Con Edison. “Our demonstration project with NYCHA will provide us with information on how we can support these forms of transportation, which provide environmental benefits, convenience, and enjoyment when used safely.”
Why is 93 Street filled with so many new tech stations? First, the ecar chargers on the corner of 93 and cpw. The crowded sidewalks and street with the enormous SUV lines from the private school and now the ebike chargers on Amsterdam. Clearly these decision do not take into account the folks who live on 93 St. and their needs. I am already quite disenfranchised, being forced to give up keeping a car in the city due to outrageous garage prices. I don’t expect to be heard; I have no voice but I must scream from time to time. Not everyone who lives here is a rich person. I am neither poor nor rich- but here goes the city squeezing the middle class guy again.
This is for NYCHA residents on NYCHA property and you’re complaining? Maybe it will result in one less fire on W. 93rd St.
Hey.. If you’re into cars you should consider living outside of the city.. Way too many cars here! No wonder there’s no room for those of us who want to enjoy Manhattan…. so overwhelmed with the traffic and the ‘sheds’ .. one on every single block on the UWS!
BTW the e-commerce explosion has impacted vehicles traffic including a ton of deliveries being done by gig workers using private vehicles.
Cars are used for jobs outside of the City, those would be late night jobs and or jobs not near public transit.
You should consider the real world.
Modest question: Will e-bike owners who charge their machines at safe outdoor stations then be allowed to bring their fully-charged bikes upstairs to their apartments, where they are a fire hazard? https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/06/realestate/e-bikes-fires-danger.html
The answer is in the very first paragraph of this article: …part of a pilot program by Con Edison to install outdoor e-bike and e-scooter charging and storage for its residents.
They should be placed in buildings with Transportation Alternatives board members
Are there metrics showing that ebike users are replacing car trips? Or are they mostly replacing bud and subway trips?
Because if it’s the latter then taxpayers are paying twice. Once for the bike infrastructure and again in increased subsidies to the MTA to cover lost revenue from fares.
If this prevents one fire in public housing, then it more than pays for itself.
Your logic is faulty if car trips are also being replaced which is likely the case. The City receives certain revenues from car usage (including taxis and car services) that dwindle when ebike usage increases.
BTW in NYC, regular bicycle and ebike users are typically former mass transit/subway riders – not former car drivers.
Bicycling siphons from mass transit
Bikes also “siphon” from taxi / car service. I am a regular citibike user and have significantly reduced my hired car use.
“While the dangers of e-bikes are real, there are also benefits. Rides on e-bikes and e-scooters can replace car and motorcycle trips, which reduces pollution, noise, and traffic congestion. “
It would be helpful if the Rag did not channel the propaganda of Transportation Alternatives and other anti-community groups.
There is no proof whatsoever of the above quoted assertion. More likely, e-bikes and e-scooters increase congestion on our streets, which adds to pollution – and to stress among pedestrians and traditional bicyclists.
The time to ban most two-wheeled vehicles from our streets and parks is NOW.
Bill – Agree here.
TransAlt lobbyists along with partners Streetsblog and Open Plans have a specific focus which is expanding the bicycle infrastructure.
They used to be grass roots but now well-financed and powerful.
Unfortunately they are not interested in bus transit, as evidenced by their advocacy for “open streets “ forcing bus detours
So the city is paying to charge the e-bikes that obey no traffic laws and constantly endanger the lives of New Yorkers?
District Office – Gale Brewer
563 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024
Call and voice your concerns please
You think that’s going to make any difference ?!
What do we mean by “e bikes”. – does this include e motorbikes that plague our streets sans license plates and moving as fast as regular vehicles? Let’s encourage more of that with charging stations. NYC has less vehicle regulation than any developing country I’ve travelled to of late.
At least when a knock off e-bike battery explodes from charging it will be in a storage area; which will probably take out all the surrounding e-bikes.
Seriously one bad e-bike battery will ignite all the others when it explodes. Better than in an apartment building though.
Please reach out to Gale Brewer, politely and respectfully, and let her know that children and the elderly are in danger with bikes, scooters, E bikes, and motorcycles riding on the sidewalk and endangering pedestrians.
Council phone #
I don’t feel that any rewards should be given to this group as they continuously flout the law and have hit so many walking pedestrians.
And, I do speak from experience. I was hit by a delivery bike, knocked to the ground and suffered a concussion
Thank you all for making the effort to politely engage with our elected officials and express your concerns about our safety.
I was on the M15 bus recently and observed a ebiker hit a car – and then fall from the impact.
Traffic was slow so luckily the vehicle behind the ebiker was able to brake and not hit the ebiker who was on the ground.
I share your concern – The e-bikes zip around without license plates and it is scary. I walk with my children home on W93rd but I will stop that once the e-bikes take over.
I was hit by a guy (delivery) on a throttle e-bike, and I’m neither a child nor elderly. Unlike you, I was not knocked over. Given how stupid his driving was I sure could have been, or if instead of running into me, he’d driven a different path across the sidewalk, he could have hit several others.
The City (not just Brewer) seems bent on ignoring the dangers to pedestrians caused by these drivers.
The next Community Board hearing is on April 4. One of the issues where the public can participate via Zoom has to do with creating crosstown bike lanes every 10 blocks and potentially on Central Park transverses. If you have concerns about this and charging stations, please attend the Zoom mtg and SPEAK UP and/or write to CB7 before the meeting.
At a meeting of the Transportation Committee the public statements were overwhelmed with people in favor of the bike lanes. Yet everything I read on comment lines and when I speak to neighbors about bikes, E-bikes and scooters are very opposed to the proliferation of this mode of transport. It’s because of the very negative effects on pedestrian safety and because of fires which happen almost daily from the charging of batteries.
If you don’t speak up Trans Alt and others who are well organized will seize the argument. That means if you’re opposed to E-bikes and commoditized biking like Citibike owned by Lyft now with thousands of E-bikes-you will lose!
The meeting starts at 6:30.
Manhattan Community Board 7
250 West 87th Street
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 362-4008
Fax: (212) 595-9317
When will CB7, and other CBs, drop this Zoom only thing?
IRL people exchange ideas and arguments face to face.
Oh, and the CBs aren’t going to do anything about e-bikes, they’ve had years of the problem, and they’ve ignored it (all subsets of it) for that time.