Upper West Side New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer came out at the end of last week against a new bill that would require all electric bikes to register with the city, arguing the legislation would not lead to safer streets and pointing instead toward other ways to combat the issue.
Brewer joins a growing list of elected officials who have taken a stand against Councilmember Robert Holden’s bill, which would require every electric vehicle in New York City that is not otherwise registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and receive an identification number, which would then be displayed on the electric vehicle.
“I do not believe a blanket e-bike registration rule will make streets safer, nor is NYC DOT equipped to establish, manage, or enforce it,” Brewer tweeted on Friday.
Brewer instead pointed to four other bills she supports or sponsors that relate to electric-vehicle safety.
Here’s a look at those bills and what they would do:
- Intro 1168: The bill would require delivery app companies to provide safe e-bikes at no cost to workers to reduce the risk of dangerous battery fires.
- Intro 1163-2023: The bill would require workplace safety training and certification be provided to delivery workers and mandate that delivery app companies equip workers with bicycle safety equipment.
- S7703/A08052: The bill would require that a license from buyers for mopeds be provided at the point of sale.
- S3304/A4637: The legislation would create a system of automated bike lane safety cameras.
Holden fired back at Brewer’s stance against his bill.
“This is the response one should expect from someone who ignores constituents and is always ready to serve TransAlt’s interests,” he wrote in his own tweet. “Intro 758 is a vital step for safety & accountability, what New Yorkers support. Anyone committed to these values should unequivocally back the bill.”
Brewer’s statement on the issue came shortly after Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that advocates against automobiles and for biking, walking, and public transportation in the five boroughs, led a coalition of 31 safe streets, climate justice, and immigrant-rights advocate groups in writing a letter to the City Council strongly rejecting Holden’s bill to register all electric vehicles.
“Advancing legislation, like Intro 0758-2022 or other bills that seek to license and register bikes, would be ineffective, dangerous, expensive, short-sighted, and bureaucratically complicated,” the letter reads. “Moreover, it would open a door to licensing all bikes, which would be disastrous for transportation in New York City, and roll back decades of work to give New Yorkers more affordable and sustainable means of traveling across the five boroughs.”
StreetsBlog was the first publication to report on Brewer’s stance against licensing all electric vehicles.
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