#DeliverJustice: Protect NYC Working Cyclists

To: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

It's time to #DeliverJustice!

Right now, tens of thousands of New York City's working cyclists -- many of whom are immigrants -- are targeted for enforcement because of the e-bikes they use to do their job. Working cyclists can spend over 10 hours a day on their bikes, 6 or 7 days a week, making some kind of electric-assist on their bikes essential for their livelihood.

While Mayor de Blasio recently took a positive first step by clarifying New York City’s legal framework on e-bikes so any device that is pedal-activated with a top speed of 20mph (class 1 e-bikes) will be unambiguously legal in New York, this clarification is not sufficient to protect most workers.

Most e-bikes in New York City, particularly those used by tens of thousands of low-wage, predominantly immigrant workers, are throttle activated (Class 2 and 3 e-bikes) and are excluded from this new legal clarification. This means that workers are still fined up to $500 solely for operating an e-bike in New York City, and their bikes are confiscated -  leaving them unable to provide for their families while their cases linger in court. There needs to be a clear way for workers to convert their e-bikes and make them legal.

Current e-bike policy remains detached from safety data, and its disproportionate impact on immigrant workers makes it unacceptable for the “fairest big city” in the country. It also fails to take into account the environmental, health, and de-congestion benefits that come with promoting e-bikes as a whole.

 

There are equitable solutions that can be enacted now.

Going forward, Mayor de Blasio must #DeliverJustice:

  1. Modify Current Enforcement Practices: Issue a moratorium on enforcement on e-bikes until a New York City regulatory framework has been fully implemented.

  2. Establish Regulations for E-bike Conversion: Issue guidelines and requirements for converting Class 2 and 3 throttle e-bikes into Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes, and ensure the most common kinds of e-bikes that delivery workers use are included in the legalization framework.

  3. Fund a Non-Onerous Pathway to Convert All E-Bikes: Establish a program that provides financial and practical assistance to e-bike owners for conversion.

  4. Educate All Parties: Educate the public, workers, and NYPD about the above changes.

  5. Create Transparency: Start recording and publishing detailed data of e-bicyclists’ involvement in traffic crashes.

Mayor de Blasio, we call on you to #DeliverJustice on behalf of New York City's working cyclists!

 

This petition is co-authored by NYC's #DeliverJustice coalition. Partners include: Asian American Federation, Make the Road New York, Legal Aid Society, Biking Public Project, and Transportation Alternatives.

This petition will be delivered to
NYC Council: Ydanis Rodriguez - Transportation Chair; Carlos Menchaca - Immigration Chair; Rafael Espinal - Consumer Affairs and Licensing Chair; Corey Johnson - City Council Speaker; Margaret Chin - Chair on Aging
Mayor de Blasio,

Recently you clarified New York City’s legal framework on e-bikes so those that are pedal activated and have a top speed of 20mph (class 1 e-bikes) are unambiguously legal in New York.

While this is a good first step, it is far from enough.

Most e-bikes in New York City, particularly those used by tens of thousands of low-wage, predominantly immigrant workers, are throttle activated (class 2 and 3 e-bikes) and are excluded from this legal clarification This means that these workers are fined up to $500 and their bikes are confiscated - leaving them unable to provide for their families while their cases linger in court. Working cyclists can spend over 10 hours a day on their bikes, 6 or 7 days a week, making some kind of electric-assist for their bikes essential for their livelihood.

There needs to be a clear way for workers to convert their e-bikes and make them legal.

Current e-bike policy remains detached from safety data, and its disproportionate impact on immigrant workers makes it unacceptable for the “fairest big city” in the country. It also fails to take into account the environmental, health, and de-congestion benefits that come with promoting e-bikes as a whole.

There are equitable solutions that can be enacted now.

Going forward, you must:

(1) Modify Current Enforcement Practices: Issue a moratorium on enforcement on e-bikes until a New York City regulatory framework has been fully implemented.

(2) Establish Regulations for E-bike Conversion: Issue guidelines and requirements for converting Class 2 and 3 throttle e-bikes into Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes, and ensure the most common kinds of e-bikes that delivery workers use are included in the legalization framework.

(3) Fund a Non-Onerous Pathway to Convert All E-Bikes: Establish a program that provides financial and practical assistance to e-bike owners for conversion.

(4) Educate All Parties: Educate the public, workers and NYPD about the above changes.

(5) Create Transparency: Start recording and publishing detailed data of e-bicyclists’ involvement in traffic crashes.

Together, we can #DeliverJustice on behalf of New York City's working cyclists.
Read the letter