Are you about to cross the road? Look each methods — and pray.
The e-bike swarm makes a stroll to the opposite aspect so dangerous, it’s a surprise that pedestrians aren’t required to signal a legal responsibility launch earlier than stepping off the curb.
The menace that units New Yorkers scrambling for his or her lives at each nook requires just one resolution:
Ban e-bikes fully, irrespective of how a lot car-hating bike advocates scream and impatient New Yorkers gripe about their Normal Tso’s rooster taking a couple of minutes longer to reach.
New Yorkers should be careful for muggers and crazies lurking underneath scaffolds and on subway platforms. Now, for the reason that state legalized e-bikes in 2020, we put our lives on the road each time we step out of our houses in broad daylight. It is going to be even worse as spring turns to summer time. Citi Bikes simply started rolling out 1,500 extra, fancier e-bikes to its 5,000-strong fleet.
The brand new e-bikes have handlebar LED screens to indicate pace and instructions. Think about, riders who not often trouble to look left or proper can now focus all their consideration on a tiny, handlebars-mounted display screen with sound!
Extremely, e-bike riders don’t want licenses. However the two-wheel terrors are a license to kill and maim.
Town that closes eating places over a lifeless fly winks on the electric-powered “pedal-boosting” bikes that bear down on hapless pedestrians at 25 mph — silently, typically from the improper course, and regularly on sidewalks (the place not even common bikes are allowed).
Biking proponents cite the pandemic for serving to to popularize e-bikes. The logic of that isn’t clear, except it’s that the lockdowns of 2020 and lingering, useless restrictions brought on everybody to lose their minds.
Politicians and biking “advocates” endlessly suggest brainstorms to want away the e-bike carnage. Require licenses! Register the bikes! Set up extra bike lanes! Harder enforcement!
However it will be simpler to carry again a killer-bees invasion with a single can of Raid. Our streets and sidewalks are overrun. With the variety of e-bike rides within the metropolis greater than doubling from 2.7 million in 2020 to six.7 million final yr, no Mickey Mouse-level tinkering may make a distinction.
The Division of Transportation says there was one dying by e-bike this yr, and three in 2021. However the statistics, or lack thereof — the company doesn’t escape non-fatal collisions — belie the dysfunction they add to already near-lawless streets, and the dread they create to thousands and thousands of New Yorkers day by day.
E-bikes scare the bejeezus out of everybody besides the folks driving them. Aged and less-mobile folks rightly cower at their strategy.
Uptown and downtown, meals deliverers zoom between restaurant sidewalk seats and eating tents on the street heedless of site visitors lights — or of waiters who threat their lives bringing dishes to tables.
E-bikers in my Higher East Aspect neighborhood play a sport of rooster. Ha, ha! Let’s see how shut I can come to crippling you with out hitting you!
However there’s nothing humorous about it.
My good friend, former New York Put up author Doree Lewak, was practically killed by a wrong-way e-bike 4 years in the past. The hit-and-run strike on Sixth Avenue at West thirty seventh Avenue knocked out a half-dozen of her enamel, broken ten extra, and left her with everlasting accidents.
“Gone Woman” actress Lisa Banes died of mind accidents final June after an electrical scooter, the e-bikes’ shut cousin, ran her down on the Higher West Aspect. An Higher West Aspect restaurant supervisor perished final summer time after being struck by an e-bike on Amsterdam Avenue.
This yr, the best physique depend is to this point amongst e-bikers themselves. Amongst them: an off-duty NYPD cop who misplaced management in Flatbush; one other Brooklyn man run over by a automotive after his e-bike brakes locked, inflicting him to be ejected; and one man killed and a second harm once they drove their e-bike right into a parked truck in Gravesend.
The rattling issues are a menace even once they aren’t even shifting. Lithium ion batteries have been liable for greater than 40 fires, certainly one of them deadly, within the Huge Apple to this point this yr.
It received’t be simple for Mayor Adams, the Metropolis Council or the auto-hating DOT to tug the e-bikes’ plug. Many “progressives” wish to see them exchange automobiles altogether.
True management requires guts. However I wouldn’t depend on the pols and bureaucrats discovering their spines earlier than the following tragedies which are ready to occur.