New York City

NYC Mayor Wants a Crackdown on Motorized Bicycles

The move comes after a cyclist complained on a radio show.

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Marcos Vasconcelos Photography

A cyclist called in during New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's weekly appearance on WNYC to complain about motorized bicycles, which are technically legal to own in the city but not to ride. The caller suggested the city start ticketing not just the riders but the owners of restaurants whose workers deliver food on the bikes.

On Thursday, the caller joined the mayor at a press conference to announce such a crackdown.

"They don't belong in our streets, much less in our bike lanes," the caller told reporters.

Starting next year, de Blasio declared, business owners will receive a $100 fine ($200 after the first offense) for allowing an employee to use a motorized bicycle on the job. Police already fine the drivers of such bicycles: They've confiscated more than 900 of them so far, and the bikes are returned only after the fine is paid.

So despite de Blasio's lofty rhetoric about criminal justice reform, he's extending rather than rolling back a policy that can only increase the number of hostile police-civilian encounters.

De Blasio suggested that businesses had alternatives: regular bicycles, or "obviously, if a company wants to—if a store wants to use a car, they could do that." Motorized bicycles require less effort, and therefore have longer ranges, than traditional bicycles, and they are far more affordable than automobiles.

De Blasio insists this is a safety issue, but as Henry Grabar notes at Slate, while 83 people (including 13 cyclists) have been killed by cars, trucks, and buses in New York City this year, no one has been killed by a bicycle. The New York Police Department does not even collect data on motorized bicycle fatalities or complaints.

The policy is just a creative new excuse to generate revenue by hassling residents. De Blasio can be scourge of the poor and the rich too.

De Blasio is rolling out this policy even while trying to attract a company, Amazon, that has helped fuel the rise in demand for delivery service. (He's also introducing it while trying to reduce traffic congestion with a plan that includes a crackdown on curbside delivery.) Meanwhile, climate change is such an important issue that it requires New York City to join the Paris Accords on its own but not such an important issue that the city should legalize a cleaner alternative to cars.

No worries, though: De Blasio said he hopes delivery people who can't deliver except with motorized bicycles "could find some other type of work with that restaurant or that business."

De Blasio is widely expected to be elected to a second term next month.

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  1. NYC is getting tbe government they deserve, good and hard.

  2. I’m starting to think that the job of mayor isn’t all that hard, if this utter retard can get it.

    1. Getting it is hard. Doing it, not so much.

    2. He’s no retard!……He is a Tyrannical Marxist who knows EXACTLY what he is doing!!!

  3. he’s extending rather than rolling back a policy that can only increase the number of hostile police-civilian encounters.

    Is there any other kind of police-civilian encounter? In my experience asking the police for help after being the victim of a crime is simply an opportunity for them to run me for warrants, search me for contraband, and then leave. It’s as if they only respond to crimes so they can find an excuse to arrest the victim.

  4. And of course, it is a cyclist who complained. I understand not everyone who considers themselves a cyclist is a smug, Progressive, obnoxious asshole. But, my God, as group cyclist may be the biggest collection of obnoxious assholes associated with any sort of activity or hobby. They always seem to live up to the worst stereotype of them.

    1. I wonder if the guy complaining is like the other bicycle riders I see – constantly going the wrong way on one way streets, riding on the sidewalk and ignoring traffic laws. I will say that I have waaaay more experience with asshole cyclists than motorized bicycle delivery guys.

      1. So do I. The thing about mopeds or any kind of motorcycle or motorized bike is that they can move with the traffic. So, if they lane split or cut you off, it really doesn’t affect you. They are gone and moving further up in traffic before they ever really get in your way. But not cyclists. They can’t move with the traffic. So when they cut in front of you, they just get in your way. Then when you finally pass them, here they come at the next light rolling between the lanes to get in your way again.

        1. But not cyclists. They can’t move with the traffic.

          Whomever advanced the idea that riding two abreast is safer didn’t take into account my elevated propensity to murder someone.

          The speed limit is 55 mph, but because it’s uphill in a stiff wind, I’m forced to tailgate cyclists at 25 mph. The worst part is, we have major roads and highways with 4, 6, and 8 ft. wide bike lanes paved for miles, hiking and bike paths in dozens upon dozens of forest preserves, a handful of racing velodromes within 20 min. of driving and these people are wearing spandex and riding racing bikes, so they aren’t tourists. They just don’t want to use them because they’re assholes. Sunday drivers only more obnoxious.

          1. Amen. I really hate motorists that sit in the #1 lane with their heads up their asses and some bumper sticker informing me that I am too close to them. If I only had a 128mm gun in my car.

            Cyclists are a different breed altogether. Especially the Critical Masshole strain of them. The commuting from downtown out to the beautiful Sunset district on last Friday of the month in SF is an exercise in self restraint if one is unfortunate enough to get stuck behind that caravan of dipshits.

        2. The cyclists loudly insist that they’re a vehicle and thus entitled to the road just as other vehicles are, but in practice they switch back and forth between being a vehicle and being a pedestrian, without warning. They also come flying out of alleys and generally only obey traffic signs when it suits them.

          I get that auto drivers are no picnic either, but that’s precisely why cyclists ought to be more careful. Most of the auto drivers where I live are rude, pushy, and inattentive (e.g. staring at cell phone screens while driving). Given that a cyclist will lose in any collision with an automobile I don’t understand why they gamble their lives on the auto drivers being competent and alert!

      2. I play chicken with them when I’m out walking. When I have the right of way I will walk right in front of them when I see them about to blow through an intersection because they need to get the f—-g message that they are supposed to follow the same traffic rules as everyone else.

        1. I know two people suffered fairly serious injuries thanks to being hit by some asshole on a bike. They have absolutely no respect for anyone else’ safety.

          1. When cyclists come to our cities they aren’t the best and brightest. They are dipshits and assholes. Some, I assume, are good people.

          2. They’ve killed people in NYC.

    2. as group cyclist may be the biggest collection of obnoxious assholes associated with any sort of activity or hobby.

      I’ll see your cyclists and raise you vegans, CrossFitters, and Apple product owners.

      1. I’ll raise you the people who read the Game of Thrones books, Troooo libertarians, and modern day late night television hosts.

          1. Ok, I gotta rant here. I never understood the obsession of the hardcores with Lady Stonehart. To me, she was the dumbest part of the story and I was so glad they cut that shit out. I mean can you imagine Michelle Fairley as a zombie? My god.

        1. When you read The Game of Thrones, you finish or you get a life.

        2. I am a true libertarian, so Crusty is at least partially correct. Wait, I also read the Game of Thrones books. And I used to host a late night TV show. Can you guys guess what the show was about?

      2. I’ll see your cyclists and raise you vegans, CrossFitters, and Apple product owners.

        I’m guessing a venn diagram of those populations would have significant overlap.

        1. If a vegan does Crossfit, which one do they tell you about first?

          1. They tell you both at the same time, like an Ariekei.

  5. Those broken windows ain’t gonna fix themselves, Reason

    1. The cops can’t choke people to death for selling loose cigarettes anymore. Well, now they can choke someone to death for riding a moped. Cops gotta do something.

      1. And if they’re not chking how can we expect them to get orgasms 1.8x more powerful than normal orgasms.

  6. De Blasio suggested that businesses had alternatives: regular bicycles, or “obviously, if a company wants to?if a store wants to use a car, they could do that.”

    De Blasio doesn’t understand why businesses don’t just use their limousines like normal people.

    1. Who needs a limo when you can use a helicopter?

      1. Deblasio is man of the people. The limo ride he takes every morning from his taxpayer-funded mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to his gym in Brooklyn is good enough for him.

        1. He is a socialist. That makes it okay for him to enjoy the fruits of the people’s labor in a way that dirty capitalists should not.

          1. I don’t think I have seen yet how this crackdown will cause restaurant prices to go up or they will cut out food deliveries.

            Delivery people cant deliver as fast which is probably why they used motorbikes in the first place.

            I just cannot believe people are cowering to the bicycle lobby.

            1. It’s not people. It’s Bill. Him being human is iffy.

            2. My money says it just goes stealth. Of course that will just lead to stop and check searches by police on all cyclists to make sure nobody is cheating. Oh, won’t that be a fun day.

  7. The cunty little bitch who whined shouldn’t be able to use bikes on roads at all since they’re paid for by gas taxes which bikes do not pay.

    Geez, what a whiny little cunt that little bitch is.

    1. If Cyclist want to demand bike lanes be built at public expense, they need to start licensing and taxing bikes to pay for it. Someone needs to explain to DeBlasio how much money could be made by taxing cyclist to use the city streets. No way would that greedy bastard resist taxing them. And that bitch would rue the day that she ever brought cyclists to his attention.

      1. And he’d do it because we all know that genetic mistake doesn’t bike anywhere. What the hell do NYC residents see in him? Whatever happened to that fabled NYC toughness? They now seem to want to be coddled infants.

        We should put in demands for massive increases in bike licensing costs. Fuck those assholes.

        1. “”Whatever happened to that fabled NYC toughness?””

          Gentrification. That’s what happened.

      2. Fuck, where I live the cyclists whine for bike lanes and then don’t fucking use them.

    2. Gas tax for roads, haha. That’s a good one. That money goes to pensions and union slobs not that actual roads.

    3. You need more variation in your epithets

  8. And, yes, bikers are the most smug cockholsters in existence. Slow, inefficient, and boring does not make one superior. It makes one somebody that a driver should consider hitting once in a while to teach them a lesson.

    1. Is there any bigger group of complaining wankers on earth than the bicycling crowd?

      “we deserve to have as much road rights as vehicles that can go exponentially faster, carry more stuff, and transact commerce better!”

      Bikers should be forced to ride only for leisure in parks. They are in the f*cking way 99% of the time.

      And unless you are in stage 15 of the tour de france, ditch those fucking queer shorts.

      1. Yes. Hikers. They are the biggest moaners and complainers.

  9. Why does NYC elect such nannies to office?

  10. A cyclist called in during New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s weekly appearance on WNYC to complain about motorized bicycles, which are technically legal to own in the city but not to ride. The caller suggested the city start ticketing not just the riders but the owners of restaurants whose workers deliver food on the bikes.

    On Thursday, the caller joined the mayor at a press conference to announce such a crackdown.

    Can someone please bicycle-splain to me why cyclists have so much fucking pull with Democratic politicians? I mean jesus fuck, one douchebag in Cinzano spandex shows up at a city council meeting, the next thing you know, 2/3ds of the roads have been closed to cars and empty bike lanes are being painted all over the city.

    1. Is that recent?

      Over 3.60 a gallon for gas? Fuck me with a spiked and rusted dildo.

      It’s like 2.13 a gallon here after being below 2 much of the year.

      1. No that pic was taken probably a year or two ago.

        1. I still paid about 3.40 for a gallon in Seattle a few months ago.

      2. But those bike lanes are about as empty.

        1. I’ve never seen a crowded bike lane but I have always seen plenty of bikes on roads. So they both waste our money AND annoy all of us in the process,

        2. We have a bike lane … in a road that goes through a shopping center … that I have never seen a single cyclist use. So it is completely without purpose, but boy are we up-do-date

  11. Why not just limit the speed on the electric cycles to match those of the other cyclists in the lane?

    1. Better idea: make the regular bikers match the speed of the electric bikes.

      1. +1 John Henry

  12. I find it curious that electric bikes are illegal in New York. Does anyone find this curious?

    Meanwhile, climate change is such an important issue that it requires New York City to join the Paris Accords on its own but not such an important issue that the city should legalize a cleaner alternative to cars.

    Don’t get me started on this. Climate change is OH SO important where I live, yet the city has actively and aggressively idled tens of thousands of cars at lights, intersections and roadways in long lines because bicycles. Somehow, thousands of cars sitting with their engines running is preferable to those cars getting to their destinations quickly and being turned off.

    1. I find it curious that electric bikes are illegal in New York. Does anyone find this curious?

      No, I read about New York in a zen state, expecting nothing and never surprised.

    2. It’s illegal to ride a motorized vehicle on the road without it being registered but they don’t register motorized bicycles. The same for electric skateboards though a shit load of people do it.

      1. What does a motorized bicycle have, or not have, that makes it unable to be registered as a motorcycle?

        1. It lacks a FYTW limiter.

        2. Headlight, tail light, brake light, DOT approved turn signals, mirrors etc.

          Probably not much different than a dirt bike that’s not ‘street legal’.

  13. No worries, though: De Blasio said he hopes delivery people who can’t deliver except with motorized bicycles “could find some other type of work with that restaurant or that business.”

    Don’t you just love the way socialists care about the working class? They only put environmentally-friendly sand in the vaseline.

  14. They are new. New is bad.

    1. E-bikes are over 100 years old.

      1. Given how legislation keeps up with technology that’s really new. I can easily see them legislating e-bike delivery folk under 100 year old common carrier laws.

  15. De Blasio said he hopes delivery people who can’t deliver except with motorized bicycles “could find some other type of work with that restaurant or that business.”

    “Hope is not a strategy.”

    1. I wonder what his understanding of businesses are?

      1. “Source of campaign donations”

    2. Does anyone else find this odd that Democrats in blue cities are explicitly killing the jobs of working class people and then telling them they should go elsewhere if they want to earn a living?

      1. No. The entire purpose of liberals is to get everyone dependant on the government. Easiest way to do that is kill their jobs.

  16. What distinguishes a motorized bicycle from a motorcycle? What in NYC keeps a motorized bicycle from being street legal? Is it missing a mirror, a turn signal, or just a license?

    1. A +50 cc motor.

      1. So they’re not allowed on NY roads because they’re not powerful enough??!

    2. I assume they’re talking about the battery powered bicycles which are ubiquitous in places like China.

  17. Time to give Bill the boot and vote for Aaron Commey – Libertarian for NYC Mayor. http://www.votecommey.com
    #LPNY

  18. Thru the ’90s I rode a folding scooter , http://cosy.com/trnsprt/index.htm , around NYC . It once was confiscated as a “non-conforming” vehicle and I had to go to court to get it back — as there was no law to which it could conform .

    The main attack was on “ghetto” kids with GoPeds . Keep’n the poor immobile .

  19. di bloviate is a control freak nannie who lives in a VERY sheltered world and expects everyone else to live as he does.

    The sooner he gts dumped the better for the whole nation. If a motor assist bicycle is ridden the same way as a push bicycle there willl be no decrease in safety. It would make more sense to initiate a crackdown on ALL bikes operated carelessly and/or contra the laws. Riding on the sidewalk, wrong way on one way or on the wrong side of the road, blasting through signals and stop signs so as to disrupt traffic, cause crashes, etc, all need to be dealt with. Motorised bikes, particlyarly the electric ones, weigh little more than the traditional ones, thus don’t pose any more a threat than push bikes.

    This makes as much sense as outlawing taxis because we still have horse drawn hacks. Same stinking thinking.

  20. Posts like this make me, as a New Jersey resident, oppose the ARC Tunnel Project. Amazon would do better in Newark, were we have most of the port capacity, than in Manhattan.

  21. “De Blasio said he hopes delivery people who can’t deliver except with motorized bicycles “could find some other type of work with that restaurant or that business.”

    Clearly a man who has never had to do an honest day’s work in his entire life.

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