Some Queens City Council Members say no to e-bikes in parks 

Screenshot 2024-02-27 at 5.22.42 PM
Queens City Council Members are seeking a ban on electronic bikes and scooters across city parks.
Photo courtesy of DOT

Eastern Queens Council Member Vickie Paladino (R-Whitestone) recently introduced legislation to ban the use of electric powered bikes and scooters across city parks. 

The move comes amid a NYC Parks Electric Micromobility Pilot program currently underway that temporarily allows the use of e-bikes and e-scooters to use park drives and greenways. The program went into effect on June 20, 2023 and will conclude at the end of May. 

Intro 1267, which Paladino referred to as one of her “top legislative priorities,” aims to prohibit electric assist bicycles from every area of the city under the jurisdiction of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. 

“Elected Officials need to take a hard look at the reality of e-bikes on our streets before attempting to allow them in NYC Parks. E-bikes are posing a danger to pedestrians and other vehicles while operating on NYC streets,” Paladino said in a statement. “Allowing them into parks, where New Yorkers are meant to feel comfortable and safe walking the paths, is a recipe for disaster.”

So far, two other Queens representatives have signed on – Robert Holden (D-Maspeth) and Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park). The pair, like Paladino, are part of  the Common Sense Caucus

The city’s action plan for integrating electric micromobility into the transportation landscape says that the pilot is intended to “explore design interventions and signage to reduce conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, so all park users feel safe.” The knowledge gathered from the 11 month program aims to inform any long term plans to allow electric micro mobility in the city’s parks. 

Supporters of the legislation are concerned about pedal assist e-bikes, which can go up to 20 miles per hour, and those with a throttle that can reach a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. Currently they do not require a license or registration to operate in the city. 

But mopeds, which can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour require a license and registration. They also cannot be ridden in bike lanes, while electric bicycles are currently allowed. 

Holden has also introduced legislation to regulate electric powered bikes and scooters. He introduced Int 0758 in October 2022, which calls on the Department of Motor Vehicles to require the registration of every bicycle and scooter with an electric assist. These types of vehicles would essentially require a license plate to legally operate in the city. 

Holden reintroduced his bill at the end of 2023, and so far 33 council members from both sides of the aisle have signed on. 

“E-bikes are wreaking havoc across New York City, with a startling rise in fatal accidents on our streets, sidewalks, and within our buildings,” added Council Member Robert Holden. “Allowing these devices in our parks is a grave mistake threatening public safety; this bill is crucial for preventing further tragedies.”