Are you about to cross the street? Look both ways and pray.
The swarm of e-bikes makes the walk to the other side so risky that it’s a wonder pedestrians aren’t required to sign a liability waiver before stepping off the sidewalk.
The threat that has New Yorkers scrambling for their lives around every corner calls for only one solution:
Ban e-bikes altogether, no matter how much car-hating bike enthusiasts are screaming and impatient New Yorkers are complaining that their General Tso’s chicken is taking a few minutes longer to arrive.
New Yorkers should watch out for muggers and lunatics lurking under scaffolding and on subway platforms. Now, since the state legalized e-bikes in 2020, we put our lives on the line every time we step out of the house in broad daylight. It will be even worse when spring turns into summer. Citi Bikes has just started rolling out 1,500 more advanced e-bikes to its fleet of 5,000.
Newer e-bikes have LED screens on the handlebars to show speed and directions. Imagine, riders who rarely bother to look left or right can now focus their full attention on a small handlebar-mounted sound display!
Incredibly, e-bike users don’t need a license. But two-wheeled terrors are a license to kill and maim.
The city closing restaurants on a dead fly winks at ‘pedal’ e-bikes swooping down on hapless pedestrians at 25mph – silently, often in the wrong direction and often on sidewalks (where even ordinary bicycles are not allowed).
Cycling supporters cite the pandemic for helping popularize e-bikes. The logic of this isn’t clear, unless it’s that the 2020 shutdowns and persistent, unnecessary restrictions have had everyone losing their minds.
Politicians and bike “advocates” are still coming up with brainstorming to keep the e-bike carnage away. Ask for licenses! Save the bikes! Install more bike lanes! Stricter enforcement!
But it would be easier to hold off an invasion of Killer Bees with a single Raid Box. Our streets and sidewalks are overrun. With the number of e-bike rides in the city more than doubling from 2.7 million in 2020 to 6.7 million last year, no amount of Mickey Mouse-level tinkering could make a difference.
The Department for Transport says there has been one e-bike fatality this year and three in 2021. But the statistics, or lack thereof – the agency does not break out non-fatal collisions – belie the mess they add. already almost anarchic streets and the terror they bring every day to millions of New Yorkers.
Electric bikes scare everyone except the people who ride them. Elderly and less mobile people rightly cower as they approach.
In uptown and downtown, food delivery people spin between restaurant seats on the sidewalks and food tents on the street without worrying about traffic lights – or waiters risking their lives bringing food. at the tables.
The e-bikers in my Upper East Side neighborhood are playing chicken. Ha ha! Let’s see how far I can get to paralyze you without hitting you!
But there’s nothing funny about it.
My friend, former New York Post writer Doree Lewak, was nearly killed by an e-bike the wrong way around four years ago. The hit-and-run strike on Sixth Avenue at West 37th Street knocked out half a dozen of her teeth, damaged ten more, and left her with permanent injuries.
“Gone Girl” actress Lisa Banes died of brain damage last June after an electric scooter, a close cousin of e-bikes, ran her over on the Upper West Side. An Upper West Side restaurant manager perished last summer after being hit by an electric bicycle on Amsterdam Avenue.
This year, the highest death toll so far has been among e-bikers themselves. Among them: an off-duty NYPD cop who lost control in Flatbush; another Brooklyn man hit by a car after his e-bike brakes stuck, causing him to be ejected; and one man killed and a second injured when they drove their e-bike into a parked lorry in Gravesend.
Those damn things are a threat even when they don’t even move. Lithium-ion batteries have been responsible for more than 40 fires, including one fatal, in the Big Apple so far this year.
It won’t be easy for Mayor Adams, the City Council, or the auto-hating DOT to pull the plug on e-bikes. Many “progressives” would like to see them replace cars altogether.
True leadership takes courage. But I wouldn’t rely on politicians and bureaucrats to find their backbone before the next tragedies waiting to happen.