New York eBike Regulations are a MESS!

CloneWerks

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Just a friendly FYI to anyone in New York State who is considering an eBike. The Regulations are an absolute mess in this state! As of AUGUST 2022 you will find that;

Statewide law has been amended: and now "the law allows people to operate electric scooters (e-scooters) and bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) on some streets and highways in New York State." See link for details.

The DOT regulations go on to state;
  • you can operate these devices on highways with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less
  • municipalities can further regulate the time, place and manner of operation of these devices
  • you cannot operate these devices on a sidewalk except as authorized by local law or ordinance
This somewhat vague guideline has led to an absolute patchwork of local ordinances, exceptions, and variances ranging from NYC where there is fairly strict set of rules that are enforced, all the way to smaller cities like Binghamton NY where the only real rule is "stay off the sidewalks in the city".

In short, if you aren't sure what the rules are you should call the police -in your locality- and ask them what the rules are. Things are evolving rapidly and it would be very easy to get "caught in the gears" right now.

EDIT:
At least NYS made some reasonable attempt to define eBikes as well;

Bicycle with electric assist. A bicycle which is no more than thirty-six inches wide and has an electric motor of less than seven hundred fifty watts, equipped with operable pedals, meeting the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16 C.F.R. Part 1512.1 et seq. and meeting the requirements of one of the following three classes:
(a) "Class one bicycle with electric assist." A bicycle with electric assist having an electric motor that provides assistance only when the person operating such bicycle is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when such bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
(b) "Class two bicycle with electric assist." A bicycle with electric assist having an electric motor that may be used exclusively to propel such bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when such bicycle reaches a speed of twenty miles per hour.
(c) "Class three bicycle with electric assist." Solely within a city having a population of one million or more, a bicycle with electric assist having an electric motor that may be used exclusively to propel such bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when such bicycle reaches a speed of twenty-five miles per hour.
 

Snoop

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I agree, CW.

Sharing what I posted in another thread, recently:


I hope it passes as well. The biggest issue is the wonky politics and legislation occurring in NYS regarding ebikes.

The state is speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

One one side, it is boasting, “Look how green we are! We are helping the climate by incentivizing the purchase of ebikes! Ditch the car and take your bike to work! Save the planet!”

Out of the other side of its mouth it is saying, “unless you live in New York City, riding an ebike is illegal on almost any road you would ride on to get to work! It is dangerous! You shall not ride on any road with a posted speed limit of greater than 30 MPH! Only regular bikes can go on those roads! We know that makes no sense!”


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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It seems like all of the “pro”-ebike legislation was drafted to solely benefit NYC. As currently written, the rest of New York State is very anti-ebike, with draconian restrictions. Very surprising, IMO, for a state which wants to have itself seen as pro-climate.
 
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