Local Police Cracks Down On E-Bikes, Is This The Solution?

Ofer Canfi

New Member
Tel-Aviv Israel is becoming a major adopter of electric bicycles as a common means of transportation.

With more than 20,000 electric bicycles roaming the small city on a daily basis, this has quickly escalated from nuisance to dangerous, bringing local E.R. physicians to protest against this unchecked hazard.

Some background:

Tel-Aviv is a coastal city with a population of 450,000 densely inhabiting some 20 square miles...

Read more on my(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
what to do, what to do? :) Based on the article the city was not built for high car traffic and traditionally was overrun with mopeds before ebikes came along. Hmm. what to do? :)

Of course limiting cars into the city that wasn't built for car traffic and supporting infrastructure for vehicles (ebikes, bikes, mopeds) that have a fit factor of least 6 into a car has not occurred to the planners...
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Well done Ofer! Tel Aviv did not anticipate the consequence of legalizing ebikes when thee is no bike infrastructure. Sounds like something in America. Loo
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Why is there never enough time (and money) to do it right the first time, but always enough time (and much more money) to do it over?

That is truly the wild west in that video! I don't think school ebike racing is the answer, appeasing children never works because the appeasing never ends. Education and defining laws, rules and expectations does. Thanks for posting this @Ofer Canfi, a lot for us here in the US to think about.
 

Ofer Canfi

New Member
Can we assume then that electric bikes sales will increase dramatically worldwide? (a short translation from the beginning of the video: E-bike sales person: "... when my business associate asked me to join, I asked him what are his sales projections: like a car? like a motorcycles? like a bicycle? and his answer was Shoes! like Shoes! someone walks in, sits on the bike, if it's comfortable he rides away with it!...") there is literally an e-bike store on every street corner here.
Now I understand that there was a huge vacuum to fill specifically here in Tel-Aviv, but commuting in London for the past two years, before returning to TLV felt like it would benefit greatly from electric assist; mainly due to longer commutes.

So my question remains, since this is happening in real time here, what could be a good case study for preemptive solutions? what would you want to have in place before e-bikes take over your streets? maybe we could reverse-engineer the solution here somehow.

I know that segregated lanes for cycling cause a dramatic decrease in accidents and fatalities, how would you feel if e-bikes joind these lanes?

In London bike lanes are usually painted right where the drivers open their car doors, and elsewhere bikes share lanes with buses and motorcycles, would you consider having a light electric vehicle lane (most of the times this will come at the cost of regular traffic lanes)?

Would you have a minimum age for e-bikes like scooters or atv's?

Thank you all for your replies :) I will keep you posted as things unfold here...
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Since the city is not built for busy car traffic to begin with and since the city is overpopulated I would first limit cars in the city to essential delivery vehicles and to mass transportation vehicles.

I would then designate entire streets to bicycles and ebikes (only) to complete the connectors to all parts of the city. Since bikes don't take as much space as cars I would have fast and slow lanes in each directions (fast = ebikes + fast bikes, slow = regular bikes)

I would ban bikes of all kinds from the remaining streets designated for trucks, cars and mass transportation

I would implement rentabike stations like they have in Montreal etc...

I would encourage new economy of deliveries by bicycle to parts of the city where car traffic is no longer allowed

I would enforce the laws of this new arrangement strictly (to change the culture)
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Can we assume then that electric bikes sales will increase dramatically worldwide?

It has NOT happened in the US. This is a great example of how culture and legal structures mold behavior. The video shows shops full of very basic ebikes, but a lot of them. And they are out on the streets and sidewalks. You avoid the costs that go with the motorbikes. Apparently you can do whatever you want on an ebike.

People buy cars in the US, even if they can't afford them. Winter weather is too harsh in many places. Bicyclists tend to be people who wear Lycra shorts and they stand out.

I'm not sure you want young people on ebikes, rather than getting a lot of exercise.

Seems to me that this is not such a bad problem to have. It's basically a good thing happening with bad consequences.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I like the approach of the TelAviv dealers; selling cheap eBikes.. In America there is a calculated marketing scheme to drain American wallets of thousands of dollars for the pleasure of riding an eBike 20 miles. What a scam!
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
it sure helps to be a tiny country with shorter commuting distances to cover.


I like the approach of the TelAviv dealers; selling cheap eBikes.. In America there is a calculated marketing scheme to drain American wallets of thousands of dollars for the pleasure of riding an eBike 20 miles. What a scam!
 

Marko

Active Member
I know that segregated lanes for cycling cause a dramatic decrease in accidents and fatalities, how would you feel if e-bikes joind these lanes?

In London bike lanes are usually painted right where the drivers open their car doors, and elsewhere bikes share lanes with buses and motorcycles, would you consider having a light electric vehicle lane (most of the times this will come at the cost of regular traffic lanes)?

Would you have a minimum age for e-bikes like scooters or atv's?

Thank you all for your replies :) I will keep you posted as things unfold here...


I think Copenhagen is one of the best places for a biker I have seen. It has very clearly marked bikelanes, which are often separated from cars by being elevated. Sidewalk is still more elevated than the bikelane so the three groups don't disturb one another. In the morning it looks as if everyone goes on bike to work, school, kids are taken to daycare on cargo bikes and all of it at least it looks very organised, lights are respected. However, electric or not, I would probably not allow speeds greater than the normal European pedelec limit 25 km/h (16 mph) on those lanes, at least not in crowded cities. If you want to ride faster you would be better off joining the car lane risking you own safety though. Unless it is an s-pedelec I dont think age limits are needed, but of course you need to be old enough to understand traffic rules especially if you ride in a city.

"Infrastructure is not the only thing Copenhagen is working on at the moment. These days the Copenhagen Municipality are sending 50 ‘karma-policemen and women’ out on the bike lanes to make sure, that the good Danish cycle culture and positive ‘cycle-karma’ is uphold. For two weeks they give karma-cakes to cyclists who show a good behavior and creates positive ‘cycle-karma’ towards their fellow cyclists." http://denmark.dk/en/green-living/bicycle-culture/copenhagen-bike-city-for-more-than-a-century/
 
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JoePah

Well-Known Member
Tel-Aviv Israel is becoming a major adopter of electric bicycles as a common means of transportation.

With more than 20,000 electric bicycles roaming the small city on a daily basis, this has quickly escalated from nuisance to dangerous, bringing local E.R. physicians to protest against this unchecked hazard.

Some background:


Tel-Aviv is a coastal city with a population of 450,000 densely inhabiting some 20 square miles...

Read more on my(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Ofer, here is the perspective from a knowledgeable Tel Aviv resident. This is not meant to contradict your blog, which i think was interesting.. Just another point of view

M****T****:

" Tel Aviv resident here. This article, while making some good points, is also full of many minor and major errors.
1) when it says $750 for an ebike, it's referring to the shittiest 24V ebike you've ever seen. The cheap 36V ones cost more like $950 and the prices go up from there.
2) It says there are no laws or enforcement on ebikes. That's wrong - there are very strict ebike laws (250 watts, hand throttle only allowed up to 6 km/h - yes 6 km/h, helmets required, 16 years old and up, etc)
3) Tel aviv has excellent public transportation, not poor. Buses go everywhere and there are mini buses (shuttles) that run the same routes for people that don't want to wait on buses. There are also four train stations within about 4 kilometers. And there's an excellent bicycle sharing program (non electric) with stations all over the city.

That being said, the article is spot on in some regards. The number of ebikes here is crazy. I did some surveys a year ago that put the percentage at around 25% of all bikes being electric, but I'm sure it's increased. Also the major problem is that so many riders are kids. 20" folding ebikes are this generation's equivalent of techdecks or tomogachis or yoyo's or the wooden hoop and stick or whatever your generation played with. You aren't 'cool' unless your parents bought you an ebike, so you get gangs of middle schoolers flying around the crowded streets and sidewalks, running into pedestrians and getting flattened by cars and busses. Tel Aviv is probably a good example of a good thing gone wrong - ebikes are a great technology but they have to be used properly and incorporated appropriately into a city."
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Ford has been the most responsible company. Ford designed rear-facing Ultrasonic sensors into sense passing car traffic. The eBike handlebars flash to alert passing drivers. Also, cellphone and logistic technology is built into the handlebars with haptic feedback. Haptic feedback vibrates the left and right handles separately, like a video game controller. Haptic feedback is used to provide driving directions. The left handle vibrates when you need to turn left, in an emergency or to avoid an undesirable route. Avoiding bad congestion is as important as providing decent infrastructure.

Perhaps, Ford's late entry into the market is an advantage. Ford had the opportunity to study the situation from a global viewpoint. The brilliance is creating a global standard 200W motor. Cultural and legal issues are less problematic. Issues can be dealt with in a more uniform, rational manner. The 200W motor is economical. My guess is Ford can manufacture 10 million annually at $500 per unit. Standard safety features can be built into every bike at this level of economy of scale.


After all, if the eBike industry fails to police itself, the political system will police the eBike industry. Policing eBikes is an outcome nobody benefits from.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Mike are you in any way affiliated with Ford ?
NO! Never had any association with Ford, or any auto company. I live in the Silicon Valley. Technology is my interest. I feel Ford has the resources to bring forth important changes that everyone suffers from.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
ok. cool. I hope it's a better attempt than their 'hotrod' bike from last year.

:)
The Future Smart Mobility project is run by Erica Klampfl, a PhD in engineering. Ford ran an internal contest from over 100 designs, for over one year. eBike issues are global in nature. Only an international company like Ford can effectively address a global standard. Ford runs 25 experiments on every continent. In addition they run contests in many countries, including Argentina, India, S. Africa, LA, CA, etc.... The issues facing Israel is addressed in a contest, I will try to find the link.

Establishing a global standard eBike is the most significant contribution Ford can make. Ford made the right choice with a 200W motor, which every country can afford and legalize. Manufacturers can upgrade from 200W, but downgrading from 750W is unlikely.

I am trying to soften Ford's Rodney-Dangerfield-I-do-not-get-no-respect image. They finally are doing the right thing, but do not get the credit they deserve. Such a easy target to beat up on. Their tech can save your life!

See http://electricbikereview.com/commu...-bicycle-worth-5-billion-annual-revenue.1551/
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
We have a very controversial issue in my town. My road is a nightmare for bicyclists. Consequently, very few Strava events are recorded. Bicyclists united and pushed some great changes through. Traffic will be "calmed". Unfortunately, commuters are upset. Rather than coming together to resolve an issue, two political enemies resorted to warfare.

To achieve sustainable agreements, people need to agree on a reasonable framework to resolve the issues. The rules of the game need to be laid out in a clear and fair manner. Otherwise, people will try to bend the law in their favor. Sooner or later, relations break down. Who wins?

After a hardware standard is established, the cultural and political issues can be solved in a rational framework. I propose addressing conflicting interests using Prospect Theory:

Five basic decision types are illustrated as Star Plots below. The tradeoffs we make result in decisions that balance:

  1. Benefits (contains six categories)
  2. Purposes
  3. Costs
  4. Risks
  5. Biases
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

The six eBike benefit categories were adopted from Bosch marketing research. The categories are applicable to many other products or personal situations:
  1. Economy
  2. Excitement
  3. Ease
  4. Enjoyment
  5. Elegance
  6. Endurance
 
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opimax

Well-Known Member
This thread is about Leroy , his groceries, a large hill and Ford as every other thread is becoming??? let me check the title again....
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
This thread is about Leroy , his groceries, a large hill and Ford as every other thread is becoming??? let me check the title again....
We have a big conflict in our town over bicycles. A similar problem like Israel has. In our case, the traffic also endangers childrens' lives. The political failure is to agree on framework to a solution. So everyone fights. The city officials are personally attacked. The issue is unresolved and rages on like a fire.

How is this about me? I know you dislike me. I try to not make the issue personal. Perhaps, I need to be more explicit for you -- the issue is human nature.

I see the same dynamics happening in California as Israel. The issue seems to be petty people pushing their self-interests to the detriment of society as a whole. I fail to see why political issues are so polarizing. Somehow, social give-and-take has morphed into me-against-you. Life is easy and great when you can over-simplify difficult problems. Forget about other considerations except my immediate interests. Unfortunately, that expensive attitude is unsustainable.

Who wins? Or, need I qualify the answer for you, Mr. "OpiMax" ?
 
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Ofer Canfi

New Member
Leroy, I enjoy your prospect theory, I also believe that with today's communication tools and home grown media we can get a lot of people to answer a survey or just simply address an issue.

So by whose requirements do you change the different needs? motorists, cyclists, public transport?

I believe the conflicting issues are obvious at least in terms of the first priority, safety! The question now being can we remember ourselves as motorists (it could be our own perspective from the same days morning) or can motorists see themselves as cyclists? It all boils down to our attitude towards other road users.

Here in Tel-Aviv the biggest problem in my opinion is that there is an extreme sense of entitlement amongst all road users; usually accompanied by an urge to teach others how to use the road.
This leads to a culture of exploiting your vehicles unique abilities, be it agility, speed or mass, to claim your place on the road.
If we do not start by teaching our youngest addition to the pool of road users, first and foremost by example we lose any chance of having safe roads in the future.

who knows? perhaps our future as cyclists is already guaranteed due to the rise of self driving cars :)