New York State ebike legislation

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know when the law takes effect? Is it already in effect?
I believe the ebike regulations were presented to the legislature with the budget. The legislature has the option to change or remove it prior to sending it to the Governor for signature into law. When the budget is passed it should also be passed. That is unless politicians play games with it like last year.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
The NY state Constitution mandates the approval of the state budget by April 1, public testimony would have been accepted at the Transportation Committee hearing on January 28 - the video recording is >9 hours long! I don't know the schedule for the Transportation Committee's in the Senate and Assembly but there's just this month March for them to agree consensus.
 
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Emma H

New Member
Without a VIN number it could not be titled, registered, or insured as a moped. NY State DMV has this chart listing requirements for what I guess you are describing they consider a Class B Limited-Use Motorcycle. Chris Nolte sells Class 3 ebikes from his shop in Brooklyn so perhaps contact Propel to find out how they can be legally ridden under the current NY State regulations.

Yeah, that's the chart I was looking at, but good point on the VINs. It's too bad there's no easy way to obtain one. I have to stay on my patents' motor vehicle insurance to keep UM/UIM insurance in case of a crash, but I would happily just get my own moped insurance if that were an option. Since I'm not in NYC and have no plans to move there, this fortunately isn't a worry otherwise. My bike says class 2 on it so I'm legal everywhere in Seattle, except highways.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Micah Toll reports the NY state budget will pass including Gov Cuomo's ebike legislation, it was unclear from the article if any of the troubling items were amended so I looked at the text of the TED bill Article VII amendments I can't see any of the ebike wording was amended. The problematic wording in Section XX remains "bicycles with electric assist may only be operated on public highways with a posted speed limit of thirty miles per hour or less".

An article in City & State New York https://www.cityandstateny.com/arti...where-things-stand-new-york-state-budget.html mentioned “New legislative language submitted Wednesday includes the provision legalizing e-bikes across the state, but allowing localities to set their own rules for operation, will be included in the final state budget.” I guess we have to wait to read exactly what gets legalized.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
The BikeTarrytown blog has a good analysis https://biketarrytown.org/new-york-state/ebikes-2020-governors-budget.php BikeTarrytown wrote "local governments would be able to authorize ebikes on roads with speed limits over 30 MPH", and "Local governments would now be able to allow ebikes on sidewalks if so desired" and the wording also mentions a state agency, County, City, Town or Village may permit ebike riding on designated trails (this does not affect the current permission for riding on federal land or in National Parks). This leaves it ebike riders individually or collectively to lobby NYSDOT, county or city government or state agencies to regulate ebike access, BikeTarrytown's opinion is this would involve too much road analysis so he advocates lobbying the assembly to change the law. BikeTarrytown writes the new regulations start from a position of no ebikes permitted on 90% of roads in New York state.
 
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flocknut

Member
Here is the new NY law. Infuriating that throttle is only allowed in NYC, perhaps the least safe place for its use.
 

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  • NY ebike law.pdf
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Here is the new NY law. Infuriating that throttle is only allowed in NYC, perhaps the least safe place for its use.
That was the wording introduced last year in the assembly. It has since been amended by the governor in the state budget.
 

flocknut

Member
That was the wording introduced last year in the assembly. It has since been amended by the governor in the state budget.


I posted the law, which says that. I think it is final. It also seems to say that you can't ride an ebike on a road with speed limit greater than 30 mph, but I am interpreting that not to cover the bike lane or shoulder of such a road. Also, it requires stupid labelling that manufacturers will have to comply with just for NY.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I think it is final.
To get the enacted Governors rewording in the NY state budget open http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/navigate.cgi and in the boxes at the top type S07508B, uncheck Status and check Text and click Search.
Scroll down or do a text find on page for "PART XX" or search for "electric assist". There are several changes from the draft bill text in the PDF you linked, some changes are for the better such as removing the prohibition on carrying passengers under age 16 on an ebike (passengers under 1 year old are prohibited on both pedal bicycles and ebikes).
 
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JayVee

Well-Known Member
I'm baffled by this:

(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.


So we're making laws according to the population count? Seriously? Is that final?
If so, poor Albany. With 38,000 residents you have some catching up to do.

Oh, and what happened to pedal assist for class 3? Or maybe I need someone to "NYSplain" this to me...
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Is that final?
Yes, as far as I can tell this is the enacted wording in the state budget. It goes against common sense for New York City to do its own thing apart from the rest of the country and not simply enact the People for Bikes/BPSA 3-class wording. Also problematic for the rest of upstate New York to declare "a bicycle with electric assist may only be operated on highways with a posted speed limit of thirty miles per hour or less"
 

flocknut

Member
To get the enacted Governors rewording in the NY state budget open http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/navigate.cgi and in the boxes at the top type S07508B, uncheck Status and check Text and click Search.
Scroll down or do a text find on page for "PART XX" or search for "electric assist". There are several changes from the draft bill text in the PDF you linked, some changes are for the better such as removing the prohibition on carrying passengers under age 16 on an ebike (passengers under 1 year old are prohibited on both pedal bicycles and ebikes).

Thanks for pointing this out. It is a little different than the one I posted. However, Section 10 still seems to outlaw throttle bikes outside cities of 1mm people or more (AKA NYC). And the 30 mph limitation seems to cover bike lanes also, which is crazy. You can operate a pushbike in a bike lane on a highway but not an ebike?

To me it makes matters worse, because before there was essentially no enforcement because of the convoluted way you find a violation.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
It is unclear if the newly enacted prohibition of ebikes on the Hudson River Greenway will be enforced or lifted. Classed among motor vehicles in the park regulations, the wording in the Governors budget ebike regulations says "A state agency, by regulation or order, and a city, town or village, by local law or ordinance, may designate any appropriate public lands and properties under its jurisdiction, other than highways exclusive of any greenway running adjacent to or connected with a highway, as a place open for travel by bicycles with electric assist upon written request for such designation by any person" and "For the purposes of this subdivision, the term "greenway" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision seven of section 44-0103 of the environmental conservation law" which refer to :
§ 44-0109. Designation.
The Hudson river valley greenway is hereby designated to include the counties, including all cities, towns and villages therein, of
Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington...in the city of New York the greenway shall include the areas of Bronx and New York counties that are adjacent to the Hudson River"

This was questioned last summer when the ebike bill was being debated in the State Assembly and it was reported that on the request of the Hudson River Park Friends, the park’s private non-profit conservancy, "officials from the Hudson River Park Trust had testified...against allowing the new mobility devices on the greenway," the arbitrariness of this action being underlined due to the Trust operating electric golf carts on the greenway. Streetsblog reported that again due to lobbying by the Hudson River Park Friends, State Senators representing Manhattan Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger are both "said to have insisted on limits on e-bikes and scooters in Manhattan as a precondition of supporting the wider legalization bill." A spokesman for Lyft/CitiBike New York City bikeshare, Harry Hatfield, said "Banning pedal-assist bikes on the largest bike lane in the country would be a loss for thousands of riders." Marco Conner, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, said "This is a policy that is based on no data at all and on the unfounded belief that e-bikes are somehow inherently dangerous”. New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera said "a decision on the fate of e-bikes on the greenway would come after a hearing this summer, when the City Council gets back to some semblance of normalcy. "
 
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Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Flocknut, I very much like your interpretation of the 30 mph speed limit. I’m gonna hang my hat on that one. We live in Suburban Saratoga County where virtually all the county roads - and most of the state roads - are 45 or 55 mph. You couldn’t ride two miles from my house if excluded from Grooms Road.

As someone who spends a great deal of time along the Mohawk River on the Erie Canal infrastructure, I’m hoping to see reason applied to the Greenway as well. When I started with these things 3 1/2 years ago, I was the only ebike out there... now they’re all over the place, especially between Latham and Schenectady. A lot of people seem to commute to the GE facility on ebikes along the path.
 
Flocknut, I very much like your interpretation of the 30 mph speed limit. I’m gonna hang my hat on that one. We live in Suburban Saratoga County where virtually all the county roads - and most of the state roads - are 45 or 55 mph. You couldn’t ride two miles from my house if excluded from Grooms Road.

As someone who spends a great deal of time along the Mohawk River on the Erie Canal infrastructure, I’m hoping to see reason applied to the Greenway as well. When I started with these things 3 1/2 years ago, I was the only ebike out there... now they’re all over the place, especially between Latham and Schenectady. A lot of people seem to commute to the GE facility on ebikes along the path.

@Saratoga Dave Are there bike trails or light off-road roads (dirt, packed gravel) that you'd recommend in the area? I was doing the Zim Smith Trail last year, but I wanted to expand my journeys whilst staying mostly within the new laws.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
There sure are! I’ll message you with some suggestions. I’m actually in Waterford, right by the Halfmoon line. There’s choices all over the place.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
@Saratoga Dave Are there bike trails or light off-road roads (dirt, packed gravel) that you'd recommend in the area? I was doing the Zim Smith Trail last year, but I wanted to expand my journeys whilst staying mostly within the new laws.

Try https://www.traillink.com/ Search on New York and you'll get a map showing most of the trails in the state. You need to be a member to view individual trail maps but trail descriptions, directions and rider reviews are free.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
New York City Council passes three bills legalizing ebikes in the City, the stupid prohibition on the Hudson River Greenway remains in place for now https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2020/06...islation-but-more-work-remains-advocates-say/
It's bizarre that NY redefines what a "class 3" ebike is and has been codified in law by 22 state legislatures. It will further confuse the issue for many. If NY lawmakers want to do their own thing they should've come up with their own descriptive legal terms.

At least there are fewer criminal ebikers in NY and NYC now.