ADVOCACY: 3’ Safe Passing & E-Bike Campaign Updates
For Yet Another Year The NYS Legislature Fails To Do Its Job For The Bicyclists In New York State!
3′ Safe Passing
Those of you who saw our Facebook post last month know that once again a key leader in the NYS Assembly, the Chair of the Transportation Committee, refused to allow a vote on this very simple amendment to an existing law, now the standard in 27 states.
To be frank, NYBC’s Board is still developing our 3’ strategy for the next session in Albany. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends. Be prepared to inundate selected members of the Assembly with targeted messaging and PLEASE keep hope alive. Remember, it is not a question of whether we will win this no-brainer campaign – that addresses our state’s worst in the nation status when it comes to crashes – but when!
Chris Nolte of Propel Bikes in Brooklyn, our great friend and e-bike dealer in Brooklyn who is also an Iraq War vet and fearless advocate, had this to say about the e-bike legislation failing for a third year in a row. It’s a SNAFU, he said. Google that military term and the definition is all you need to understand why we had a third straight session of inaction from the NYS Assembly with regard to this 21st century green transportation option.
Similar to Safe Passing failing for a second year, this is yet another example of how our great state is in some but not always falling behind many others with regard to progress in the realm of bicycle-pedestrian and active transportation.
For the third straight year, the NYS Senate easily passed legislation legalizing electric bikes as another “class” of bicycle, but unfortunately the NYS Assembly did not follow suit.
NYBC likes e-bikes because they expand the universe of folks who experience the joy of cycling. They drive local economic development by expanding bike-based tourism opportunities. E-bikes, particularly Class One pedal assist models, still provide a significant health benefits. They don’t pollute and can replace cars, creating more livable and less congested communities and neighborhoods. We could go on…
But for some strange reason, the “problem” is located within the NYS Assembly Transportation Committee. Like 3′ Safe Passing, we have never been given a reason why electric bikes can’t get to the full Assembly Chamber for a vote.
Both of these instances illustrate where our state lags behind others in passing and promoting progressive, common sense laws and regulations that promote more and safer bicycling for a greater range of potential cyclists.
We know NYBC’s constituency does not like to lose, and neither does our staff and board. We’ll be back next session with a few new tricks and techniques to get us over the hill.
Again, it is not a matter of if but WHEN we make e-bikes street legal in New York State
(image courtesy of road.cc)