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On streets, bikes and iconic buildings


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  • E-bikes remain illegal and were confiscated by police over 1,000 times last year, but legislation now under consideration in the City Council would legalize the motorized bicycles. Photo: NYPD, via Twitter




The Menace of E-Bikes

Re “End to E-Bike Ban in Sight?” (Dec, 6), this has to be the most insane, bone-headed and dangerous proposal in years.

Early this decade, the City Council finally passed a law banning e-bikes. Sadly, the law was not well-written, and did not give clear instructions to law enforcement as to what they could and could not do with respect to confiscating them. So while there were some confiscations, there was also great confusion that led to most precincts not enforcing the law at all.

What is needed is not a law to permit e-bikes, but a much stronger, better-written law banning them entirely. Such a law should give law enforcement the right not only to confiscate e-bikes on sight, but also to confiscate the motors that get attached to regular bikes to make them into e-bikes (used mostly by food delivery people). And huge fines should be imposed on restaurants and other merchants who use e-bikes for deliveries.

The menace of e-bikes is the menace of regular bikes on steroids: if legalized, they will still go the wrong way on one-way streets, go through red lights, and even ride on sidewalks (they already do) — but at twice to three times the speed of a regular bike.

I understand and appreciate that e-bikes represent a “green” form of transportation, something we can certainly use more of. However, if e-bikes are ever going to be legalized, it should only be done if they are treated like all other motorized vehicles: licenses — and license plates — should be required, and moving traffic summonses should be issued by law enforcement.

Otherwise, this proposal should die on the vine, and any politician who supports it will be complicit in the injuries, and possible deaths, that are almost certain to occur if it is passed.

Ian Alterman Manhattan

So This is Progress?

First I said a very teary goodbye to Lord & Taylor and then another goodbye to an iconic building of architectural charm and history: Henri Bendel. Then I went home and walked into my 20-story apartment building, where I faced an enormous wall of cartons at least 5 feet tall and well over 12 feet wide.

There was a glut of cartons and more cartons, cartons that filled the entire upper portion of the lobby. This double wall of cartons then continued all the way to the elevators and mailroom. So what do they contain? Clothing, electronics, dog food, steaks, toilet paper, whims, and one giant 85-inch box holding a television managed to turn my lobby into what all this stuff put out of business: Retail stores! How appropriate given that shopping online has emptied the stores.

Sandy Jaffe Upper East Side

Safety First

In response to Bette Dewing’s column, “Never Thought I’d Hate the Bicycle,” and [her] advice to walkers trying to make a safe trip home, I offer another safety-first rule. In my nightly walking commute from 81st Street down to the 59th Street bus stop, I walk southbound down First Ave. so I can see northbound drivers coming toward me when they turn onto the side streets. I’m a long-range commuter and my eventual destination is New Jersey. There is a general application with your article about bicycle safety because I’m always looking out for them too. Sometimes they ride the opposite way. Always looking forward to [Dewing’s] next column on pedestrian safety.

Michael Kearney Toms River, NJ





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