Opinion: New York’s ban on dirt bikes is ridiculous

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City made dirt bikes the number one enemy of traffic regulation in 2021, mainly because of traffic safety, cluttered sideways, unwanted noise and air pollution. He even released a video of the city destroying a confiscated bicycle to celebrate its initiative.

“Anyone with an illegal dirt bike shouldn’t even think about it, because the NYPD will find it and crush it.” Mayor De Blasio declared on Twitter earlier this month.. “These dirt bikes don’t belong to New York City. It’s against the law. Duration. Dirt bikes are dangerous.”

The focus on two-wheeled transportation came after city leadership announced in the spring that shootings and robbers associated with certain types of vehicles were on the rise. Local retailers also reported that a small child was attacked by a dirt bike and was put in crisis last July. However, what NYC considers to be an “illegal dirt bike”, the actual qualifications are confusing. Electric scooters have many tax exemptions, and about half of the bikes crushed in the mayor’s video are regular motorcycles. It seems pointless and only gets worse when poor New Yorkers start thinking about the consequences of banning some of the most affordable modes of transportation available.

Cheap bicycles are essential for city delivery services, and most restaurants are increasingly important with electric scooters or smaller ones as local health regulations prohibit many indoor meals. Depends on a petrol bike. Some of the lightest of these vehicles have access to bike lanes, but most operators choose the route they believe will be the fastest. This means that you see them running towards the sidewalk and chasing the pedal bike through the red lights with amazing regularity.

They are sometimes absolutely annoying. However, owning a car in New York can be exorbitantly expensive and cumbersome, so it’s also the only way for many to travel. Renting a parking lot is guaranteed to cost hundreds of dollars a month, and trying to park the vehicle elsewhere often requires double parking. This is technically legal, but it causes traffic jams. If you buy a small scooter, you can park it almost anywhere without having to get an operator or vehicle license. Below is a gaggle parked just a few yards from my front door. In the evening, the group becomes 5-6 plateless scooters, and young men often talk to each other when they return from work.

It’s not an unrestricted threat that De Blasio reveals it.

But in reality, there are roving scooters and dirt bike gangs with modified exhaust systems that act as low rent versions. The infamous Japanese runaway street culture.. The majority of riders are ordinary people trying to cross the town as efficiently as possible, although some are even said to be involved in shooting and robbery.

On-demand rental companies (such as Revel), on the other hand, are littering high-concept trash in five districts. E-scooters, which are said to help reduce congestion and cost of ownership, are more commonly used in cars and often occupy parking spaces usually operated by inexperienced middle class people. It is constrained by the same laws as other cars. However, they are not eligible for a dirt bike ban in New York, so authorities claim they are golden to keep going.

Mayor De Blasio said the city expects to destroy 3,000 dirt bikes by the end of 2021. However, the language used by leaders does not necessarily represent existing legislation and is generally confusing. Technically, vehicles without side mirrors, brake lights, or turn signals cannot be registered in the state and may be considered illegal. However, small electric bikes are probably exempt, and unless you know what you are doing, there are many other motorcycles that occupy gray space.

In a video of De Blasio informing New Yorkers that their illegal bikes are being crushed, I noticed some curious victims. About a quarter seemed to be a fully street-legal sport bike (eg Yamaha R6), a sports standard (eg Suzuki Bandit), or a dual sport (eg BMW GS 650). The rest was a combination of scooters, dirt bikes and weird ATVs.

A new law was introduced in July aimed at increasing penalties for those arrested for operating problematic motorcycles. The bill, sponsored by city council member Mark Jonai, aims to fine the first offense at $ 750 (starting at $ 500) and all additional offenses at $ 1,500 (starting at $ 1,000). The core enforcement still comes from the mayor instructing the NYPD to simply confiscate the vehicle from where it was found.

“This mess must end.” Jonaji said during the summer.. “These motorcycles not only endanger pedestrians and other drivers, but also create havoc and lawlessness in New York City.”

Because some citizens are angry at the loud noises that ring by their windows, so there’s nothing illegal about confiscating people’s property? Frankly, it seems to me that someone working in the city wanted a scapegoat to increase the crime rate in the city and chose the easiest target.

Most of the enthusiasm for these rules seems to be reactionary, authoritarian, and unpleasantly familiar. More than 12 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Xiamen have banned (or severely restricted) affordable motorcycles and electric bicycles since 2006. Authorities claimed that traffic violations and crimes surged as poor citizens flocked to small motorcycles due to transportation needs. There is evidence to support the claim that unlicensed scooter drivers tend to circumvent the rules, but there are also criticisms that the Chinese government has tried to keep low-income citizens dependent on public transport.

“It is important to note that the selection bias of the loudest supporters of the ban on electric bikes is often the middle class or upper middle class resident who drives. [cars]You may live in the immediate vicinity of public transport or have a driver, “said CCHuang of Energy Innovation, an urban design advisory firm. Forbes In 2016.

These types of crackdowns Seems counterintuitive When endorsed by government leaders like Bill de Blasio, it can’t stop talking about the environment and climate change. Motorcycles (on average twice the fuel consumption and half the CO2 emissions of passenger cars) are considered to be the preferred alternative for those who buy a car. Gasoline cars tend to release more nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons due to the lack of catalytic converters, but we believe that smaller cars that consume less than half the fuel of standard cars do the same amount of damage. It’s hard. atmosphere. Of course, there are dozens of articles from the last 20 years ready to tell you the exact opposite. This says that 2000 bicycles are 10 times more polluted than SUVs...

I don’t even know how relevant the polluting factors are. Given that NYC is trying to get rid of vehicles that are primarily responsible for food delivery, something tells me that there may soon be a big backlash against this. The ban on off-road bikes is short-sighted and has already proven difficult to implement effectively.Its only advantage seems to be to fine people who can’t afford to pay them and force more individuals to use it. Affected subway system, And provide civil servants with a grandstand opportunity.

[Image: @NYCMayor/Twitter; Rblfmr/Shutterstock]

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Opinion: New York's ban on dirt bikes is ridiculous

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