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Wednesday’s Headlines: Moped Regulation Incoming Edition

State legislators in Albany announced a set of bills intended to rein in the crisis of illegal mopeds on city streets. Plus more news.

12:00 AM EST on January 31, 2024

Photo: Kevin Duggan|

Confiscated unregistered mopeds at the NYPD’s tow pound in Brooklyn.

Streetsblog has followed the crisis of illegal and unregistered mopeds proliferating on city streets and bike lanes for most of last year. On Tuesday, state legislators in Albany put forward a set of bills they hope will begin to address the problem.

The bills, backed by the E-Vehicle Safety Alliance, appear to be a sensible response to a serious issue — though the devil will lie in the details. Streetsblog reporter Julianne Cuba spoke to Assembly Member Alex Bores (D-Manhattan) on Tuesday about the legislative package, which includes two bills that focus on e-bikes, stand-up scooters and pedal-assist Citi Bikes (which are not a statistically significant safety problem) and one bill that focuses on the main non-car problem on our streets: Illegal mopeds. The package includes:

  • A7628, which requires municipalities to file reports on crashes "involving electric scooters [sic] and bicycles with electric assist."
  • S1246, which increases penalties for fleeing the scene of a crash involving "electric scooters [sic] and bicycles with electric assist."
  • S7703A/8450, which requires mopeds be "registered at the point of sale." Bores said he plans to update the language of his Assembly proposal to match up with Hoylman-Sigal's, which Streetsblog covered last year.

Streetsblog plans to follow these bills closely as they make their way through the legislature — or don't. Stay tuned for more coverage.

In other news:

  • It finally happened: The City Council overrode Mayor Adams's vetoes of two criminal justice reform bills. (Gothamist, Politico)
  • Curb reform will make the Upper West Side better for everyone. (I Love The Upper West Side)
  • Cops charged a recidivist speeder who killed a Dyker Heights mom. (Brooklyn Paper)
  • The MTA's investments in preventing fare evasion and track falls and pushes are just "another waste of money," riders told the Times.
  • OATH banned a citizen idling complainant who sent agency bureaucrats "threatening emails and voicemails," trespassed on an "employee-only floor" and allegedly falsified reports. (Gothamist)
  • As we posted on Twitter, Council Member Yusuf Salaam of Harlem finally has New York license plates, which we noticed after his drive from Harlem to City Hall. We blurred out the plate, but rest assured, the car hasn't been nabbed for any tickets yet:
  • TikTok of the Day: a wise "woman on the street" debunks the electric car. (Jim Burke via Twitter)
  • There is now a shuttle bus between Albany and the Amtrak station, which is actually across the river in Rensselaer. (Times-Union)
  • Hell Gate dug into the middling prospects for extending the G train back to Forest Hills.
  • Booze is back on the menu on the Staten Island Ferry. (Daily News)
  • And, finally, from the Assignment Desk: On Wednesday, our editor, Gersh Kuntzman, will testify — live at the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis — about covered, defaced and fake plates. Yes, that's right, legislators in the Old Line State think the scourge of drivers skirting tolls and speed cameras in New York City is worth further study — even as pols in the Empire State mostly sit on their hands. Watch on YouTube starting at 1 p.m.

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