Brooklyn council members Shahana Hanif, Rita Joseph and Crystal Hudson are urging New York City Parks to allow electric bikes in Prospect Park.

The council members penned a letter to NYC Parks Commissioner on Dec. 20, urging the parks department to work with Prospect Park Alliance to establish a policy that permits e-bike users. Their districts all include portions of Prospect Park.

“The parks department has no justification for classifying e-bikes in the same category as SUVs or trucks,” states the letter.

“The department’s current blanket ban on e-bikes in Prospect Park sends the wrong message about our city’s values.”

A group of protesters at a Trans Alt rally in Prospect Park. Photo: Provided/ Trans Alt.
A group of protesters at a Trans Alt rally in Prospect Park. Photo: Provided/ Trans Alt.

Currently, e-bikes are not allowed in Prospect Park because the parks department defines
e-bikes as motor vehicles, putting them in the same category as everything from 4,000-pound trucks to 6,000-pound SUVs that may prove deadly to pedestrians and cyclists alike in the event of a crash.

“E-bikes make moving around our city more accessible to more people, while also reducing vehicle usage by replacing car trips,” said Kathy Park Price, Brooklyn organizer at Transportation Alternatives.

“Prospect Park’s outright ban on e-bikes — which are legal to ride on New York City streets — makes Prospect Park’s car-free bike lanes unusable to far too many New Yorkers, including delivery workers who rely on e-bikes for their work and many families. We encourage the Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks to work together to create a more inclusive policy that allows e-bikes,” said Price.

For more information, click here.

Join the Conversation

42

  1. Oh please! people ride those bikes on the P.P loop ALL THE TIME!
    They should ban motorcycles and electric scooters and be sure people RESPECT THE LINES

  2. Shahana Hanif does not speak for me! There are many issues she needs to address like regulating and safety issues related to E-Bikes! They literally fly through the streets almost hitting people daily! They already ride through the park- and on bike paths. Terrible! She really doesn’t have a clue- vote her out next opportunity we get!

  3. Disagree. The park is for recreation, not for delivery people’s use as a shortcut. Recreational cyclists are justifiably intimidated by these things.

    1. Agreed, it should not be for delivery short cuts or for people who want to cruise at hogh apeeds instead of exercise. However, I had lung cancer and half a lung was removed. Using an ebike is the only way for me to be able to ride a bike long distance in the Park. Perhaps cops should look for delivery cyclists and speeding and leave the legitimate ebikers alone who also pedal. Signs should be posted for speed limits no higher than a class two bike.

  4. So appreciative of my council member Shahana Hanif and CMs Hudson and Joseph! Families ride e-bikes to get around…banning e-bikes completely in Prospect Park is inequitable. Eager to hear the Parks department response to the three CMs’ letter.

    E-bikes in Prospect Park will be covered at this panel discussion in January: bit.ly/familiesbikebrooklyn

    1. E bikes are unsafe for pedestrians! Imagine being hit by one and then decide if they should be everywhere.

      1. Agreed. Until Parks gets the resources to enforce park rules including
        traffic rules and speed limits, motorized bikes and scooters are a danger to pedestrians.

  5. My family is one of many who use an e-cargo bike to get the kids to/from school and all around the city. I applaud these Council Members for their effort to establish a more thoughtful e-bike policy for the park!

  6. All those families with kids on e-bikes are unable to use the safest road in the neighborhood because the Parks Department decided to misinterpret the law. Of course we should be able to ride our e-bikes in the park.

    1. Mr. Rafferty,
      You are e-bike rider and as such you want access which is a natural tendency, however, there was always a law regarding motorized vehicles. Why, do you not be honest and consider the manner most e-bike riders zip around the side walks breaking the law, can you imagine them getting access to the recreational parks.

  7. Absolutely not. We need a break from the constant menace of e-bike riders who use the bike lanes, and they already zip around the park without paying any attention to other riders or basic safety procedures. Do NOT turn the park into a legally sanctioned delivery route!

    1. It’s about time for this ban to be overturned. Anyone who visits the park can tell you that the race bikers are the issue, not e-bike riders, who are usually just families with cargo bikes, deliveristas going to work, or locals riding Citi Bike. There’s practically no signage mentioning the ban, so how could we expect people to follow it anyway? The real solution to safety concerns should be to get rid of the outdated striping that maintains a wide car lane, which would offer more space on the loop to both pedestrians and cyclists of different speeds.

  8. Absolutely not. We need a break from the constant menace of e-bike riders who use the bike lanes, and they already zip around the park without paying any attention to other riders or basic safety procedures. Do NOT turn the park into a legally sanctioned delivery route!

  9. I totally agree with Janet! Our park is for recreation, a place for us to recuperate from our busy life!
    E-bikes have been already notorious in the park as well as outside! No respect for rules! Going so—- fast, too! They are motorbikes, technically. No license and no responsibility, in attitude and in law.
    E-bikes have been causing near-misses all the time around me in the park and around! DANGEROUS!!!!!
    I wonder whether Council member Hanif ever use the park and quickly find out that e-bikes do not belong there at tall!

  10. Ebikes are a hazard to human powered bicycles and pedestrians. They have co-opted our bike lanes. They have encouraged conventional motor scooters and motorcycles to take over the bike lanes, parks, sidewalks and bridge paths. I have direct knowledge of people who have been injured in collisions with them.
    In any event there is no enforcement of the current restriction so legitimizing it just smoke and mirrors.
    I can remember when there was outrage over ordinary bicycles mixing with pedestrians, riding on sidewalks and being represented as “dangerous.” Now ebikes, especially the throttle variety as opposed to pedal-assist have become ubiquitous and apparently acceptable because they are used to deliver takeout and perceived as essential employment for minority workers.
    I, for one, as an ordinary cyclist, fear using bridge bike lanes and bike paths in general because of this lax attitude. Since most of these e-vehicles can travel at the speed limit of 25mph, they should use the streets like any other motor vehicle. Maybe that would slow down the speeding cars which are also being ignored.
    I fantasize about a campaign to get people to never use delivery and pick up their own food. They could burn a few of the calories they’re about to consume and have one less ebike on the sidewalk.

  11. They should be banned. People on the e-bikes and electric scooters do not respect pedestrians walking. You know how many times they break red lights and hit people. They are dangerous.

  12. As others have pointed out, any prohibitions against e-vehicles in the park (and bike lanes) are not being enforced. I respect that delivery people have to make a living, but that should not necessitate putting other users of the park at unnecessary risk.
    And what about you, TA–you used to have some stones!

  13. They don’t honor the sidewalks
    Speed limits, or traffic direction they go any way they want. If we can’t keep them off sidewalks what can you expect in the Park?. I’m sick of the lack of enforcement, care or concern about these motoring delivery people. We close off streets to cars in the summer and have to dodge these bikes left and right. If it has a motor, different rules should apply. Sick of it. I have always been a considerate bicyclist but these delivery people give zero phucks about anything but where they are going.

  14. I have heard on WNYC public radio that the ION batteries these e-bikes use have some tendency to blow up. The bikers often charge them in public housing facilities because the electric is free and these require alot of juice, so both property and people can be injured or killed. WNYC’s recommendation was to have outside public charging stations. I’m not sure this is enough to deal with the problem.

  15. I am a 67 year old driver, pedestrian, recreational cyclist AND an ebike rider. I am safe and respectful in all of these modes of transportation. I see no reason for my ebike to be excluded from the park. I am no faster or dangerous than most experienced cyclists.

    1. Mr. Grupper,

      I am shocked to hear an 87 year old many of my similar age who does not have the sense of order and respect for others. Ebikes are motorized and move to fast to be allowed to zip past children with pets and strollers to be safe. As you know from the past recognition of motorized vehicle had to be licensed, and the driver also. However, the business people get hold of the politicians and as such rules and laws, are modified to provide more benefits to business. Take for instance, Politician Elizabeth ?? on the senate and House floor, chastised wall street and the banking institution for bad behavior. After that term of office on her next run they filled her pockets with contribution and hence she shut up her mouth and started giving the lots of positive compliments. The politician protect the banks by cancelling couple of the banking regulations and as such they do not pay saving deposit interest.

  16. No they should absolutely be banned. They are way too dangerous to pedestrians . The e-bike folks are on bike paths, sidewalks etc. Many people have been struck and hurt by those things. If cars are not allowed or motorcycles or scotters then neither should e-bikes. There are pets and children that are all about in the park, e-bikes would post a danger to them.

  17. I am a city Deliverysta and I am also the father of 5 beautiful children, as well as I enjoy taking them to the park, it is also the need to use the parks to be able to work and it is everyone’s responsibility to continue making the city safe. I dedicate myself to educating and preparing same companions to handle the ebike responsibly, a safe city !! it is a safe city for everyone

  18. I welcome e-bikes to the park because I think it’s safer than forcing them onto the road with traffic. When I use Citi bike I have to decide whether to get a non-electric bike and travel safely through the park, or get an electric bike and dodge cars and trucks on Ocean Ave. As a pedestrian and a cyclist I think it’s much safer to mix pedestrians and e-bike users than to mix e-bike users and traffic. The PP roads are spacious and allow bikes and peds to travel together safely, unlike Ocean & Parkside Avs which are often clogged with trucks leaving no space for cyclists.

  19. First of all, I applaud the council members and TA for working to protect all cyclists and their various needs. For folks that claim that this is a bad move because e-bikes “are way too fast,” are you also going to claim that the cyclists who bike loops around the park are going too fast too? If you’re a regular park goer, you should know that these cyclists actually go much faster than e-bike riders. So if speed is your issue, then I guess you’ve gotta break it the “human powered” cyclists that ride too fast that they can’t use our communal park either.

  20. Prospect Park’s bike paths are essential routes within the city’s very limited bike network. They’re especially critical for those of us who live south and east of Prospect Park where there are no other protected bike paths we can use that mirror the park loop and streets are notoriously dangerous for people biking. For every one of my trips going north, Prospect Park is the only safe bicycle route. We shouldn’t be forcing people like me who use pedal-assist bikes because they make bicycling more accessible into unnecessary danger.

    E-bikes safely share bike lanes throughout the city, and additionally, I’ve seen e-bike bans throughout the city selectively enforced at Prospect Park’s entrances – primarily against deliveristas, a matter of racial equity, and against families slowly riding pedal-assist e-bikes that allow them to bring their kids with them safely. Overturning this ban is long overdue.

  21. Ebikes are a great way to get around, and banning them from the park is ridiculous. I love biking in Prospect Park, and I’ve done it using both acoustic and electric bikes. All bikes should be welcome in the park.

  22. Thanks to these council members for pushing for this change! The current rule against e-bikes unfairly limits access to the park for people and families who depend on e-bikes for mobility, and so far this rule has been selectively enforced with an unacceptable level of bias.

    Almost all of the e-bikes I see in the park are going a very reasonable speed, and when I see someone going too fast, they’re almost always riding something that still wouldn’t be allowed after this rule change – either a moped or a super-fast e-bike not street legal under state and local laws. I suspect that the commenters who think e-bikes are “too fast” don’t actually know which bikes are e-bikes. I share their annoyance at people who speed through the park, but a blanket ban on e-bikes is not a reasonable solution to that.

  23. They should limit access per vehicle speed. I ride an electric kick scooter that has a maximum speed of 15 miles/h. Regular bikes zoom past me all the time!

  24. It’s awful that special interest groups are able to manipulate the young Councilwoman. The park is for children. Put this on the ballot for Brooklyn to decide, not the rich bike enthusiasts who have electric bikes, but no longer want to pedal.

  25. I have been running and riding my bike for the last 15 years more or less daily. I taught both of my children to ride bikes in Prospect Park and they’ve spent months of camp outside there. The only time I’ve felt “menaced” by bicyclists is the groups of spandex men who want to ride 30 mph at 10am on a beautiful May weekend. Speed limits should be enforced uniformly, no need to target parents trying to safely transport their children in the park!

  26. E-bikes are a zero-pollution way for families to get around NYC — we need to find safe ways for everyone to get around our city without cars, including people of different abilities, delivery workers, and pedestrians. Banning e-bikes in the park is a step backwards. When more people use bike infrastructure, safety improves for everyone. With more space for bikes and reasonable enforcement of rules and norms, we can meet our climate goals and reduce traffic violence at the same time. Parks Dept. could model this by providing e-bikes and cargo bikes for their employees to use!

  27. As a regular Prospect Park user, I have some problems with the suggestion to permit e-bikes in the park. Truth be known, e-bikes regularly are seen on the park loop – no one seems to be available to enforce this ban. When riding through the park they go very fast – faster than pedal bikes. Many e-bike riders are poor ambassadors for their cause. On the streets of the city , I often have to get out of the way of e-bike riders blowing through red lights, riding on the sidewalks, or going the wrong way on one way streets. Perhaps if they respected the law I might be more sympathetic. In the meantime, I do not agree with changing the current rules.

  28. The vast majority of E-vehicles (bikes, scooters, boards) in the Park are not ridden by delivery people but rather by many who ride at high speeds, weave in and out of all lanes (including pedestrian) and even ride in the wrong direction. There are bike lanes immediately outside of the Park perimeter. What is also dangerous is that there is a ban on E-vehicles and ABSOLUTELY NO ENFORCEMENT of that ban so people using the Park can have a FALSE sense of security. If E-vehicles are allowed in the Park I think there need to be rules for them (a dedicated lane and speed limit for instance) THAT ARE ENFORCED. However, with many other options available, I see no reason that E-vehicles need to use the Park making it unsafe for pedestrians (adult and children) and cyclists who want to enjoy a small zone free from motorized vehicles. It’s happened in midst of Times Square so why not in Prospect Park.

  29. I am against ebikes or any other motorized vehicles in the park. And please STOP riding your motorized bike, moped or motorcycle on the SIDEWALKS throughout the neighborhood. The amount of times I and others have been nearly hit walking down the sidewalk is mind blowing. Sorry to the responsible riders but the majority abuse the issue and make it unsafe for everyone.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.