Tonight members of Bronx Community Board 7 are going to decide on whether or not to give the New York City Council a push when it comes to electric mobility safety.
CB7 District Manager Karla Cabrera-Carrera told the Bronx Times on Monday that the issue of e-bike and e-scooter safety has been a topic of conversation among members of the board’s Committee for Public Safety & Quality of Life for nearly a month now over safety concerns in the district. CB7 covers the neighborhoods of Bedford Park, Fordham, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge Heights, Mosholu Parkway, Norwood and University Heights.
The motion in question at Tuesday’s general board meeting is whether or not to send the City Council a letter supporting Introduction 0758-2022 — a local law that would require every e-bike, e-scooter and other legal motorized vehicle to be licensed and registered. The legislation was introduced in October 2022 by prime sponsor Council Member Robert Holden, who represents Queens’ 30th Council District, but hasn’t made any movement since. All nine Bronx council members were co-sponsors of the legislation when it was introduced last fall.
Cabrera-Carrera said CB7 members who vote in favor of sending the letter of support are hoping that the City Council will be encouraged to move the legislation from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to the full council.
The district manager hopes requiring licensure and registration for e-mobility devices will deter people from riding on sidewalks, driving too fast or otherwise breaking traffic laws. She said she’s always on high alert when she walks around District 7 with her daughter — emphasizing she’s nervous about letting go of her hand because of e-bike and e-scooter riders.
“I think these are some of the issues that we are experiencing in the district,” Cabrera-Carrera said. “Our community could definitely benefit from something like this.”
Concerns over e-mobility devices have been commonplace in the Bronx since their rise in popularity — they’ve been stolen, crashed, dumped in rivers or left outside of charging stations, and their batteries have been blamed for intense fires, to name a few.
“There have been too many times that e-bikes, electric and gas-powered scooters/mopeds have ridden on the sidewalk or have driven in the wrong direction,” reads an excerpt from the CB7 Committee for Public Safety & Quality of Life motion summary. “The committee believes that requiring registration and licensing will make riders and anyone connected with the riders of all vehicles accountable, just as those who are licensed to drive cars.”
Check-in for the CB7 general board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the P.S. 246 Poe Center at 2641 Grand Concourse. A public hearing is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m., where community members will have the opportunity to give public testimony before the board deliberates on the e-mobility safety motion.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes