At the behest of Mayor Adams, NYC Parks Department is conducting a pilot program allowing the use of e-bikes in certain parks and paths. You'll notice in their map of greenways and park drives now open to electric bikes and scooters that Marine Park is not included. Users can ride these vehicles along the nearby Belt Parkway, but unlike places such as Prospect Park and Central Park, there are no open paths through Marine Park. We have to wonder, why? Perhaps it's because motorized vehicle traffic is so rampant here already that allowing e-bikes and e-scooters with little or no enforcement of the rules will only make things worse and more dangerous for pedestrians.
Many people who walk in Marine Park have reported being spooked or nearly knocked off their feet at least once by an e-bike on the path. While they don't travel at highway speed, e-bikes do reach 15-25 mph – plenty fast enough to potentially cause injury to the rider and passersby alike. According to a report by the CPSC, injuries caused by vehicles like e-bikes have increased by 23% per year since 2017. Moreover, almost half of the injuries during that same time period occured in just a single year: 2022. Fractures, contusions, and abrasions to the limbs, head, and neck were the common injuries observed.
Ultimately it seems like the more micromobility devices grow in popularity, the greater the risks will grow. So before any changes to e-bike usage policies impacting Marine Park become permanent, it is vital to let our elected officials know how you feel. Here is your opportunity to let NYC Parks know what your experience has been and what you’d like to see in the future.
As part of the pilot program, Parks Department is seeking feedback on the introduction of motorized personal transport to New York’s parks. Since this is a big issue in our park, please take the opportunity to fill out the survey and share your thoughts. Make sure to use the write-in sections to be as detailed about your opinion as possible. Thank You!
Maria Carro- D’Alessandro, Board Chair