Noting grisly fatalities as e-bikes collide with pedestrians, New York City Council Member Bob Holden has introduced a bill (0758-2022) to register, license, and insure e-bikes, along with a requirement for road certification, bike inspection, and an e-mobility tax to help pay for bike lanes.

In the District last week, on the other hand, Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen convened a hearing on four bills ostensibly for road safety, but in fact, to punish car drivers for unpaid fines and add a network of enforcement cameras. None of the bills addresses the hazards of bikes and bike lanes. Bike traffic in DC is the only mode of transit that remains unregulated and untaxed. “Bikes, particularly e-bikes, are not toys. They are dangerous and should be regulated like all other forms of road users,” said Nick DelleDonne with the DC Safe Streets Coalition.

At the hearing, ANC4D01 Commissioner Joy Pinkney said Allen was acting “as if car drivers are criminals.” She pointed to the closing of Rock Creek Park and the soon-to-come Georgia Ave Bus Lane which make it harder for drivers to get around the city. (See the video at 2 hours 35 minutes.

In a news report last week, ‘Lawyer of the Year’ Patrick Regan slammed the DC Bike Plan for “incredibly poor planning.” (See Justin Smulison in “A Better Roadmap for Bicycle Safety in D.C.,” Washington’s Best Lawyers 2024, Oct. 2, 2023. ). Regan is representing the family of Sarah Langenkamp, who was killed last year riding her bike.

Despite rising traffic fatalities in DC, Allen accepted the Vision Zero Award from the Washington Area Bicyclists Association last week.

The Council has scheduled a second hearing on the four bills on Oct. 26, this time with city officials, though the seat of District Transportation Director is vacant. The hearing record remains open for public comment until Nov. 10.

Release: October 18th, 2023

Contact: Nick DelleDonne, 703 929 6656