Councilman Pushes For Legalization Of Electric Scooters In NYC

August 23, 2018 - 3:08 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Could electric scooters soon be legalized on New York City streets?

WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg on Thursday spoke to a lawmaker who is trying to make it happen.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned e-scooters and e-bikes in 2013 in what he called a push to make city streets safer.

Brooklyn City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-37th) said times have changed.

“I think it’s important that we continue pushing the envelope on changing the modes of transportation that we have to offer,” he said. “Especially as the city continues to grow and our infrastructure continues to be strained upon, we have to be creative and forward-thinking.”

Espinal is pushing legislation to legalize the e-scooters, but not the e-bikes for now. Mayor Bill de Blasio cracked down on e-bikes last year, and Espinal insisted his legislation is not mean to circumvent that.

“Scooters are not anything like bicycles, and there aren’t laws in Albany that get in the way of these scooters from becoming fully legal on New York City streets,” he said.

Transportation groups said if e-scooters are legal, they should not be allowed on sidewalks. That would  mean more bike lanes.