NYC DOT proposes expansion of pedal-assist cargo bikes

NYC DOT proposes expansion of pedal-assist cargo bikes

The proposed rule would expand low- or no-emission options for freight deliveries in NYC.

New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced a proposed rule which would permit the use of pedal-assist cargo bikes and reduce the number of delivery trucks on New York City streets.

The proposed rule would expand low- or no-emission options for freight deliveries — including packages and groceries — by allowing the use of pedal-assist bicycles that may be up to 48 inches wide and have up to four wheels. The expanded width and wheel allowance, combined with the pedal-assist feature, make cargo bikes easier to pedal while carrying heavy loads. Current rules restrict such devices to a maximum width of 36 inches with no fourth wheel.

The pedal-assist feature of these bikes activates a small motor only when users are pedaling. The technology is commonly used by existing e-bicycle carriers — as well as on Citi Bike’s pedal-assist models.

“Safety and sustainability go hand in hand in New York City, and our administration is innovating every day and using every tool available to advance both,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. “Cargo bikes have been a valuable tool and these pedal-assist cargo bikes will help New Yorkers get the items they need while reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion.”

The announcement of the proposed rule in the city record begins the 30-day public comment period. NYC DOT will hold a virtual public hearing on the proposed rule.

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