NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue announced today that the electric micromobilitypilot in City parks will begin June 20, 2023. As part of the City’s work to make it easier and safer to use electric micromobility, Parks is launching a pilot program to allow e-bikes andlightweight e-scooters on Park drives and greenways.
The pilot was first announced in March as part of Mayor Adams’ “Charge Safe, Ride Safe: NYC’s Electric Micromobility Plan,” which outlined how the administration is working to keep New Yorkers safe as electric micromobility use grows, and how to support the rapid adoption of these devices. New York City is a leader in sustainable transportation, and electric micromobility is a key tool to help New Yorkers get around efficiently, safely, affordably, and sustainably. Park drives and greenways are a critical piece of the city’s cycling infrastructure, and provide a scenic, comfortable, and safe path for cyclists and pedestrians.
“New York City is a leader in electric micromobility, and I’m proud that as part of our ‘Charge Safe, Ride Safe’ Plan, we’re making it easier and safer to use these devices across the five boroughs,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This pilot program will increase access to green transportation through our city’s parks as we enter summer months and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and safety.”
“In 1894, the nation’s first dedicated bike path opened on Ocean Parkway – today we’re proud to start a new chapter in our legacy of supporting cycling by announcing a new pilot allowing electric micromobility in our City parks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Cycling in New York City is one of the most sustainable ways to get around, and our parks are home to some of the most scenic, and often safest, cycling paths. I look forward to a successful pilot and want to remind everyone to stay safe and be respectful towards all park users.”
As parks are shared spaces, Parks expects all park users to be considerate of others, and operate their bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, roller skates, or any other legal devices in a safe manner – especially on drives and greenways, which see a variety of uses and speeds.
The pilot will allow the same bicycles, e-bikes, and e-scooters that are legal to operate in NYC streets to also operate on park drives, such as the Central Park and Prospect Park loops, and greenways, such as the Manhattan Waterfront greenway. These are spaces where bicycles are already permitted in parks. Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes, as well as lighter-weight e-scooters, are already allowed to operate on NYC streets and in bike lanes, and will be allowed in parks as part of the pilot. For more information on micromobility devices, please visit nyc.gov/ebikes.
The pilot does not allow any electric micromobility devices to be ridden on pedestrian paths, and does not include faster, heavier mopeds or motorcycles anywhere in parks or ongreenways. Those are also not allowed in bike lanes and require a driver’s license to operate.
Parks will maintain its rule regarding reckless behavior: “No person shall operate a bicycle, motor vehicle, or similar vehicle in a manner that endangers any other person or property.” That rule will be enforced, as in the past, by Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) jointly with the NYPD. PEP officers will additionally be handing out palm cards with pilot details at various park entrances. The pilot will last until May 31, 2024.
Parks continues to work with NYC DOT and partner organizations at the Central Park Conservancy and Prospect Park Alliance on safety improvements to those parks’ drivesfollowing the Alliance’s completed safety study and the Conservancy’s ongoing study.
As part of the pilot, Parks has created a new webpage with a citywide map of parks with greenways and drives that are part of this pilot: nyc.gov/parks/ebikes. On this page, Parks has also created a survey to both hear from and educate New Yorkers on electric micromobility, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Bengali.