It’s no secret that we are in an age when online orders delivered the next day is the norm. With this in mind, New York City is proposing pedal-assisted electric cargo bikes as a way to cut back on the freight industry’s pollution contribution.
The New York City Department of Transportation announced the proposed rule in August, but the idea isn’t entirely new for the city. New York introduced a Commercial Cargo Bike pilot program in 2019, which was widely successful. Last year alone, cargo bikes reportedly made 130,000 trips, delivered more than 5 million packages, and reduced more than 716,000 tons of CO2 pollution. With that in mind, this initiative, which would expand the pilot program by allowing four-wheel cargo bikes (and larger deliveries), is estimated to have an even more significant environmental impact.
“Greater use of cargo bikes will bring incredible environmental and safety benefits for New York City by reducing the number of large, high-polluting trucks on our streets,” Ydanis Rodriguez, NY DOT Commissioner, told Momentum Mag. “Just two cargo bikes can replace one box truck, increasing safety and reducing CO2 emission by 14 tons per year — equivalent to 30,872 passenger car miles traveled.”
Along with its environmental benefits, it also alleviates congestion throughout the city and makes New York streets a little safer for bikers and drivers. Getting more vehicles, especially large delivery trucks that often block roadways and bike lanes to unload and load deliveries, will help keep things moving in the city.
“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 told Momentum Magazine. “Cargo bikes have been a valuable tool in our administration’s efforts to move goods throughout the city while [prioritizing] street safety and our environment, and these pedal-assist cargo bikes will help New Yorkers get the items they need while reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion — and getting dangerous trucks off our streets.”
NYC DOT held a public hearing on the matter on Sept 13. If the measure passes, cargo bikes could become even more of a norm in the city, citing a big win for the environment and the safety of New York commuters.
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