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  • in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1134586

    The District government E-bike incentive program is now accepting applications from DC residents from today April 1, through April 15.  Applications will go into a lottery for a rebate on the purchase of a new e-bike from a DC retailer. DDOT will open the first application window to Preferred Applicants only. A Preferred Applicant is a District resident enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance. Details are at

    in reply to: Nov 2022 Street and Trail Conditions #1126695

    The trail counter is back! Thank you Henry & DES

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1126579

    To the rider of the Class 3 ebike riding inbound on Memorial Bridge at 8:23am this morning (timestamp is 1hr out), please slow down. E-bikes are permitted on the bridge sidewalk because it falls within the National Park Service jurisdiction. Please keep to the speed limit of 15mph as stated in the Park Superintendent’s compendium. The couple running further along the bridge who you startled didn’t appreciate you overtaking them on the inside so fast as I discovered when I subsequently rode past them. That’s the sort of behavior that gets reported. Please slow down.

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1126516

    @shipwreckedsailor 225431 wrote:

    If you could create an e-bike incentive program from scratch, what would it look like? Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Here is a blog post I wrote with suggestions for DC Council

    in reply to: Ebikes! #1126367

    In Washington, DC today Mayor Bowser announced the Capital Bikeshare fleet will receive another 700 new generation CaBi+ e-bikes for DC. Lyft also announced at the same event another 150 e-bikes of the same design for Fairfax County. Together these will double the size of the CaBi+ e-bike fleet. The new design are the same as the 2nd generation e-bikes introduced by Lyft in New York City for the Citi bikeshare fleet.

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1126291

    @shipwreckedsailor 225431 wrote:

    Thank you so much for all of this information. I am going to share the link for the recording on the BikeArlington socials.

    If you could create an e-bike incentive program from scratch, what would it look like? Just wondering since you have so much background information. I am loving the emphasis on battery safety in the comments above. I wonder if parking/locking up is an issue for people with e-bike? Would love to hear your thoughts.

    I am going to collect my thoughts into a forthcoming blog post for Dr Gregory Maassen’s DC E-Bike Lovers group, and I will post the link here after it is published. Hopefully the testimony offered at Thursday’s DC Council session will lead policy planners to consider how the public safety issues demand more than a simple retail discount, I am very grateful for WABA’s position supporting requiring UL certification. DC will hopefully follow NYC Council lead and mandate eligible e-bikes be UL certified. Hopefully the list of safety standards People-for-Bikes put forward to Council in their written testimony will be more than just the UL2849 standard which I understand is only Bosch powered ebikes currently. For the program to succeed like Denver, while also promoting fire safety, there needs to be a balance drawn to include other UL standards and other international safety standards, so as to make eligible e-bikes from budget-priced brands that are making an effort to certify their products and can be sold and assembled through local bike shops, including Aventon, Radio Flyer, Ecotric, and Velotric. I am grateful CM Allen’s proposal asks DDOT maintain a list of eligible brands and models, hopefully this will provide consumers with more transparency while encouraging manufacturers to do the right thing. Consumer Reports published an article in December 2022 that reported the cost of UL certification is $25,000 per model, which over say a 1,000 unit production run should add just $25 to the retail msrp, this seems very little to ask manufacturers to take some responsibility over certifying their products. While I’m on my soap box, we should collectively lobby Congress to lower the $800 de minimis threshold for tariffs on US e-bike imports, Congress is contributing to the problem by incentivizing Amazon, big box retailers, and direct-to-consumer brands, to bypass CPSC regulations and import the least-safe low-cost e-bike products.

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1126231

    UPDATE: here is the link on CM Allen’s Facebook page to the recording of the DC Council session 3/16/23 seeking feedback on the two e-bike proposals

    Here are the notes I took from the first two hours and last hour of the session.

    CM Pinto reported she had received feedback on the safety of batteries
    CM Frumin reported he has had a knee replacement & rides an e-bike
    Denver Colorado city staff gave testimony including they have revised their voucher rebate program to increase the amount for riders who need to buy an adapted e-bike for their disability.
    About half the vouchers issued are actually redeemed.
    Denver does not have any safety or equipment standards requirement. They said they needed more market research on the effect that requiring UL certification would do to the market. Also cited working with local bike shops (did not address the Denver RadPower pop-up shop selling non-UL-certified e-bikes).
    CM Frumin asked: “did new stores emerge?”
    Response was Denver started with 10 bike shops, now 35 participating retailers, including new bike shops that opened up since the program started.
    Said there is a national regulatory environment being worked on now but won’t be here for 12-18 months.
    Houshmand Moarefi, E-bikes USA, e-bike store in Denver, recommended working with established local bike shops. Did touch on online retailers trying to work around the program, says he gets contacted by Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) brands who do not operate in the US asking to sell through his shop.
    Houshmand reported his shop’s experience over the first year of the Denver rebate program was he needed to change the types of e-bikes he stocked by ordering in more commuter e-bikes, average age of buyers dropped, and he hired more mechanics including highschoolers in STEM programs. He also pointed out they deliver only fully assembled e-bikes & suggested that be added to the program requirements.
    Bicycle Colorado also reported they made the local public transit agency ensure e-bikes could be carried on buses in Denver.

    Public witnesses included ANC commissioners, WABA, & Nicole McEntee
    Nicole McEntee led a bike bus to her child’s school this morning, so suggested the program include a rebate for the purchase of a child seat.
    WABA offered strong support for an e-bike rebate incentive program, favored CM Allen’s proposal because it incentivizes money towards establishing bike shops in Wards 7 & 8. Changes they want to see include DDOT survey feedback on rebate users to improve the program. WABA want DC Council to require UL certification of eligible bikes & batteries.
    An ANC member requested the program include a requirement for hospitality employers provide for employees information about the program and encourage them to buy an ebike as an alternative transportation.
    DC Sustainable Transportation offered support for CM Allen’s proposal, the increased rebate amount are more in line with the higher cost of quality e-bikes. Ideas: 1. Parks & Rec should offer e-bike riding program for rebate participants; 2. Geographic target neighborhoods for outreach eg Randall Highlands; 3. A built in evaluation component in partnership with the Lab of DC; 4. More secure storage facilities. In her initial testimony dismissed concerns over e-bike battery safety by countering the risks of car violence are orders of magnitude greater. In the follow up Q&A:
    CM Allen said he wants to take seriously the concerns raised around e-bike battery safety.
    Response from DCST was that working with bike shops, and secure storage, are appropriate mitigation.

    Charlie McCormick of Electricity Bikes, asked for the program to be kept simple for the first iteration, and not over-regulate otherwise “it could get complicated”. Re: DTC hub drive brands, as a stocking dealer and a fulfilment center for many DTC brands, is a real problem with reliability. The support burden is too expensive for the price, the damage to our reputation from client outcomes is unacceptable. DTC puts the burden on the owner. We are happy to be a resource for the rebate program. Re: safety, of speed pedelecs, it’s a safety issue to have Class 3. If you are too slow you clash with traffic, that can be a safety concern. Keeping up with the speed of traffic, particularly where riders go on 25mph principal roads with no bike lane. Re: battery safety, all those 150,000 service visits we have yet to have a thermal incident. We have tight practices to prevent a problem happening. The big problems are from AliBaba unclassed bikes for food delivery people, “you should push this to the fire marshal”. Best for you to fund fire-proof battery cabinets for bike shops, especially in a multi-use building. Using UL 2849 as the standard would limit you to Bosch bikes that are $2500 and up and will affect affordability (while true for UL 2849, if other UL standards could also be acceptable under the program there are UL compliant budget brands that can be sold through bike shops including Radio Flyer, Velotric, and Aventon), I would also suggest you address security and theft in underserved communities.
    Kristof Grina, DC based small business using e-bikes to carry out daily operations. We build farms and gardens on the roofs of buildings in downtown DC. We have a fleet of 6 e-bikes, and replaced 95% of our 600 former ICE trips, our trailers haul 300lb of landscaping equipment. This program could unlock more businesses to use e-bikes, eg’s flower delivery.
    Rabbi Fred Dobb, moral urgency in mitigating carbon emissions, and a just adaptation for those least able to afford. Thank you for starting an equitable way for DC residents to get around with less carbon. Analog biking to get downtown in DC is easy, not easy getting back up hill. Focus funds towards low income riders, in wards 7 & 8 especially, it wil make the biggest difference, include funding for helmets and child seats. E-bike consumers need an approved list, moderated by local bike shops, of safe e-bikes.
    Noa Banayan, PeopleForBikes, strongly support a DC rebate incentive program. Recommends adding Class 3 e-bikes to DC’s motor vehicle code and to this program. We’ve developed an e-bike incentive toolkit for policy makers. Prepare for popularity. Increased amounts for low-income qualified residents. PfB is working with NY Council, CPSC, Congress, recommend a list of acceptable standards in my testimony. PfB recommend eligibility be limited to e-bikes that meet those safety standards listed in her written testimony.
    Lauren Copsey, Daily Rider, asked for a phased roll out of incentives. Sold our first e-bike in 2015 and that was our only e-bike sale that year. In 2022, e-bikes made up 40% of our revenue.
    Meghan Housewright, UL Solutions, since 2021 NYC has attributed 11 fatalities to fires caused by e-bike batteries. Loudoun Co last month had an e-bike fire that killed a resident. The likelihood of these incidents increases with lo-cost manufacturers cutting corners, compliance reduces risk of deficiencies in components. UL has been developing standards since the 1980’s on lithium batteries. We recommend e-bikes be tested by an OSHA recognized lab that adheres to UL standards. We were highly encouraged by the recent NY legislation. This is in keeping with the letter issued by CPSC in December 2022. Underwriters Laboratory urge DC Council to add to eligibility only e-bikes that adhere to UL 2849.
    Mark Sussman, prefers CM Allen’s proposal. Biking in DC since 2006, had a Tern electric cargo bike since 2021, ridden 2500 miles since then. Use for getting around the city, trips for groceries, hardware store, enabled his family to live a car-lite lifestyle living on Capitol Hill. Would like child seats, helmets, to be included. Incentivize District agencies to replace utility vehicles with e-bikes.
    A member of the public reported he leads classes of seniors in DC to learn to ride e-bikes, he said many come with DTC budget priced ebikes they purchase online and assemble themselves, and he reported he has to spend the first half hour of every class performing repairs on brakes and gears, so he supported the proposals require eligible e-bikes be sold through local bike shops.

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1125948

    Here is what I wrote on the two proposals for a DC resident E-bike rebate/incentive program: B25-0115 – Electric Bicycle Rebate Program Amendment Act of 2023 introduced by CM Allen, and B25-0032, the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstarting the Environment (“E-BIKE”) Act of 2023 introduced by CM Pinto:

    I work for George Washington University, and I commute to work in Foggy Bottom, DC, from Arlington, VA, riding a Class 2 electric bike. Of the two proposals I favor B25-0115 by CM Allen because:

    1. it applies to Class 1 & 2 e-bikes that are legal to ride in Bicycle lanes and trails in the District of Columbia.

    2. it provides for a point of sale discount, making it easier for residents on a low income or with a low credit rating to purchase an e-bike.

    3. it introduces a requirement, on line 100, for eligible e-bikes to meet safety requirements issued by the CPSC or any other District or federal agency that issues e-bike safety standards.

    However, Washington, DC’s e-bike rebate program must at the outset provide for whole life cycle management of lithium batteries and incentivize the purchase, use, and disposal of safe e-bikes and batteries. These safeguards are needed to account for the widely reported safety problems over both the electrical system and brake components of e-bikes, as highlighted by the Fire Department of New York City, and in the ongoing liability case against RadPowerBikes in California. To that end I propose the following measures be incorporated into the District of Columbia e-bike rebate/incentive program:

    1. I would like DC Council to require that e-bikes purchased under the DC rebate program meet relevant safety standards for e-bikes issued by Underwriter’s Laboratory, of Illinois. New York City Council passed a law on Thursday March 2, 2023, requiring e-bikes and batteries sold in the City meet UL certification, the wording of the bill is online at This bill was necessary to abate fire safety concerns around the charging of uncertified e-bike and e-scooter lithium batteries in high occupancy buildings or public housing. New York City Council have also passed a bill that bans the sale of second-hand or rebuilt battery packs, this was apparently due to concerns about used battery packs being broken down and reassembled without a Battery Management System to balance charging the cells, or without mechanical safety solutions like individual cell-level fusing. In late February 2023 FDNY and sheriff’s office officials inspected five Manhattan bike shops and other locations and found improper storage and charging of hundreds of batteries and dozens of e-mobility devices that violated fire codes. That led to 11 FDNY summonses, 14 violation orders, and six criminal summonses. CPSC is asking e-bike manufacturers to certify e-bikes to UL standard # 2849 however this is not yet mandated. Current NYC Firecode requires UL2849 certification DC must get ahead of this potential problem at the outset by creating an e-bike program that incentivizes the safe purchase, storage, charging, and disposal of e-bike products.

    2. One way of encouraging DC residents to recycle potentially dangerous batteries would be to include in the rebate some sort of trade-in/exchange/buy-back option for current owners of non-UL-certified e-bikes. This additional incentive, together with a requirement that eligible e-bikes and batteries must be UL certified, will not punish residents who have already purchased non-UL-certified e-bikes and batteries, but will help take them off the streets. I ask Council take note of the map of participating bicycle retailer locations to drop-off e-bike batteries under the Call2Recycle e-bike battery scheme that the Department of Public Works points to on its website: there are no locations in Ward’s 7 & 8 which limits residents to using the Benning Road Transfer Station for Electronics drop-off. I applaud DC Council for taking action in December 2022 by adopting a plan for Battery and Electronic Stewardship, but it is important that a wide network of e-bike battery drop-off locations be open and available in neighborhoods across the District for the plan to succeed. To that end I recommend DC Council work with DC FEMS, the Dept of Public Works, and Capital Bikeshare, to discuss the construction of fire safe lithium battery drop-off bins, lockers, or bunkers, located outside DC neighborhood fire stations, and work with DPW and Capital Bikeshare to visit these locations to collect e-bike batteries for recycling. Capital Bikeshare already carry lithium batteries in their vans, and they are an obvious choice for this task, and DPW will need to be involved to ensure the Benning Road Transfer Station be prepared to accept regular scheduled deliveries of e-bike batteries from the program.

    3. Residents should be incentivized to utilize safe battery charging practices, by building fire-safe public charging infrastructure. This might include adding funding for the purchase of fire-safe battery charging lockers, maybe co-located with Capital Bikeshare stations. I also recommend DC Council explore partnering with the minority-owned business Ooneepod in New York to explore adopting their innovative e-bike secure bike parking pods with built-in fire-safe e-bike battery charging lockers. Safe charging at home could be encouraged through adding funding for a public education program, potentially utilizing the Maker-Spaces in DC Public Libraries, partnering with DC bike co-ops, or DC FEMS, to hold classes to educate residents about how to safely store, charge, and recycle, e-bike lithium batteries at home.

    4. Responsible local bike shop owners such as Daily Rider and Electricity Bikes, have argued for years about the need to upgrade the components of low-cost budget priced e-bikes. A relatively inexpensive but important additional incentive would be to add to the e-bike rebate/incentive program the ability for e-bike owners to apply for a $300 brake replacement coupon that could be redeemed in participating bicycle retailers and service shops, this would approximate the cost of a replacement hydraulic brake set plus one-hour shop labor.

    5. I applaud both proposals for requiring eligible e-bikes be purchased from local DC retailers, however I point you to the experience of Denver, CO, where their e-bike program included a similar requirement to buy from a local bike shop, however this was exploited by the online direct-to-consumer retailer RadPower bikes who opened a ‘pop-up’ store in Denver that sold hundreds of non-UL-certified e-bikes using the publicly funded rebate, see This makes it more necessary for DC Council to follow NYC Council and require eligible e-bikes and batteries be UL-certified. New York based e-bike shop owner Chris Nolte has talked to e-bike manufacturers and brands and his assessment is that they will take no action to obtain UL-certification unless it is mandated, and City Council can contribute to creating a safety oriented regulatory framework for the e-bike industry by including UL-certification as a requirement for its e-bike rebate program.

    Ultimately the purpose of this testimony is to ask DC Council write into the e-bike program measures to mitigate the real threat of private institutions or the DC Public Housing Authority feeling obliged to impose bans on the use, parking, or charging of e-bikes in public places. Those actions are being taken now by private landlords, on University campuses, and by public housing authorities, across New York City.

    Washington, DC’s e-bike rebate program must incentivize the purchase, use, charging, and disposal, of safe e-bikes and batteries.

    My two cents.

    This is the sort of shoddy NYC e-bike battery charging infrastructure that I hope DC Council will take action to prevent happening here:

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1126058

    The current wording of the two proposals for a DC resident E-bike rebate/incentive program are on the DC legislative system as B25-0115 – Electric Bicycle Rebate Program Amendment Act of 2023 introduced by CM Allen, and B25-0032, the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstarting the Environment (“E-BIKE”) Act of 2023 introduced by CM Pinto.

    Both proposals apply to Class 1 & 2 e-bikes, not Class 3. Under CM Allen’s proposal the rebate could be applied as a point of sale discount, there would be requirements for eligible e-bikes to meet safety requirements issued by CPSC or other District or federal agency safety standards for e-bikes, and DDOT would be expected to publish on its website lists of eligible models and authorized retailers.

    A public discussion of the proposals has been scheduled for Thursday March 16, 2023 at 9:30am. If you or anyone else would like to participate, please email Kevin Whitfield at or email by March 15 to be added to the witness list.

    A summary of the incentives in the two bills as provided by Kevin Whitfield, who is a policy advisor to CM Allen:

    in reply to: MVT Improvement at the TR Bridge Ramp #1124432

    Great job Judd and the Friends of the Mt Vernon Trail volunteers, real improvements in safety on this downhill stretch.

    in reply to: Ebikes! #1122734

    CaBi+ ebike helped me out in a pinch last night. I rode a Lime Bike from Foggy Bottom to Potomac Park, hoping to end my ride at the dockless scooter/bike rack near the CaBi station at the corner of Ohio Dr/W Basin Dr, but the Lime app on my phone wasn’t happy to end my ride close to the exclusion/no dockless parking zone despite that rack being clearly marked as a “preferred parking spot” with a blue P circle on the Lime operating area map. I rode to another Blue P preferred parking spot near Lincoln Memorial where I had the same problem. I tried emailing/texting Lime Customer Service with no response, then I called the phone number on the bike and managed to speak to someone in customer service who ended the ride, but that was after wasting 40 minutes faffing around trying to end the ride in the Lime app. I was able to snag a CaBi+ ebike I rode up hill to home in Arlington.

    Two take homes from my experience using bikeshare ebikes in DC:
    1) don’t expect the Lime App to work as advertized anywhere around the National Mall, but call them if you get stuck unable to end the ride which racks up the cost at $0.36 per minute;
    2) the cost to me of the Lime fiasco was $20 including the 40 minutes of wasted time, the cost of my 25 minute CaBi+ ride home just $2.50!

    Lime refunded me $15 for the wasted time.


    in reply to: 2-stroke engine bike on 4MRT and W&OD #1122148

    @arlrider 220866 wrote:

    these motor vehicles…

    According to People for Bikes Class 1-3 ebikes are not motor vehicles in Virginia or Maryland and “more than 45 states have incorporated electric bicycles into their traffic codes and regulated them similarly to traditional bicycles. Fewer than 5 states still have outdated laws that lack a specific classification for electric bicycles.” DC also does not define Class 1-2 ebikes as motor vehicles.

    in reply to: FS Newbies — introduce yourself here! #1122005

    Long time lurker, giving it a go this year to share your joy/pain. Good luck everyone!

    in reply to: Nov 2022 Street and Trail Conditions #1122017

    Unsure who to report this to, the wooden post where the bike counter at the Eastern side of the path around Arlington Cemetery is on the ground. Unsure if this affects data gathering.

    in reply to: e-Bikes – Let’s talk #1121985

    Call2Recycle now have a map of collection sites where ebike batteries can be dropped off for recycling. Map link Arlington residents can also recycle e-bike batteries at Arlington County biannual E-CARE events.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 402 total)