Bhalla discusses Hoboken e-bike delivery licensing task force & Rebuild by Design


Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla discussed his e-bike delivery licensing task force and the hold ups regarding the Rebuild by Design project, specifically the easements in Jersey City.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I think e-bikes on the sidewalk are a problem in Hoboken, so the initiative by Councilman Presinzano was well intended, we take it in good faith and good spirit,” Bhalla, who is running for Congress in the 8th District, began in an interview after holding an event in Jersey City with U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

“Bike Hoboken and other advocacy groups identified ways where we could make the process better, so I’m not this is question or debate about substance, I think we all want to reach the same goal of safer streets, which is  part of Vision Zero. We want to make sure it’s as inclusive as possible so we can have more voices at the table and hopefully have a better product in the end.”

The Mile Square City mayor announced an 11-member working group on e-bike delivery licensing a few hours before Wednesday’s council meeting, though Presinzano’s ordinance on this topic ended up being carried.

His proposal, co-sponsored by 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo and 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, would require deliveristas to register for $5 a year, wear a florescent vest with their registration number, and take tests centered around pedestrian safety.

As it’s written today, those in violation of these local regulations could face a $50 fine per infraction.

In a letter to the council, Bhalla said his concerns are a lack of accountability for delivery services, an impact to immigrant communities, and enforceability, as well as asking the group to consider Transportation Alternatives recommendations.

As for the easements in Jersey City, the Hoboken City Council last week carried a measure to award a $75,000 engineering contract to provide a feasibility study.

Bhalla was asked what he thought about this development and how Hoboken can move forward on this flood resiliency project that has been allocated hundreds of millions of dollars for Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken.

“Well, I’m not sure why it was pulled, but what we hope to do is educate why we’re doing that study so that we can make sure that Jersey City continues to be a partner with Hoboken in terms of granting the necessary easements and doing so that also allows Jersey City to build the type of infrastructure that they want to build,” he explained.

“Whether it’s a light rail station next to the area of redevelopment and doing it in a manner that benefits both communities, that’s the ultimate objective of the study, and its just one step in the process. We haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m sure in the coming weeks we’ll move forward.”

During his February 7th appearance on  HCV Live & Uncut, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop noted that he wanted a feasibility study done to ensure the easements would not impact a new light rail station and that the city would not be covering those costs.

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  1. It took an initiative by several council members for Ravi to publicly acknowledge a problem with e-bikes in our town. Perhaps if he walked the city occasionally (I live and work in town, am out all the time, and have seen Ravi only once) he would see what a big problem this is. I’m happy that we have council members who are taking steps to address this issue but fear that Ravi’s eleven-member task force (which, by the way, includes no unaffiliated members of the public) will take months to take any action.