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Operation Kickstand: Mayor Cracks Down On Motorized Bicycles

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 29

Sweet lord Jesus I hate hate hate motorized bicycles. Mostly because they are slow, loud, annoying, and spew massive amounts of pollution into the air. But also because their operators always want to ride in the bicycle lane, but insist on doing so in the most annoying way possible, too slow, too fast, or too recklessly. To be clear we are not talking about electric bicycles (although I think they suck too), we are talking about these things.

Well it seems the Mayor is with me on this…or is he? This proclamation is pretty hard to understand. Can someone help me out there. (I have highlighted the part that I think means he is going to crack down on these annoying vehicles).

Hipsters, your days of scooting along at speeds just below what a fit cyclists can attain, at high noise levels, while polluting the crap out of the air are numbered (I think).

from the mayors website:

_____________________________

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced a crackdown on illegal motorized bikes in the City of Boston and a new homerule petition that will allow for better enforcement of these nuisance vehicles. He also directed the Boston Police Department and the city’s Transportation Department to initiate “Operation Kickstand,” an effort to tow all illegal motorized bicycles, specifically those that are:

Missing a registration decal or not properly registered
Being operated on parkland, off-street recreational paths or any other prohibited paths
Being operated in an illegal fashion (e.g., reckless driving, driving under the influence)

While illegal motorbikes did not appear to be used in the recent shooting at Harambee Playground, the information gathered does highlight the need for a stronger city policy on the use and operation of motorized bicycles within city limits. These new regulations and increased enforcement are just a part of the city’s overall efforts to create strong vibrant neighborhoods where all residents can live, work and raise their families.

“I will continue to fight for the protection and quality of life of our residents,” Mayor Menino said. “These types of loud, dangerous vehicles are allowing individuals to intimidate our residents and cause disruption in our neighborhoods – and it must stop.”

According to the Mass. RMV, any pedal bicycle which has a helper motor or a non-pedal bicycle with a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters of cylinder capacity, has an automatic transmission and cannot go faster than 30 miles an hour meets the legal definition of a motorized bicycle.

Existing laws (specifically M.G.L. c. 90 §1B-E) which regulate motorized bicycles mandate that the vehicle / its operator must:

Have a registration sticker affixed to it
Be registered with the MA RMV (motorized bicycles are classified as “motor vehicles”)
Carry a valid driver’s license / learner’s permit
Wear a safety helmet
Drive at speeds 25 mph or lower
Avoid driving on (a) roadways where bicycles are prohibited or (b) off-street recreational paths

Mayor Menino will file a home rule petition that will extend the law and ban these types of vehicles within the city limits. Other cities currently have similar laws in place including New York, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia.

EDIT:

They already are nabbing their first offenders.


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