Two bridges too far: NYC bans Revel mopeds from East River spans over ‘safety concerns’

They shall not cross.

The town has requested Revel to hit the brakes on its mopeds crossing the Manhattan and Queensboro bridges lower than two months after the Brooklyn-based scooter-sharing firm opened the East River spans to its 1000’s of customers.

“We’ve been thrilled to see so many riders Reveling responsibly over the bridges,” reads a Sept. 17 e-mail from Revel to its clients. “Unfortunately, we’ve received notice from the New York City Department of Transportation that we need to close access to these two bridges. Therefore, moving forward Revels will not be allowed on either crossing.”

The corporate on July 21 let riders “unlock” the 2 bridges after clocking 25 miles of driving safely on the blue battery-powered two-wheelers.

“Now you have no excuse to not visit your friend across the river,” learn the e-mail on the time.

DOT’s Revel moped moratorium transfer shuts off the one two out there connectors for Revel riders between Manhattan and Brooklyn or Queens.

The transportation firm by no means licensed scooter journeys throughout the Brooklyn or Williamsburg Bridges — that are additionally run by town — or the state-operated Hugh Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel, Queens Midtown Tunnel and RFK (Triborough) Bridge. 

The Vespa-like autos prime out at 29 miles-per-hour and the corporate mentioned within the announcement that riders ought to keep in the correct lane and that those that didn’t really feel snug going at prime speeds ought to keep away from the bridges, the place the pace restrict is increased at 35 mph.

A DOT spokesman mentioned the company requested Revel to reverse this coverage citing “safety concerns” in regards to the rental mopeds colliding with different autos on the bridges — acknowledging that drivers “sometimes” break the pace restrict — together with the difficulty of Revelers selecting to scoot illegally down the pedestrian or bike paths on the spans. 

“Safety is our top priority, and as part of our working relationship with Revel, we communicated safety concerns about the policy change the company had made,” mentioned the DOT’s Brian Zumhagen. “The speed limit on these two spans is 35 miles per hour, traffic sometimes moves faster, and there are no shoulders on the spans. As a Revel moped cannot travel faster than 28 mph, there is a risk for crashes with faster moving cars.”

“Revel users may opt to illegally use the bike and pedestrian paths on these spans to avoid car traffic on the main spans, creating a serious safety risk to cyclists and pedestrians,” the DOT rep added. “As a result, we asked Revel to reverse the policy, and they complied. We look forward to continuing to work with Revel and other e-moped services to ensure the safety of their riders and all street users.”

Amid a growth in new Revel customers through the summer season of 2020, three riders crashed and died on the blue scooters and the corporate shut off service for a month earlier than launching with extra security measures, together with a compulsory 21-question quiz and a helmet selfie riders should take earlier than they will roll.

A Revel spokesman declined to touch upon the document past the client e-mail, however famous that no incidents with the scooters led to the ban and that personally-owned mopeds can nonetheless legally use these roadways.

Fourteen minor bridges stay open for Revel riders, such because the Pulaski Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, the Roosevelt Island Bridge, and a number of other spans throughout the Harlem River between northern Manhattan and the Bronx.  

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