Motorized bike ban not the answer
Years ago, I worked at Ohio Valley Health Care Center. We only had one car, so I rode my bike up that Rt. 47 hill, sweating like a pig. I would have given anything for a motor on my bike!
I needed that job, just like the young man from my neighborhood who works at Subway. He took part in the Public Forum at the City Council, and said he uses a motorized bike to get to work. He’s saving money so when he’s old enough for a car, he can pay for it.
Another gentleman spoke, wiping tears from his eyes and leaning heavily on his walking stick. He uses a motorized bike to pick up medications and food. This gives him independence and pride to be able to take care of himself, even with severe health problems. Several people mentioned problems taking public transportation; the busses have limited seating, limited hours, and limited routes. Several people said working on bikes gives them a meaningful activity which helps them stay off drugs.
They ride motorized bikes to work, AA/NA meetings, and for fun, fresh air, and exercise. During the meeting, there were several proposals made to address the problems, but a majority of the Council voted for a complete ban on motorized bikes. I hope the City Council will reconsider their votes on the second reading on Aug. 25 for these reasons:
1) We are in the middle of COVID-19, and WV has 10.4 percent unemployment. People are struggling to find work and pay rent. Electric bikes are $2000-$7000; motorized bikes $300.
2) Motorized bikes aren’t the most important problem in District 4. Deaths are. Deaths from Hepatitis, cancer, suicide, drug overdoses. Blight, crime, abandoned houses, fires, drug and alcohol abuse are problems. Collapsed retaining walls, broken sidewalks, burnt out street lights, backed up storm sewers are problems. Noisy engines are a nuisance and bother, but they don’t kill people or make them sick.
3) The bikes may be noisy, but so are Harleys, Mustangs, big trucks with loud mufflers, and fireworks.
4) Bike riders don’t pay their fines. People who own dilapidated homes get citations and don’t pay fines. Cars and bicycles get citations and don’t pay fines. People who trespass get fined but are allowed to do community service.
City Council, stand with people who are trying to better their lives. Make it easier, not harder.