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Getting There: Are all manner of electric vehicles 'motor vehicles?' – Times Union

A woman wearing a skirt rides an electric scooter during a light snow fall on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 in Troy, N.Y. Typically it are “mopeds” that need registration from the state DMV.
Q: Most of us know what cars, trucks, and motorcycles are. That is, motor vehicles which run on the streets, require registration, insurance, helmets for motorcycles, and licensure for driver/riders.
But today we are in the era of electric, often two-wheel vehicles, and I’m confused. Are electric, but otherwise conventional, bicycles “motor vehicles?”
 How about electric scooters that look like motor scooters (think Vespa)? Are they motor vehicles? Should they be registered, and helmets worn? Or can people ride them on the sidewalks?
 And what about three and four wheel “mobility scooters,” like Hoveround? Are they basically power wheelchairs, like non-powered wheelchairs, used on sidewalks? And (what about) those enhanced mobility scooters which can have windshields and fairings and might be used on streets?
— J. Michael Malec, Albany
A: Electric bicycles with two pedals are classified as bicycles, according to Lt. Robert Donnelly of the Colonie Police Department, traffic safety division. Electric bicycles with one pedal, which have a more powerful motor, are considered limited use motorcycles. Neither should be ridden on the sidewalk.
Vespas and other motor scooters are considered motorcycles, and proper safety equipment should be worn. Mobility vehicles should stay on the sidewalks, not on the roads, Donnelly said.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles requires certain kinds of “mopeds” to be registered. All must be driven in the roadway. “New York law defines limited use motorcycles, which are commonly called ‘mopeds’ or ‘motor scooters’,  as ‘limited use vehicles with two or three wheels,'” it states on the DMV website.
Speaking of motorcycles, the DMV is reminding motorcyclists to renew their registrations before they expire on April 30. Motorcycles are registered for a year, and all registrations expire April 30. The renewal can be done online.
If your registration has been expired for more than a year or the motorcycle has not been inspected in the last year, you need to re-register it at a DMV office or by mail.
As of 2018 (the latest year available), there were 7,159 motorcycles registered in Albany County, 5,590 registered in Rensselaer County, 9,052 registered in Saratoga County and 4,945 registered in Schenectady County. 
Madison Avenue, Albany: Albany Water Department work near the intersection of Lark Street, Madison Avenue and Delaware Avenue is scheduled to end Friday. Repair work is taking place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week, and construction personnel will direct traffic during work hours. 
Parking is restricted on both sides of Lark Street from 302 Lark St. to Dana Avenue and on both sides of Dana Avenue from Delaware Avenue to Lark Street. 
Johnston Road, Guilderland: About 50 feet of Johnston Road just south of Windsor Court in Guilderland will be closed to traffic this week for construction. A signed nine-mile detour has been established using Western Avenue, State Farm Road and Normanskill Road. 
Bloomingrove Drive and Winter Street Extension, North Greenbush: The intersection of Winter Street Extension (County Route 74) and Bloomingrove Drive (County Route 65) in North Greenbush has become a four-way stop, Rensselaer County announced. The change follows a review by the county highway department, state Department of Transportation and town of North Greenbush and is expected to improve safety. Stop signs are on Bloomingrove Road.
Abigail Rubel covers UAlbany men’s and women’s basketball and other high school, college and professional sports. She also writes the Getting There column answering reader questions and covering local transportation issues. Abigail previously reported for the Voice of America and New York Family magazine. She graduated from Columbia University in 2019. You can reach her at [email protected]

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