A startup company by the name of Charge is trying to legalize e-scooters in New York State. If e-scooters are approved to operate in New York, Charge would provide docks for 10,000 scooters throughout New York City. Charge is dealing with a significant obstacles for e-scooters and e-bikes which is blocking of roads and sidewalks. This is a consequence of the dock less models used by scooter focused bird and bike operator Lime. This model allows riders to hop on a scooter or bike when they need it and leave it just about anywhere but scooters have piled up on sidewalks from Boston to Los Angeles and complaints from residents.

According to an article in Crain’s New York Business on April 22, 2019 entitled “Startup puts a charge into e-scooter legalization” by Ryan Defenbaugh and Eric Enquist. Andrew Fox, co-founder & CEO of Charge called the issue of e-scooters strewn about the streets and sidewalks the business model’s weakness. Docking stations could help persuade State lawmakers to support legislation legalizing e-scooters in New York. “This is a problem around the world” Fox said. “Our thought was let’s build a docking and charging station that would pass the litmus test of municipalities and help accelerate the advancement of micro mobility instead of seeing its demise as people get frustrated by scooters thrown around the street”.

Charge plans to launch elective charging docks for e-scooters and electric pedal assist bicycles in close to 400 locations throughout New York City. The company has negotiated deals to lease space in privately owned garages and commercial buildings to host the docks which would recharge and shelter devices from e-scooter and e-bike operators such as Bird, Bolt Lime and Spin. The docks could offer a new stream of share-economy revenue to garage owners who will face a loss of customers when Manhattan congestions pricing takes effect in two years. Charge employees have spent the past few months signing long term deals with partners including LAZ parking, Imperial Parking, Big City Parking and Little Man Parking. The companies rave about how 15 scooters can be stationed in a single parking spot.

As of April 1, 2019, White Plains Lime which has a contract to operate the service with 300 bikes is introducing a pedal assist model. The “Lime-E” uses a lithium battery and torque sensor to give riders a boost. In an article in The Journal News on March 18, 201 by Richard Liebson, he quoted Lime Bike operations Manager Paul Holley. “We feel the bike share program has been successful in White Plains”. He told the common council during a work session “for riders huffing and puffing up hills or on long trips, the pedal assist model does a lot better than the other bike does”.

The new bikes known as “Lime-E” have been available in a number of other cities across the country since 2018. The Lime-E bikes are heavier and sturdier than the regular model with the mailbox sized battery mounted over the rear wheel. The decision to place them in part by the bike share programming success during the first year in White Plains since June 4, 2018.  More than 9000 different riders have tried the bikes using the Lime app on smart phones to unlock them and pay for the trip. 62% of riders who try the bikes take another ride within 30 days. The average rider took 3.9 trips per month averaging nine minutes per ride. More than 43,000 rides have been taken.

Lime said the White Plains Trans Center is by far the most common destination followed by White Plains Hospital and downtown Mamaroneck Avenue. The pedal-assist bikes will cost more than the regular bikes which rent for $1.00 per 30 minutes. Riders who want a boost will pay $1.00 to unlock the pedal assist models and 15 cents per minute to ride for a total cost of $5.50 for half an hour. The Lime-E relies on an internal torque sensor which detects when the bike is being pedaled and relays that to activate the battery. The power shuts down when the bike reaches a maximum speed of 14.8 mph.

Motor vehicle crashes are up by 6% in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington compared to neighboring states that have not legalized marijuana for recreational use. This has now become a critical issue for the opposition to New York’s marijuana legislation.

According to an article in The Journal News on February 26, 2019, by David Robison entitled “What to know about drugged driving”, the above confirmed states analysis of 6% increase in the above four states that legalized recreational marijuana from January, 2012 through October, 2017 should be considered in states like New York and the effect on highway driving.

The number of fatalities in Colorado where a driver tested positive for any cannabis increased to 139 from 55, including crashes that involved marijuana alone or its use with other drugs or alcohol. A percentage of all traffic fatalities are marijuana related. The death count nearly doubled to 21% between 2013 and 2018 according to Colorado Division of Criminal Justice. Experts noted that marijuana toxicology testing in Colorado and other states is inconclusive because THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, stays in the body longer than it impairs driving.

After rising for several years, the percentage of commuters using bikes to go to work declined for the third straight year according to the US Census Bureau. Nationally, the percentage of people who say they use a bike to get to work fell by 3.2% from 2016 to 2017 to an average of 836,569 commuters according to the Bureau’s latest American Community Survey which asks a group of Americans about their habits. This number is down from a high of 904,463 in 2014 when it peaked after four years of increases. In some cities, the decline was more drastic. In Tampa Florida and Cleveland, cycling to work dropped by 50% and in some cities cycling to work was up dramatically.

According to an article in USA Today – The Journal News on January 3, 2019 by Chris Woodyard entitled “Fewer American use bike lanes to commute to work”. Decline in using bike lanes experts offered several explanations for the nationwide decrease even as cities spend millions trying to become friendlier. Lower gas prices and a strong economy contributed to strong auto sales and less interest in cheaper alternatives, such as mass transit and bikes. Also the rise of ride hailing services such as Uber & Lyft and electric scooters cut into bike commuting per Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition. Another bike advocacy group, League of American Bicyclists, found a mix in bike trends in the 70 largest cities. Bike commuting was up sharply from 2016 to 2017. In one of the large cities, Portland Oregon, 6.3% of commuter’s bike to work. It was also up in the second and third most popular biking cities, Washington and Minneapolis. It was down a whopping 19.9% in fourth place, San Francisco was down 11/4% in fifth place, New Orleans down 20.5% in sixth place and Seattle over the same time last year.

Federal highway spending on bike and pedestrian related improvements total $915.8 million in 2018. According to Ken McLeod, a Bike League’s Policy Director “It shows that while we have made investments over the last 20 years in bicycle infrastructure, we are still far from having safe and connected networks that make people feel safe biking to work”. City officials around the County said they try to support bike commuting by spending money on new bike lanes and trails and many cities including White Plains, New Rochelle & Yonkers added bike sharing programs which gave cyclists the ability to rent a bike to ride point to point or for the day.

Westchester County’s housing market closed out 2018 with a decrease in overall sales from 2017. Total housing sales fell for the first time in seven years. The residential brokers attribute the slowdown to buyer concerns with rising interest rates, lack of inventory and sellers not pricing for the market.

According to an article in the Westchester County Business Journal on January 28, 2019 by Ryan Deffenbaugh, there were 1358 sales of single family homes in Westchester in October & December, down about 6% from the same period in 2017. The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors states that closing a year in which Westchester County’s 5876 total sales of single family homes, condominiums, cooperative and two to four family homes dropped 4% from 2017.

The fourth quarter of 2018 marks the sixth straight quarter in which total single family homes declined. Prices are still going up which shows demand is strong. The median price for a single family home in 2018 went up to $650,000 which is up 1.2% from 2017 and up 3.5% from 2015. Entry level prices are in demand in the $400,000 price range which is especially intense. Demand in the low and mid-priced market has elevated prices for those homes.

New York doctors accused of unprofessional conduct in other states are practicing without a blemish on their records exposing patients to harm. USA Today network investigation of more than 250 doctors across the USA who surrendered their licenses in one state to protect their reputation and relocate to another state. The Journal News/Lo Hud exposed flaws in state physician records in New York as well as concerns about regulations showing clemency to doctors to ensure they keep practicing medicine. There are often limited records available to the public about accusations, investigations and even discipline of doctors.

There are a few things patients can do to look into their doctors. Contact the medical board in your state where the records of doctors can be checked through the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. New York also has a physician profile database that allows doctors to submit details about their medical practice. Lax maintenance of the doctor on the site NewYork Profile.com was detailed in the Journal News/Lo Hud investigation. “Risk under the knife” Lo Hud surgeons rated; public records flawed”. If you know your doctor has practiced in another state, contact the website of that medical board. There is also a national clearing housing of State Medical Boards operated by the Federation of State Medical Board; www.docinfo.org.

Many states including New York prohibit felons from holding licenses to sell real estate and liquor licenses and also for felons for certain jobs such as private investigators, insurance brokers and attorneys. However, medical licensing board determine if doctors committing crimes will face professional penalties. This process has been criticized by prosecutors and good government groups for failing to sufficiently punish doctors.

In an article in The Westchester County Business Journal by Bob Rozycki on April 2, 2018, he refers to a study done by WalletHub which found New York State as the third worst for doctors. The next two states above New York were Rhode Island and New Jersey.  These findings come for the Washington D.C. Personal Finance website by comparing all 50 states and Washington D.C across 16 key metrics including average annual wage of doctors, hospitals per capita and quality of public hospital systems.

One of the biggest problems for doctors working in New York State is the high cost of malpractice liability insurance. New York State is in first place as having the most expensive annual malpractice liability insurance. Following New York was Illinois, Michigan, The District of Columbia and West Virginia. The top least expensive states for malpractice insurance were Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kansas tied for last place with the highest malpractice award payouts were New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire. The states with the lowest payout amounts were Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, North Carolina and Texas.

According to a medical malpractice payout analysis by Diedrick Healthcare,, New York malpractice insurance payouts in 2017 was $617 million. Pennsylvania was second with a payout of $342 million and New Jersey was third at $267.9 million amount Northeast states.

In June, 2018, bike sharing pilot stated in White Plains with 300 dock less, two wheelers on the streets of White Plains. They yellow and green bicycles cost $1.00 a ride. The companies Lime Bike & OFO started the program in White Plains. The pros and cons and etiquette of bike sharing are being discussed on social media. The reaction has generally been positive with few kinks need to be worked out, according to an article in The Journal News on June 20, 2018, entitled “pedal power is the talk of White Plains” by Richard Liebson. The owner of businesses along Mamaroneck Avenue have seen good, bad and ugly by the owner of Vino 110, Stuart Levine who stated “like all new things, there are growing pains”. Bikes are left all over including in front of his store door, on people’s lawns and riding on sidewalks. It is recommended the bike program rules be adjusted to including parking stations or a dedicated team member to better organize a bike return protocol.

White Plains is the third Westchester community to introduce a bike sharing program this year following New Rochelle and Yonkers. White Plains Mayor, Tom Roach said “usage has exceeded our expectations”. It is noted that ride bikes on sidewalks is prohibited. White Plains had painted bike lanes at various thoroughfares for a few years and is spending $1.5 million state grants on bikes and pedestrian improvements. The program comes at no cost to the City or taxpayers. The bike company pays a small permit fee to operate a one year pilot program in White Plains.

The bikes are equipped with GPS and unlocked with an app starting at $1.00. Once a trip is completed and the bike is in an area that does not block traffic and the locks is pulled down, it ends their ride which goes to the app. People love taking the bikes from the outer ring of the city into the train stations. The train station and downtown area has been a really popular corridor.

White Plains train station becomes slippery because of paint on the yellow warning strip. According to an article in The Journal News on October 15, 2018, a 37 year old White Plains resident slipped at about 8:11 A.M. while waiting for a Metro North train to Grand Central. “I took a pretty good fall” he told The Journal News (loHud). He slipped on the newly painted yellow warning strip a half hour earlier. Another passenger slipped and fell boarding a train and needed to be hospitalized.

The work on the White Plains train station was part of a $92 million renovation of the station. They had to close the northern end of the same platform.

Another passenger fell and was dazed. He was told about the person that fell before at approximately 4:00 P.M. The falls, according to the person that fell, should have been preventable. The newly painted warning strip is unusually slippery. The platform edge has small, round, tactile bumps to help with traction, but new paint seems to be a problem.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is now open in both directions. Now the walking and biking paths on the new bridge is being worked on. Still to be decided is if the path will be open 24 hours per day or from dusk to dawn. South Nyack Major Bonnie Christian mounted a fight against The New York State Thruway Authority to reconfigure the path on the Rockland side of the bridge and The Thruway Authority has changed the configuration in response to Nyack’s complaints.

According to an article in The Journal News entitled “The bridge path forward” by Matt Coyne on July 12, 2018, the future walking and biking path will be a shared use path. A ridge has been built into the right most of all Rockland bound lanes. The ridge will accommodate a future barrier separating vehicle traffic from pedestrian and cyclists. Once finished, the Thruway Authority has not committed to an opening date yet.

The path will feature lanes for pedestrians and bikers and six overlooks, each with a local historical or cultural theme. The article points out that the overlooks hold tourisms potential which could boost the economies of Tarrytown and Nyack.