Invasion of the e-scooters: dirt-cheap,, abusively used

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Invasion of the e-scooters: dirt-cheap,, abusively used

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% What seems like eons (decades) ago, I paid way to much ($900 in the 90's)
for a zappy e-scooter
 even though it was really made for a kid, and this tall-svelte-galoot (me)
looked ridiculous using it, I found it quite handy in my EVangel efforts at
EVents (last use was near 2000 @LA's CARB site way back when GM announced
they weren't going to make EV1's anymore. I used it to show arriving EV
drivers where CARB's EVSE was located) ...

Was BruceDP ahead of his time? ...
 (or earning way more money than had fashion-sense?)

Zappies never really took off because they were child size, expensive, the
low kWh capaciity agm PbSO4 battery had a short range& cycle-life, and the
charger was incredible weak/slow.

So, what is all the e-scooter fuss about? (see the news links at the
bottom). It seems the e-scooter market is being flooded with cheap $100
range junk: ...
electric BIRD kick scooter (Xiaomi M365)

Electric kick scooter 12 mph 200 Watt,foldable E-scooter

cheaper still
Razor Electric Scooter Red E175

 The BIG HOOPLA is over how irresponsible e-scooter riders have been (like
children leaving their toys everywhere for adults to trip over). There was a
(actor-promo) skit/bit as part of Conan's San Diego Comic-con show
( that mentioned all those e-scooter were being left
all over the place when the (sci-fi) actor came and rode it off stage ...

Norman Reedus Parked His E-Scooter At #ConanCon - CONAN on TBS
Team Coco  Published on Jul 20, 2018
A certain "Walking Dead" actor left his electric scooter on the #ConanCon

 Below are some e-scooter news links .
(IMO) All this negative e-scooter media coverage is not helping the
EV-cause. %
Electric scooters available to rent in St. Louis
July 19, 2018 · 10h  On Your Side saw several of the scooters near Busch
Stadium and the Arch. Bird is a last-mile electric vehicle sharing comp...
Officials will vote on Bird next week
Update: After launching without a permit, Bird to pull electric scooters off
St. Louis streets
Jul 20, 2018  · 2h  LOUIS - Dozens of Bird electric scooters that popped up
on downtown sidewalks ... was operating without a required permit and ...
Electric scooters on collision course with pedestrians and lawmakers
Jul 18, 2018  There was a crash and minor injuries to the rider, but a
tragedy was avoided. ... a warning about the dangers posed by the electric
vehicles that have rapidly ...
Bird e-scooter held-hostage: Rider Crashed Into BMW& Ran Away (v)
... EVcrash: ice hit&run injured 2 Nashville-TN e-scooter women Bird scooter
... the ride sharing electric scooter service, found on Lower Broadway.
Nashville has sent the company a cease and...
Jul 06 2018
EV gig economy: Mad, twisted e-scooter craze> sabotaged (v)
The mad, twisted tale of the electric scooter craze
May 31 2018
Wrong-way Stoopids an e-scooter fakey (v)
Jul 17 2018
Invasion of the Body Snatchers ...

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Bird e-scooters ruffle Indianapolis’ feathers w/ surprise launch

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% %
Bird electric scooters ruffle city officials’ feathers with surprise launch
7.28.18  Electric scooters don’t fit Ohio’s traditional vehicle
classifications ... Indianapolis issued a cease-and-desist order, Bird
eventually complied after 1st ignoring the order ...
search evdl archive for  bird scooters

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UC sez the dangers posed by the electric vehicles: Invasion of the e-scooters

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Electric scooters on collision course with pedestrians and lawmakers
Jul 18, 2018  There was a crash and minor injuries to the rider, but a
tragedy was avoided. I consider this event a warning about the dangers posed
by the electric vehicles
LA lawmaker wants to temporarily ban electric scooters
Aug 1, 2018  Los Angeles officials are considering new regulations for
electric scooters that have flooded the streets of Westside communities, but
at least two City Councilmembers want to ban the vehicles ...

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“The Birds” remake> kädrē(ganbu) demand4 quick&cheap

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Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained
Aug 28, 2018  Umair Irfan

[images  / Umair Irfan/Vox
Share of vehicle trips by distance  / Javier Zarracina/Vox
perceptions varied by city  / Javier Zarracina/Vox
scooters have a better reputation with people of lower incomes, according to
Populus  / Javier Zarracina/Vox

Madeline Eskind @mdeskind
The 2018 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”
6:45 PM - Aug 7, 2018 · Santa Monica, CA
Robert Wilonsky  @RobertWilonsky
You know who does NOT have an issue with rental bikes and electric scooters?
The Dallas Police Department.
Because almost no reported injuries. And VERY few crimes.
At worst, people scooting and cycling on sidewalks. But they're not being

3:02 PM - Aug 13, 2018

Turns out there’s a lot of latent demand for a quick and cheap way to get

Hundreds of motorized electric scooters quietly descended upon San Francisco
seemingly overnight in March.

And then one day in June, they were gone.

In the months before their rapture, the scooters puzzled, infatuated, and
infuriated residents. Those who dared to try them discovered a whimsical and
cheap way to get around. Non-riders saw a swarm of locusts devouring
precious inches of sidewalk and street, backed by companies that were the
epitome of tech-bro arrogance. The city panicked, ordering that all scooters
be removed until it could come up with a permitting process.

San Francisco is a microcosm of the promise and perils of the scooter
stampede. Already, scooter companies operate in 65 cities and are vying for
the top prize, New York City. Some city officials, however, are desperately
trying to rein in and regulate scooters, which often appear without warning
and without local input.

Without docks, scooters are cluttering sidewalks and blocking wheelchair
ramps. Riders weaving through crowds or ignoring traffic rules have caused
bruises and broken bones. In Santa Monica, California, it’s apparently hard
to walk without tripping over a scooter:

The companies behind the scooters haven’t done themselves any favors either.
Following in the tracks of aggressive ride-hailing services like Uber and
Lyft, some scooter companies have adopted the notorious “ask forgiveness
rather than permission” approach when setting up shop. As in San Francisco,
officials in cities like St. Louis were surprised to see hundreds of
scooters suddenly perched on curbs without any forewarning.

Other cities, like Seattle, are trying to keep them out until they can write
rules of the road to manage them. And this being 2018, scooter companies
have attempted to seed a social media backlash to the backlash.

Amid the feverish passion for and against scooters, there’s a larger
reckoning taking place about rapid changes to our cities and public spaces.
The scooters are forcing conversations about who is entitled to use
sidewalks, streets, and curbs, and who should pay for their upkeep.

They’re also exposing transit deserts, showing who is and isn’t adequately
served by the status quo, and even by newer options like bike share. That
people have taken so readily to scooters shows just how much latent demand
there is for a quick and cheap way to get around cities.

Electric scooters are also challenging the king of American transit, the
car. Most car trips are short, and if electric scooters do end up replacing
some of them, they could alleviate congestion and help the environment. But
that’s a big “if.”

So whether scooters are already rolling into your city or an infestation is
looming, you might be wondering how they work, how they get charged, whether
they’re safe, and if they are, in fact, good. Here are some answers. Grab
the handlebars and hop on.

What are scooters, and where did they come from?

The electric scooters we’re talking about here are pretty simple. Imagine an
ordinary two-wheeled kick scooter, like a Razor. Now imagine that it has an
electric motor. That’s pretty much it.

The key innovation with the latest batch of scooters is the rental business
model: Download the app on your smartphone for a scooter company — Bird,
Lime, Skip, or Spin — and use the map to find a nearby scooter. Enter a
credit card and scan a barcode to unlock the scooter. Go for a ride. Park
the scooter and end the ride on the app.

The design of the electric scooter itself has been around for years, but it
was often marketed as a toy. You may also recall another grown-up,
two-wheeled “personal transporter”:
21st Century Fox [

Launched in 2002, the Segway rode a wave of hope and hype into the market,
promising to revolutionize transportation. The device used gyroscopes to
almost magically balance on two wheels, sipped electricity, steered
intuitively with body movements, and whisked riders along silently at 12
miles per hour.

But it launched with a price of $4,950, making it more a luxury bauble than
a commuting workhorse. It was too heavy to carry easily when the batteries
ran low. It was too fast for sidewalks, too slow and vulnerable for roads.
Riders towered awkwardly over pedestrians, standing stiffly with their feet
together as they whirred along. It soon became associated with tech bros and
elitism, and thereafter was a punchline.

Segways are still around, but the riders are tour groups, mall security, and
parking enforcement. They never became cool. As Jordan Golson wrote at
Wired, “the problems that sank the Segway weren’t technological. They were

So it’s these problems of Segways, plus the cost, that scooter rental
companies are trying to solve.

For one thing, the rental scooters insulate the rider from most of the cost
of the device. At retail, they cost between $100 and $500. But you can start
riding many electric scooters for $1 and then 15 cents a minute thereafter.
A 2-mile ride takes about 10 minutes and costs less than $3. When you’re
done, you don’t have to take it inside or even plug it in; just leave it in
a public space where it doesn’t block traffic.

This business model has drastically lowered the barrier to entry for scooter
riders, allowing scooter skeptics to cheaply satiate their curiosity,
turning some into loyal riders. Though the hardware is more akin to a
Segway, the software makes using an electric scooter just like using a
dockless bike.

Most of the scooter companies are using rebadged versions of existing
electric scooter models that are already for sale. But they want their own
custom devices that can handle the rigors of rental. In May, Lime announced
it was partnering with Segway to design its next-generation scooter. Bird
also rents out Segway-designed scooters.

The proliferation of rental scooters also draws on advances in
telecommunications. The scooters have GPS units and 4G data connections to
track riders’ every move. And the riders all have smartphones that locate
and unlock the scooters while automatically paying the fare.

Batteries are another key advance. Since the early 2000s, energy storage
systems have become more powerful and less expensive. Vehicle battery prices
have dropped 86 percent between 2010 and 2016. Electric scooters now travel
20 to 30 miles between charges. These batteries have also benefited other
electric transportation devices like motorized skateboards and unicycles.

Investors right now are also hungry for transportation startups, which
partly explains the scooter boom. From ride-hailing to self-driving cars to
electric cars, billions of dollars are pouring into companies that move
people around. But short trips between apartments and metro stops or
leisurely rides across parks remained a vacuum until recently.

So dockless bikes and, later, electric scooters rushed in to fill the void,
securing millions if not billions in financing while clawing for market

On the customer side, there is a cadre of riders primed to adopt electric
scooters. The generation that grew up rolling around culs-de-sac on Razor
scooters is now commuting in urban centers. Balancing on two wheels is
already familiar to them, so an app-enabled scooter rental service that can
get you to work without breaking a sweat is an appealing throwback and a

In sum, the combination of entrepreneurs, technology, funding, and a race to
grab a toehold in major urban centers all converged earlier this year,
leading to a sudden crop of scooters starting on the West Coast in March and
rippling throughout the country.

Here in Washington, DC, where four scooter companies have launched, I’ve
found that the scooter has many charms. A scooter can whisk me to work past
stopped traffic at 15 miles per hour. It’s very convenient to park it just
about anywhere.

Some scooter firms are already “unicorns” — privately held companies valued
at more than $1 billion. Bird, based in Santa Monica, doubled its valuation
to $2 billion in just four months. Lime, which also rents bikes, crossed the
$1.1 billion valuation mark just 18 months after it launched. Skip Scooters
is valued at $100 million.

Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have been struck by FOMO and are themselves getting
into the electric scooter game. In July, Lyft bought Motivate, the largest
bike-sharing company in the United States, reportedly for $250 million,
aiming to leverage the bike network to deploy scooters. Uber bought Jump
Bikes, an electric bike rental service, for $200 million in April.

Could there be a crash on the horizon? We’re already seeing dockless bikes
piling up in scrap yards as companies fold. In China, abandoned bike-share
bikes now fill vast fields outside major cities. As scooter-share companies
jostle for dominance, weaker players will inevitably fold or be acquired,
but it’s too early to say whether the concept as a whole will have staying

Who charges scooters, and how much are they paid?

Behind every scooter parked on a sidewalk, leaning on a kickstand, is a
vast, invisible infrastructure network that keeps the scooters maintained,
charged, and accessible.

Engineers track where the scooters are going. Support staff answer questions
on the phone. Technicians whisk off damaged scooters to hidden warehouses
for repair.

And as the sun sets and power meters run low, chargers for hire roam the
streets, scavenging depleted scooters, plugging them in at home, and placing
them back on sidewalks early the next morning. Bird scooters return to their
“nest.” Lime scooters are charged by “juicers.”

“For many people, it’s a fun way to make extra money,” said Colin McMahon,
who leads Lime’s juicer program.

The way it works: Potential juicers apply for the job with Lime. When
approved, they get special access through the app that highlights scooters
that need charging. Charging one nets a juicer between $9 and $12, depending
on how low the battery is, so a juicer’s take is a function of how many
scooters she picks up and how much power those scooters need. Charging the
scooter requires about half a kilowatt-hour of electricity, about 5 cents’
worth of power on average.

McMahon said most juicers spend an hour or two in the evening walking or
driving around making pickups and then redeploy the scooters in specific
locations marked on the app. “We leverage our data to say where are the best
spots for people to begin their day for commuting,” he said. He declined to
share the number of juicers Lime has on its roster or the typical number of
scooters charged per juicer.

Bird follows a similar model. A diverse array of people have signed up as
Lime juicers and Bird hunters, but unlike driving for Uber or Lyft, there is
no background check. Technically, you have to be over 18, but many high
schoolers are getting into the charging game, as the Atlantic reported.

The sliding scale for charging scooters has also created some perverse
incentives that ne’er-do-wells have already exploited, as Nathaniel Buckley
wrote at Slate:

    ... it turns out the charging system is akin to a real-life Pokémon Go,
albeit one rife with cheating. The app purports to tell you where nearby
chargeable scooters are, but in reality that’s rarely the case. Duplicitous
collectors have created a thriving ecosystem of stockpiling, hiding, and
decoying that makes it well-nigh impossible to find a scooter in need of

    When picking up a scooter, chargers are supposed to “capture” it via a
button on the app. Doing this deletes the flag so others don’t waste time
scouting for that particular Bird. It also stops the clock on the
reimbursement meter. The longer a scooter goes without being captured, the
greater the commission Bird will pay its chargers.

According to Harry Campbell of the Rideshare Guy Blog, scooter bounty
hunters can net $20 to $30 an hour. And since each scooter can only be
claimed by one charger, it can get competitive, as Taylor Lorenz reported at
the Atlantic:

    In saturated markets, the race to quickly grab as many scooters as
possible is fierce. “One time I pulled up to pick up a scooter, I got there
maybe 10 seconds before the other guy did,” said one charger in San Diego.
“He started yelling at me. He picked up a Bird scooter and started beating
my car. I got the hell out of there.”

There are also repair crews who scoop up damaged or vandalized scooters,
though scooter companies insist only a small fraction of their vehicles end
up deliberately mangled.
Are electric scooters safe? Do I need a helmet?

“Speed has never killed anyone,” said former Top Gear presenter Jeremy
Clarkson. “Suddenly becoming stationary, that’s what gets you.”

This holds for scooters. Traveling at up to 15 miles per hour doesn’t seem
like much until you rapidly become acquainted with an unmoving object — say,
a street sign, a wall, or the ground. Scooters don’t have crumple zones, air
bags, or padding, so riders are exposed to everything around them.

There has been a rise in scooter-related injuries, but that’s largely a
function of the spread of scooters themselves rather than any inherent
danger in the vehicle. Still, given the vast abundance of these scooters,
some physicians are concerned. Law firms are also readying themselves for

“We’re seeing these injuries daily, and at least once or twice a week we’re
seeing someone who needs an urgent surgery,” Natasha Trentacosta, an
orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles studying electric scooter-related
injuries, told the Cedars-Sinai Blog. “These can be life-changing injuries,
and they can often be prevented.”

Right now there isn’t any good data on injury rates among scooter riders.
Many of the bumps and scrapes that come from a scooter tumble are minor, and
there is no good way to track them. Health officials in California are
trying to change that with a standardized data collection system.

There are plenty of threats to scooter riders for researchers to track. The
tiny wheels can get trapped by uneven sidewalks and grates, causing falls.
Damp weather can easily weaken the tires’ grip. On busy sidewalks, riders
have to maneuver around pedestrians, pets, and potholes. On the road,
scooters can be hard for drivers to see, and heavy, fast-moving vehicles can
be deadly.

There’s also a learning curve. Electric motors can accelerate surprisingly
quickly, and the momentum a rider generates takes effort to slow down.
Keeping a leg ready to brace for a sudden stop requires some practice.

However, many of the same precautions for cyclists can reduce risks on
scooters: Be aware of your surroundings, make sure the equipment is in good
order, follow traffic rules, take your earbuds out, put away your phone, and
be judicious with your speed ...

As for helmets, scooter companies encourage riders to wear them with
reminders in their respective apps (it’s also required by law in some
states), though almost no one does. Bird currently offers free helmets to
active riders (just pay shipping) but is also lobbying to relax helmet laws
in California.

In practical terms, though, many riders won’t be carrying a helmet around
for scootering since it’s a transportation mode designed for whim and

And the biggest safety issues right now stem from inexperience. Given how
new scooters are, there’s no consistent etiquette for riding an electric
scooter, and so pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists can’t necessarily
anticipate what a scooter will do in an intersection, which can lead to
conflicts (read: collisions).

Some riders claim the sidewalk; others ride in the street. Some will follow
pedestrian signals, some will obey traffic lights, and some will do none of
the above. Scooters don’t have turn signals, so it’s hard to broadcast your
intent as a rider. They do have bells, but they don’t help much to get the
attention of car drivers.

Establishing a set of best practices (and actually following them) would go
a long way toward smoothing out the tensions between different modes of
transport and solving the safety issues around scooters. This would require
regulation from cities and education from scooter companies.

And as with any vehicle, don’t ride a scooter under the influence; it’s
dangerous and illegal.
What’s the best place to ride a scooter: sidewalk, bike lane, or street?

Most city ordinances say (and scooter rental companies insist) that electric
scooters shouldn’t be ridden on sidewalks. Motorized vehicles pose a
nuisance, if not a hazard, to pedestrians.

So that pretty much leaves streets. And for the reasons mentioned above, it
can be nerve-racking for riders as cars whizz by. Which means scooters often
remain on sidewalks, against the terms of service and, in many cases, the

The best and likely safest place for a scooter is a bike lane since there
are no pedestrians and because the lanes can accommodate faster traffic (as
a daily bike commuter, scooters aren’t any more annoying than slower

However, most streets don’t have bike lanes, and unless the bike lane is
protected or separated from car traffic, scooter riders will still have to
contend with cars weaving in and out. Bike lanes also don’t reach most
destinations, which means a scooter ride will almost always require riding
on the sidewalk or in open traffic at some point.
Are electric scooters good for the environment? And will they reduce car

The answer is an unsatisfactory “it depends.”

Like electric cars, scooters are only as green as the electricity that
charges them. If your city gets most of its power from a coal or natural
gas-fired power plant, that means your scoot around the neighborhood has a
positive carbon footprint.

But the other piece of the environmental equation is what the scooter ride
is displacing, or if it leads to trips that otherwise wouldn’t be taken.

For example, Estonia launched the largest free public transit system in the
world in July. In the capital, Tallinn, researchers found that the scheme
didn’t reduce car travel but did decrease walking.

If you’re scooting instead of walking, then the ride has a higher
environmental cost. But if you’re replacing a car ride, then it has an
environmental benefit since an electric scooter uses a tiny fraction of the
energy consumed by a car.

Right now, scooters are doing both.

“Some of those walk trips are likely to be taken away at the shorter end,
and some of those car trips are those at the long end,” said Brian Taylor, a
professor of urban planning at the University of California Los Angeles who
studies how transportation serves different population sets.

How does the environmental impact of scooters stack up next to public
transit? Well, it also depends. The balance changes depending on how far
you’re going and the form of transit it’s replacing, whether it’s a diesel
bus or an electric train.

On the other hand, a scooter can also encourage the use of public
transportation. Most scooter trips are 1 to 2 miles long, and the companies
themselves pitch scooters as filling the “last mile” in transit, expanding
the reach of a transit station or a bus stop.

“There’s the West LA rail station that’s a 22-minute walk from me,” Taylor
said. “I took a scooter the other day and it took me five minutes.”

If a scooter can help avoid commuting by car altogether, then the net
environmental benefits can be huge. And even added all together, the energy
use of scooters is trivial compared to the ongoing energy use in cars,
buses, trains.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of trips people take on a regular basis
are short. According to the US Department of Energy, almost 60 percent of
vehicle trips in 2017 were less than 6 miles:
Share of vehicle trips by distance.

Cars in particular comprise a huge chunk of these short trips. “Today, 40
percent of car trips are less than two miles long,” said Bird CEO Travis
VanderZanden in a statement in March. “Our goal is to replace as many of
those trips as possible so we can to get cars off the road and curb traffic
and greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if drivers decided to walk
or bike instead of drive for half of all car trips shorter than a mile,
drivers would avert 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year
and save $900 million annually.

Scooter rides are typically less than 2 miles, which is often too short a
distance for hailing a ride if you don’t already own a car. This is part of
why ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are so keen on electric
scooters: They fill a need their current services can’t.

So scooter rides are going to displace car trips to an extent, which may
reduce the number of cars on the road.

However, urban journeys are becoming increasingly multimodal, and scooters
may add one more flexible link to the transit chain rather than replacing
another mode completely. Their most valuable traits are how flexible they
are compared to public transit, which runs fixed routes, and how cheap they
are compared to cars. That means scooters fulfill a unique niche of the
transportation ecosystem.

And if more scooters are riding in the streets, that could slow down traffic
and increase congestion.
Are electric scooters good for cities?

In a word, yes. A qualified yes.

Despite the consternation about how they’ve been rolled out, public opinion
is on their side. According to a July survey by Populus of 7,000 people in a
report titled “The Micro-Mobility Revolution,” 70 percent of respondents on
average had a positive view of scooters, though perceptions varied by city:

The differences in attitude across cities in part come from the fact that
scooter companies and their riders haven’t always been the best citizens.
Many cities were eager to deploy docked bike-share bikes because it gave
them control over where the bikes end up. But dockless bikes, and now
scooters, have made it much more difficult to wrangle wheels.

Scooters and bikes blocked sidewalks, disability access ramps, and green
spaces. For some of the launch cities, they quickly became a nuisance. For
people with disabilities or limited mobility, the scooters became a hazard.
For this reason, some urban planners say scooters must be regulated.

But cities that saw a more gradual rollout have had a much smoother ride.

“In San Francisco, you saw a lot of backlash,” said Sanjay Dastoor, CEO of
Skip, of the sudden, unannounced scooter deployment in the city. “We didn’t
see DC in the news with a scooter armageddon. The backlash depends on the
way you do it.”

Dastoor noted that Skip is proactively working with cities before deploying
in a market and has never been issued a cease-and-desist order. The company
is also trying to encourage riders to be more considerate through its app,
informing them of the rules before they ride.

However, he acknowledged it’s still a challenge to keep miscreants in check.
“In terms of enforcing behavior, that’s tough to do,” he said.

Companies are also working to ensure their devices stay out of the way. Lime
now asks riders for a photo to verify that the scooter is parked in an
appropriate spot at the end of a ride.

The upshot of all this hassle is that scooters are bringing cheap
transportation to people who may otherwise not have used it. They
effectively expand the range of neighborhoods, allowing residents to easily
travel further and increasing the reach of businesses. Researchers have
found that mobility is a critical rung in the ladder out of poverty.

That may explain why electric scooters have a better reputation with people
of lower incomes, according to Populus:

Bird has already proposed offering discounts for people who live in public
housing or receive food stamps. Lime introduced a donation module to its app
that will allow riders to dedicate part of their fare to a local nonprofit.

Cities are starting to pick up on this. In talking with city officials,
Dastoor said one of the concerns that keeps cropping up is equality: Cities
want to make sure scooters serve all neighborhoods and that people have
equal access to them.

Scooters could also work as a stopgap solution for transit deserts, but
there are still people who can’t take advantage of them, like residents who
can’t afford a smartphone to unlock one. For them, the benefit of scooters
may just be that they expose gaps in transportation infrastructure.

But while cities argue over what to do about electric scooters, there’s
another dockless vehicle taking up public spaces that often gets left out of
the discussion: [
Los Angeles is the most traffic-clogged city in the world. Motorists in LA
spent an average of 104 hours in traffic in 2016, which amounted to an
estimated $2,408 per driver in wasted fuel and productivity. Justin
Sullivan/Getty Images

It’s hard to overstate just how much cars have shaped cities, suburbs, and
the country as a whole, becoming the water we all swim in. While cities are
working to limit the number of scooters permitted, few have even thought
about capping the number of cars. You even need a driver’s license to ride a
scooter. As Populus observed in its report:

    Based on the most recent public data, San Francisco, a relatively small
city with one of the lowest vehicle ownership rates in the country, has
approximately 500,000 registered vehicles. The city has approximately
442,000 publicly-available parking spots, including 275,000 on-street
parking spaces. In comparison, various e-scooter regulations across the
country that have adopted fleet restrictions have set caps on the number of
e-scooters at 150 (on the low end) to 3,000 per company (on the high end, or
no cap at all).

Though not everyone owns a car, everyone pays for one. There are roughly
eight parking spots for every car in the United States, and free parking
amounts to a subsidy to car owners of more than $100 billion a year. [

That’s all before you include the impacts of driving, where the car actually
moves. Roadways, law enforcement, pollution, and lost lives all add up to a
huge social cost from driving, one that completely dwarfs anything electric
scooters can muster.

And when a scooter company falls, it isn’t going to get a bailout from

This means there’s a strong case for demanding concessions from car
infrastructure to facilitate walking, biking, and scooter riding — transit
options that are more equitable and easier to access. That is, narrower
roads in favor of larger bike lanes and sidewalks, also called a road diet.
And as Alissa Walker pointed out on our sister site Curbed, where there’s a
will, there’s a way:

    Seville, Spain—a city almost identical in size to San Francisco—built
out a comprehensive “lightning” bike-lane network in just 18 months. The
number of people commuting by bike daily increased tenfold in about four
years. How did it work? The city carved out space from existing roadways—and
eliminated 5,000 places to park cars.

But scooter companies need to have city officials on their side if they want
to continue doing business. Even notorious scofflaws like Lyft and Uber are
wising up, submitting proposals to cities like Santa Monica before launching
their own scooter businesses there.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of scooters will be that they will
force a larger discussion of whom or what we prioritize when we design
cities. “I’m hoping that all of this disruption will help us think more
systematically about these things,” said UCLA’s Taylor.

The Big Apple is eager to have this conversation. City officials are already
crafting legislation to help target scooters to areas suffering from transit
congestion, like the L train corridor. Earlier this month, the New York
Times editorial board endorsed the prospect of electric scooters roaming the
streets. “If the city is serious about wanting safe, reliable ways for
people in all areas of New York to get around, the path ahead is clear,”
they wrote.
[© 2018 Vox Media]
The Birds is a 1963 American horror-thriller film ...
January 4, 2018  An environmentally-conscious fable ... about ... birds who
start attacking humans ...
Electric bikes and boards could be banned from beach path
2018-08-27 ... “... SMPD has advised over 4,000 electric scooter riders,
collected close to 3,000 electric scooters from the beach bike path, issued
approximately 1000 citations and educated the public and visitors by
providing postcard pamphlets on the rules and regulations of electric
scooter riding,” ... “SMPD also created and published a public service
announcement ... The video has been well received, with over 80,000 views
... a significant decline in injury incidents on the beach bike path.
However, electric scooters on the beach bike path remains a public safety

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