The latest California Trends: Electric Scooters time to regulate them…
Just to give you a little background: I have been one of the early proponents of the Bike Share Program when politicians were studying them in Beverly Hills, CA and Santa Monica, CA. I have written way back then about the foolish waste of money and time that both local governments were about to spend when all they had to do was look at the feasibility study that Boston, MA did way before and were already implementing it successfully.
Many years later you can see the Bike Share program working extremely successfully all over Venice, CA, Santa Monica, CA, and Beverly Hills, CA and Los Angeles, CA to name a few of the local communities.
Recently in the past six months I have noticed abandoned Electric Scooters in Marina Del Rey, CA and Venice, CA just littering the sidewalks. Some were in the middle of the handicapped entrances to the sidewalks, others just leaned against trees and the list goes on and on.
My first or should I say initial reaction was how strange people put chains and lock their bicycles and here I see Scooters just abandoned and unsecured. Foolish me I was looking at it from a security standpoint.
Then I started seeing them all over the West Side of Los Angeles littering is the best description I can have of these Electric Scooters.
In the recent past, we had a conversation with one of our friends and she said that this is the “newest and dumbest fad”.
Well it turns out there are three Start Up Companies: 1. The Bird, 2. Lime Bike and 3. Jump Bikes evidently these motorized scooters typically can be rented for $1.00 plus .15c per minute during the ride. Hence people can just drop them off anywhere, there is no equivalent to a “bike rack” like the Bike Share Program has.
Clearly these companies are catering to the young and irresponsible or should I say, lazy and inconsiderate and irresponsible young of Southern California.
How lazy are we becoming as a society we can not pick or drop them of at specific locations? This is one problem I see.
The second and more important problem I see is the inconsiderate users, who just drop them off and lean them against the walls of condominiums, rental building and it is becoming a nuisance for home owners, management companies and the list goes on and on.
The worst offenders are the one that just throw them on the side walks and block the pathways for handicapped individuals who cannot go around them with their wheelchairs or access the entrance to the sidewalk.
Then to boot I have seen them in action taking up two car lanes as two or thee people are each heading somewhere on the Streets of Los Angeles and of course being inconsiderate to the drivers. Then as you look closer they are not wearing helmets or any protective gear that are now required of bicyclists.
I consider them unsafe to themselves as well as to their fellow Angelinos. So this weekend I was driving around with Diane and noticed that it is becoming totally out of control.
Clearly there needs to be some sort of regulation. The Bike Share Program is regulated, Taxi Drivers are regulated, motor vehicles are regulated so WHY NOT the Electric Scooters? The Politicians are sleeping at the wheel again.
Now my answers are easy how to get control of this runaway problem:
- Have the local police ticket the users who are not wearing head gear,
2. If the Scooter is abandoned write the ticket out for road or path obstruction and or littering. Clearly the Company will know who the last person used it since their Credit Card information and date and time is how they charge them, just charge them for the Violation.
3. Create just like Bicycle have, corrals where to drop them off and if the Companies do not get handle of the problem then Fine them to the point where it will be more cost effective for them to fix the problem.
Well as of this writing I started to research what the politicians are doing? It turns out they started “discussing, weighing the options on how to minimize the cluttered sidewalks and figure out some solutions about the safety of the riders”. Seriously??? I can see this will be another “Paralysis by Analysis” situation.
Stay tuned a Scooter Nuisance is heading to your city next, we are setting the trends
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