Cities across the fruited plain are rebelling against electric scooters. Although safety may be an issue, the one that seems to stick in most city’s craw is that the riders seem to leave them scattered around willy nilly, blocking streets, sidewalks, doorways, and fire hydrants. They don’t seem to be able to keep standing upright and end up creating obstacles to drivers and pedestrians alike.
San Francisco has had so many complaints from citizenry that they outright banned the critters and are embarking on a year long test to find out if the companies that supply the scooters can control their fleets. Read all about it on parknews.biz.
This is not easy. I have had numerous electric scooters left on my lawn and the sidewalk in front of my house. I move them to the street and stand up the ones that have fallen. However, if you leave them on a surface which is not level, like most streets near the curb, the chances of them standing for any period of time is small at best.
As much as I abhor the long arm of the “man” coming in and controlling everything something must be done.
I suggest that the city charge a fee per scooter (which can be passed along to the renter) to cover the cost of the following:
- Mark the street and or sidewalk with areas where the scooter must be parked.
- Make it illegal to park them anywhere else.
- If one is found outside those areas, confiscate it and hold it until retrieved by the company that owns it. Charge them a fee to retrieve the scooter, perhaps half the value of the scooter. (The scooter’s owner can charge that back to the last person that rented it.)
There seems to be a problem with this – Kids are finding that if the scooter is without power (battery dead) it works like a razor and they can ride them with foot power. It would seem that this could be solved if the manufacturer of the scooter made a change to the unit, so they were immobilized when not in use. That way there would be no benefit to steal them and use them as a toy.
The purpose of these fees is not to collect money for the city, but to cover the costs involved. It is also to alter the behavior of the scooter users so non users aren’t inconvenienced or endangered by them.
Let’s face it, these scooters are a good idea for those that like them. Quick, easy, cheap transportation. I’m all for that. But they can be a problem unless there are a few rules that need to be followed.