The Birds Came to Roost


The Birds Came to Roost

As my neighbor noted when we woke up to find a dozen “Bird” scooters roosting in his parkway, this issue doesn’t rank with world hunger or world peace. However it’s a pain.

I’m as much in favor of free enterprise as the next guy, but the Bird folks need to get their act together. If these had been in front of an apartment complex, or in a commercial area, I could understand. However, in a residential area, not so much.

My neighbor called the number on the “Bird” and complained, and they were “moved” within 4 hours. Actually, they were redistributed around the neighborhood in groups of two or three.

“Bird” is under fire by city governments, citizen groups, and the like across the fruited plain. Riders seem to enjoy them. However trekking down streets at 15 mph while the surrounding traffic is going three times that seems a bit over the top. “Bird” tells us that they require riders to wear a helmet. To date I have seen hundreds of “Birds” in motion, and exactly one rider with a helmet.

They also say that one must be over 18 to ride. Haw.

Unfortunately, this is a business that is crying for regulation. I hate government intrusion, but something must be done before tragedy strikes. My neighbor is concerned about tripping over them when he goes out to get his paper. Fair Enough. I’m equally concerned about injury of riders and walkers alike.  Perhaps if you got your “app” from a central location where you could be “checked out” before riding. I watched a girl being coached by her boyfriend on how to ride a “Bird.” She ended up on her derriere, ankle twisted, leg scraped with the “Bird” having jumped a curb. He was giving her a “back on the horse” speech as she limped off down the street.



Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. I am sure there are regulations in place. The more important question is will they be enforced. I would be shocked if there was not already a helmet law or an age requirement to operate a motor vehicle on a public street.

  2. I’m not a fan. While on vacation for a weekend, we thought it would be fun to try. I found out that people “hide” them inside buildings and locked areas so they don’t have to pay the rental fee but have access to it whenever they want. The GPS on them is unreliable so you walk around for several minutes looking like a moron for something that isn’t there. Then when I finally found one I was 30 minutes late meeting friends and I got stuck in an app loop where it wanted to verify my email before letting me check the thing out but every time I tapped on the link in my email it took me to the App Store.

    Plus everything JVH said, and they seem to be taking the Uber attitude when entering new markets – deploy now, don’t ask first and don’t care what local governments say or want.

    That’s my rant.

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