Don't blame scooters. Blame the streets.

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  • Published on:  9/18/2018
  • The sidewalks were never meant for this.

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    We teamed up with the University of California to explain one of the hottest trends of 2018: dockless electric scooters.

    You can see more from University of California in our YouTube series Climate Lab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HOij...

    You can also read University of California's write-up on the video above here: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/the-battle-over-scooters

    They’re one of many ‘micro-mobility’ innovations rocketing through the transportation sector.

    Even in cities with exceptional public transportation coverage, gaps persist. This is a decades old problem, often referred to as ‘the last mile/first mile.’ Cities traditionally address the last mile problem by expanding bus routes. But as cities continue to populate while transportation dept budgets dwindle, the patience of commuters is running dry. So scooters, electric skateboards, and pedal assist bikes have become an increasingly popular option for city residents.

    These innovations, while quite popular, also draw the ire of the oft-beleaguered sidewalk pedestrian. The past century of development prioritized car transportation, often at the expense of wide sidewalks that were once bustling with life. So the planners of today are taking a page out of history to prepare for a brave new world of alternative transportation.

    If you’d like to learn more about the deal with scooters in your city, I recommend following Curbed. You should start with this write-up by Alissa Walker: https://www.curbed.com/word-on-the-street/2018/7/13/17246060/scooters-uber-lyft-bird-lime-streets

    Here’s a closer look at the survey data on the popularity of scooters: https://www.populus.ai/micro-mobility-2018-july

    Here’s Sarah Kaufman on the push to regulate scooters in cities: https://wagner.nyu.edu/rudincenter/2018/06/racing-regulate-scooters-us-cities

    Here’s a NACTO write-up on what future complete streets could look like.
    https://nacto.org/publication/bau/automated-vehicles-future-city-streets/

    And, just for fun, here’s that Library of Congress footage of San Francisco’s Market Street: https://www.loc.gov/item/00694408/

    Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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Comment

  • Vox (Sep 19, 2018)

    If you’d like to learn more about the deal with scooters in your city, I recommend following Curbed. This piece by Alissa Walker inspired this video: https://www.curbed.com/word-on-the-street/2018/7/13/17246060/scooters-uber-lyft-bird-lime-streets

  • Ali (Dec 11, 2018)

    I don't get what the issue is? Is the issue really about the size of the side walks not being big enough? I don't see any problems with these scooters.

  • 2refloG (Oct 30, 2018)

    +Younglove994 huh???

  • VantaBlacked (Sep 18, 2018)

    This video made me want to drink a glass of melon juice

  • Affishal (Dec 27, 2018)

    700th like

  • Tony Ton (Oct 21, 2018)

    same

  • Qslick B (Sep 18, 2018)

    That baby being carried across the street would be 112 years old if still alive today!!

  • Patrick Missen (Dec 15, 2018)

    RIP Daredevil baby

  • Trenton (Dec 10, 2018)

    Lol smh

  • SaraOhnstad (Sep 18, 2018)

    I feel like they should have to follow bike rules and use the bike lanes

  • spooky (Jan 3, 2019)

    +Allie Doak its not like you can pass them tho, oh wait you can pass

  • +Allie Doak what? Cars do have to slow down to accommodate bikers. I cant just plow throw bikers because they are in front of me and slower. If cars didn't accommodate bikers You would be dead by now or know plenty of dead bikers.

  • Roboko (Sep 18, 2018)

    The 'last mile' issue of the US is a fault of the urban planning in itself. Much of US suburbs are huge sprawls. People live spaced out too far apart for transport connections to be economic. Scooters in the last mile is treating the symptom not the cause.

  • kyle nelson (Dec 29, 2018)

    +Chad Noneo preach

  • The Count (Dec 16, 2018)

    when there’s a problem, you find a solution...no?

  • Max Ramos (Sep 18, 2018)

    All this has to do with infrastructure, hence why the U.S. is ranked among the worst in infrastructure

  • WeeStrom CO Guy (Jan 29, 2019)

    +JS Veterans You'd have saved more face if you hadn't replied at all. Again, stick to video games, easier than humor or the logistics of 3D travel.

  • JS Veterans (Jan 29, 2019)

    +WeeStrom CO Guy -"If you don't think gravity is an obstacle in 3 dimensional travel" Oh a real reply! To this I say, really? Because we don't have tunnels, bridges, flight or a million other ways overcome gravity.. Jesus, how does this have to be stated over the freaking internet! HAHAA..

  • greg varghese (Sep 18, 2018)

    These scooters are changing the way people move about in the city. Especially in Atlanta

  • LlamaGumby (Feb 8, 2019)

    +Flat I'm not arguing that riding scooters on the sidewalk should be illegal. I'm saying that it already is illegal. Technically, it's illegal for electric scooters to be in the bike lane too.

  • Flat (Feb 8, 2019)

    +LlamaGumby I drive too but I'm mentioning my electric scooter experience. Scooter belong on the sidewalk and people on foot and on scooters just need to be aware of each other. Making its illegal to ride a scooter in the sidewalk causes a increase of traffic on the roads. If people can barely drive with bikes and each other other on the road, why make something with a far less visible profile join in

  • DangerouslyDestiny (Sep 18, 2018)

    The actual scooter isn't a problem, it's the people. We already have a space for scooters; it's called the bike lane. Any thing that's not moving on two feet belongs in the street or bike lane. Almost all cities have a bike lane, and you can bet the cities that have this scooter pilot program have a bike lane. The problem begins when these arrogant scooter rides move from the bike lane onto the sidewalk and just expect everyone to get out of their way (that's the definition of entitlement). Scooters ne...

  • Lillian (Dec 26, 2018)

    Bike lanes can be dangerous due to bad roads, construction, narrow lanes and drivers. A tourist was killed around the corner from my job in the bike lane by an Uber driver. It's up to scooter riders to be responsible. I ride on sidewalks at speeds depending on foot traffic. On my way home from work, there are several sidewalks with few to no people. When making my way there, I walk next to my scooter or with it folded, travel at less than 3 mph and always yield to the disabled, elderly, kids and dogs...

  • Hannah Yu (Dec 24, 2018)

    unfortunately, tourists will continue to use the sidewalks for scooters the same way they ride city bikes on side walks. it's a plague here in San Francisco.

  • Will Vachon (Sep 18, 2018)

    The last mile only exists because people are forbidden from living less than a mile from where they need to go. Planners always dance around the real issue- zoning. Zoning bylaws are almost as anachronistic as those images of the man crossing traffic with the baby. Its the simplest, most effective way to fix North American cities.

  • Kit Vitae (Feb 6, 2019)

    +Hugh Miller It makes the car industry more money! Pre-car US cities have more mixed zoning, like parts of Manhattan

  • Derran Lawston (Jan 29, 2019)

    Hugh Miller because back in the early 1800’s it’s purpose was to protect family from pollution from factories

  • FlamingBull (Sep 18, 2018)

    No mention of the issues haphazardly docking scooters in the middle of side walks brings, like inhibiting handicapped or wheelchaired pedestrians. Kind of surprised

  • Ali (Dec 12, 2018)

    +WeeStrom CO Guy Dude go read a book. Your logic is terrible. Who cares how much money they are getting? You guys are overreacting over a simple small issue.

  • WeeStrom CO Guy (Dec 12, 2018)

    +Ali good you can go around and pick up all the scooters for a corporation that is making millions if not billions of dollars.