Stephen M. reports this grim scene on DeWolfe Street at Memorial Drive this morning: Somebody's disassembled a couple of those rental scooters that suddenly showed up in Cambridge and Somerville last week - and left behind evidence of their work.
I wonder if the components are now in the possession of that notorious mastermind, James E. Tetazoo III?
I haven't heard his name in decades - I hope he's well and active!
Now you put on your own handlebars, you gotcha self a free scooter!
Taking the expensive motors and leaving behind the cheap GPS components.
If private companies want to use our public space to line their pockets, can't really blame civic-minded people for assisting the city when trash is
abandoned on the sidewalk.
Personally, I would prefer to not see these rental scooters in Boston. However, since it will be impossible to keep them out, at least have the courtesy and common sense of driving them in the bike lane and not on the sidewalk. Thanks.
They've got a motor. Please keep them out of the bike lane.
If bike riders would stay out of motor lanes (roads), and stay off the sidewalk, then maybe, just maybe, you would have a valid argument that scooters should stay out of "bike" lanes. Until that time, fagetaboutit.
If bike riders would stay out of motor lanes (roads),
I'll just go get my popcorn and be right back for this one.
#1 Roads predate cars by a lot
#2 People using bicycles have the same legal rights to the road as people using cars, except for limited access highways and other special cases.
Time to re-litigate this same old tired point.
As if on cue: aggrieved driver makes retrograde comment about bikers taking *his* road.
Hey bucko, we all pay taxes. We're all trying to navigate toward our respective destinations. Why is your (1-2 ton) conveyance more important than my (25 pound) one?
Try a bike for a day. Get one of those cheapo share accounts and ride around the city. Confine yourself to the bike lane. (WATCH THOSE CAR DOORS!). See how it feels. Experience the rush of a texting or otherwise-distracted driver just barely skirting the side of your two-wheeler as they creep into *your* lane. What a thrill!
Motor scooters with gas engines (up to 50cc I believe) are permitted in bike lanes, these likely are as well.
The size of the engine is only part of it, and pretty irrelevant with the current advances in engineering.
Would have been both faster and less likely to get caught if they'd just transported whole scooters and done the surgery somewhere private.
Which makes me imagine that it was done this way on purpose, as a way of communicating to the general public (at least those with a makerish bent) that these abandoned scooters make good salvage.
it was a slightly more practical consideration. It's not too clever to steal a device that you know includes a built-in GPS tracker.
Just throw the scooters in the vehicle, drive around the corner and park, do the decap and then ditch the handlebars. Much less likely to be photo'ed or approached by concerned citizen or cop.
Despite all the griping, a new survey found that a supermajority of residents (from 67-79%) had positive views of dockless scooters in nine cities that have them operating today.
San Francisco was an outlier, but even there 52% of residents have a positive view of them.
But I guess we're not New York! (...or Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, San Jose, or Seattle)
Haven't seen any.
The Boston Area, and Boston in particular, is different from most of those cities in that we don't even have enough sidewalk space for pedestrians, let alone adequate bike parking space. BlueBikes have special arrangements for this, but covering the area with scooters and dockless bikes is going to be a challenge.
I'm a bit leary of anyone's research, regardless of their bona fides, when it's not peer-reviewed and the methodology/data is unavailable for review.
I don't like borrowed/rented vehicles. I believe if you want to ride a bicycle you should have your own, keeping it indoors when not in use to better pamper it. I also don't cater to any part of the "sharing economy" old or new, whether it is AirBnB, rental cars, temporary office space like Work Bar, or even renting apartments. There should only be owner occupants, nothing else, with every multi-unit building a condominium.
the research was carried out by an interested party, Populus Micromobility, whose slogan is "we’re building a revolutionary platform to help cities and private mobility operators work more seamlessly together".
People are so crazy, this is just malicious and in the worst way. It's also not going to make Bird go away.
If anything, more scooters are needed, not less:
These scooters are fun to ride, zero emissions, and (if you're not a totally careless operator) they're safe
The LA Times recently had an article on how dangerous they are.
Anything on a road is dangerous, driving a car, walking on the sidewalk, riding a bike or whatever
But "Nobody Walks in L.A." as the old song goes
it's not just about are scooters good or bad. it's about wealthy companies unilaterally building their business on public property. I'm sure there are lots of local businesses that would love to set up a sidewalk stand instead of paying rent. how come Bird gets to do that? I think a scooter network could be a really cool idea - - but it's unacceptable for venture capitalists to get rich off the commons by basically holding the community hostage.
You mean like how Uber and lyft operate on publicly maintained roadways? Or taxis? Or any vehicle affiliated with a company?
It's a couple of bucks to ride a bird across town, it's not like you're throwing 100 dollar bills at the already wealthy
At least the owners of the Uber and Lyft vehicles registered in Massachusetts pay excise taxes here and anyone of them buying gas pay gas taxes. That's far more than these scooter companies are paying.
As comes up over and over and over again when people complain about cyclists using roads, excise taxes cover such a small portion of road maintenance and construction it's crazy.
Our infrastructure problems, which are mainly because of lack of funding, are much deeper and more complicated than that.
Also, again as comes up over and over again when people complain about bicycles, the average scooter rider probably owns a car, or is part of a family that owns a car, and is paying those darn taxes you love so much anyways.
Now if you want to talk about tech companies not paying taxes, let's talk about Apple and Google and Amazon, all things I'm sure you use on a daily basis.
basically holding the community hostage.
I thinks that's a bit overly dramatic.
Obviously, it would be nice if they could negotiate an agreeable entry into the city. But how likely would it be for Marty "I'm a car guy" Walsh to approve more vehicles that have less than 4 wheels, weigh less than 2 tons, and are smaller than a living room? Change is disruptive and bad.
So they just launch and hope they can quickly build a loyal user base and some positive press that will make it politically problematic to do an outright ban, even if the NIMBY corps starts winding up. Then they can sit down with city officials and negotiate the details of making it a better fit.
Sometimes the only way forward through a bureaucracy is to skip asking permission, forge ahead, and then make apologies and amends afterward.
if the guy driving around is in an electric van picking them up at night to charge using solar chargers
Geez put a warning up before showing that carnage!
It tells you all you need to know that Bird just dumped their scooters in the cities without contacting city officials to get permission or even notifying them. They clearly have no interest in doing things properly or safely.
Uber and Lyft started operating in most cities without any prior notice, ignoring regulations for livery drivers and taxis. Both are now here to stay.
Uber and Lyft used roads and cars already in use. Dumping private property on sidewalks is more like the old newspapers which used to stick boxes on sidewalks without permission.
They started operating like unregulated taxis in cities that have established systems but there was no moratorium or regulatory push back from cities. As a result, we now deal with these problems.
TNCs, bikeshares, e-bikes and scotters are all new additions to our cities mobility options that need regulations to control how they disrupt the status quo but only one of them seems to skirt by the regulatory processes and pearl clutching that so many have.
Hell lets take it a step farther, apps like Waze have dumped private vehicles onto side streets and neighborhoods that are not meant to handle such loads.
"Schaller’s recommendation is not to regulate TNCs into oblivion. Like taxis, TNCs can serve a useful role without eroding the transit networks that cities depend on. But cities and transit agencies have to exert more influence to prevent TNC-generated traffic from spiraling out of control."
In other words, regulation, just like cabs/taxis, bikeshares and other new mobility options. I mean you could even argue that we don't regulate private vehicles enough because parking permits are free, parking spots are limited, meters aren't market rate and in general, nothing to significantly discourage driving at peak hours.
And somebody is there with the 311 app on their phone.
I feel like not even an entire week since launch I'm already seeing way fewer on the streets and in the app. I was in providence earlier this week and they seemed way more abundant. Other than the cost I feel like these are a great way to get around, but I'd be pretty nervous riding one without a helmet.
How many more must die?
Having seen them in use this morning, I'm a bit disappointed at the naysaying here. These things have about the same speed profile as a bike, and can be ridden with about the same norms, minus having to break a sweat. They are yet another way to make it easy to live in this city without a car. We do need to establish some norms on where to leave them after you've used them. They should not trip up blind people, and so forth. But I' glad they're here, and I intend to use one this summer.
I always did wonder why the city of Boston can't impose huge fines on these companies for littering because that's exactly what it is. I get a ticket for putting a small cardboard box outside, or for putting my trash outside before 6pm because I'm leaving for the weekend.. yes, it's better that the trash rots inside my house and attracts rats.
Make them pay for sanctioned stations as well, no dumping.
Because the company prohibits their customers from leaving them in Boston.
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