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Citizen complaint of the day: The menace of delivery scooters

An irate citizen files a 311 complaint about angry, menacing food deliverers on scooters in the Back Bay:

Delivery Scooters are aggressively driving through red lights, nearly hitting pedestrians in crosswalks, driving against traffic, and driving on sidewalks at high rates of speed. Often yelling at people and picking fights. Something has to be done with delivery app services to track driving safety and to verify the identity of the actual person working, who often wear masks and have no plates on the vehicle. This is more than a nuisance, it is a growing danger that affects the safety and well-being of residents, office workers, and visitors.

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Comments

It's true. They often ride in the bike lane honking their horns when cyclists and skatboarders don't pull over for them. The entitlement is disappointing.

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Scatboarders is good.
Scat as in animal excrement, that is.

I used to street skate in the 80s and I recall that *I* was full of it.

But yeah, delivery driver scofflaw behavior is rampant.

Suggestion:
Ride your own bike, skateboard, eMotorbike, or otherwise pick up your own take-out orders. That offsets your calorie intake a little, too all you lazybones.

Is there a Street Legal delivery service?
"Goodies To Yous"

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Maybe loosen up the spandex shorts and go have a snickers.

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Remember when Domino's had a huge scandal because one of their delivery drivers killed someone racing to get someone a crappy pizza in 30 minutes?

Fast forward 40 years and here we are with millions of people driving take out orders around in cars and, yes, on scooters and motorbikes (and in some cases, on bicycles, but those don't tend to kill people) with an incentive to make the delivery quickly (more time to make more deliveries since they're paid per piece and not per hour) and no incentive to behave since rules aren't enforced. A few weeks ago I saw one of those money-hemorrhaging 20-minute delivery motorcycles running a red light with a helmetless driver.

(And, no, John, not a bicyclist who got to a red light, stopped, and then went through so they wouldn't be starting up at the same time as traffic and squeezed into a narrow lane, a full-on motorcycle just shooting through the red light at 30 mph.)

So, yeah, this is a problem, but combining the gig economy with vehicles means more and more unnecessarily fast vehicles on the streets. Could the delivery companies run software and ding drivers for speeding? Sure. But that's in no one's best interest except the traveling public (people walking, biking and driving) and they don't matter as long as some gen-z-er ordering a burger and fries gets their meal two minutes faster. (Really, though, when I see these picking up McD's orders I really wonder where our society is sinking. Cold fries? Yech.)

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I feel sorry living rent free in that head of yours.

I can send you something so you can have something delivered by bike to you.

Does CVS deliver Xanax? That might be what you need. Yup, I'll send that.

PS - Everyone - Haul your arse out and go pick up your food. Sure, I use Amazon for Chewy and Amazon for that one thing that you can only get in a store in Grafton VT but to all the people who get Uber eats delivered to the office when you are downtown, really? Walk yourselves to a local place and not some corporate thing.

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You continue to show your true colors John.

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IMAGE(https://media2.giphy.com/media/v1.Y2lkPTc5MGI3NjExN2Y0MGhjcjI3MnZpeXd4dTB6YXoyam9hejV3Z3ozNHo4NGNvN2l5NSZlcD12MV9naWZzX3NlYXJjaCZjdD1n/s0MQxNrBkNsIORhFrC/200.gif)

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clutching your pearls that hard

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But is very silent when it comes to addressing his own transgressions.

Goose, gander, etc.

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“ I feel sorry living rent free in that head of yours.”

When can we retire that tired put down? Says more about the putter downer (you) than the put down upon.

Just let it lay decomposing there at the bottom of your swamp, Lace Curtain Costello.

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Look, I am old enough to remember when Dartmouth Street was two way in front of the library- heck, the 39 started there at one point- but it's not, so, having the mopeds shooting up the block the wrong way, sometimes on the sidewalk, is not a good thing. Thankfully, the delivery drivers in cars don't do that. Being a smaller vehicle somehow empowers ignoring of the laws.

To key in on another reply, it is the height of laziness to get fast good delivered. It's not the hardest thing get your own chicken, burger, burrito, or whatever. Heck, you might even burn a few calories.

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shooting up the block the wrong way, sometimes on the sidewalk, is not a good thing. Thankfully, the delivery drivers in cars don't do that.

Come on now!

But you and John are spot on about the fast food delivery bit. Broken clocks, worst person you know, etc.

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Was what I wrote wrong?

As the phrase of the day goes, I sure am living in your brain.

My distain of food delivery services notwithstanding, I see the point of delivery by motor scooter, but the drivers make me think it's the worst way to deliver.

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But what was wrong is the bit about delivery drivers in cars not driving on sidewalks or up the block the wrong way.

Again, come on now.

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Check back when the discussion is Uber and/or Lyft drivers. That poor driving is rewarded with good reviews is an example of how screwed up their system is.

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Therefore it NEVER happens.

Once again, come on now.

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Most anything that seems lazy to you creates accessibility for disabled folks. It's actually a great thing when people for any reason decide they would like to pay for a service rather than do it themself, because this creates demand and makes it available and affordable for disabled folks who need to rely on these services. Lose the "lazy" rhetoric and the fatphobia please.

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The actual number of people who have a legitimate reason for food delivery bears no relation to the number of people who use is.

Nice touch conflating the idea that exercise is good with "fatphobia." I never mentioned weight, just the idea that walking is good for everyone who can. Way to reinforce the stereotype.

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If you think the scooters and bikes in Boston are bad, spend a day in Manhattan! Although I rarely see them on sidewalks in New York. You need more pedestrians in Boston to crowd them out.

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I gotta say I very rarely see them on sidewalks in Boston too, probably more of an issue around Copley / Boylston specifically just because it's one of the few actually big sidewalks in the city.

DC is also quite bad with the rentable scooters and ebikes. I have a scooter and ebike both and use both around Boston and love them... but when I was in DC I really did see what the "other side" sees because of how aggressive they are down there.

Also, fun fact, but there's nothing in Boston ordinances that ban scooters from sidewalks. A sidewalk needs to be specifically labeled as "no bikes" in order for there to be a restriction. The default is that bikes are legally allowed on sidewalks.

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The rule in Boston is that you can't ride a bike on a sidewalk in a business district. Now that's a little fuzzy, when you start looking at the question of what constitutes a business district in an outer neighborhood, but it's pretty clear cut when it comes to Copley Square and any other downtown location.

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As a cyclist, I hate generalized exaggerated rants like "there shouldn't be bike lanes because people on bikes all run red lights and terrorize old ladies on the sidewalk". But I can honestly say that I've observed a big uptick in very dangerous e-biking by certain delivery companies, especially Getir. I've had multiple scary moments because of them, and contacting the company has gotten nowhere. It's time for some government regulation.

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I was blissfully forgetting its name above.

Some of their drivers wear padded suits it seems (but there was one I saw without a helmet) but still their life expectancy must be measured in months.

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I remember back in the 80s and 90s, the heyday of "bike messengers". Those guys were truly reckless. And arrogant. I was almost clipped on numerous occasions, when I was legally following the rules of crossing. And to add insult to injury they would hurl foul verbal abuse at me as they sped by. They were an unsavory lot, and they all used to think they were musicians in local bands to boot. Thankfully, the internet put them out of business and they seem to have faded away along with their awful bands.

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This was a big story back in 1997. Given that the vehicles are motorized today, and there's a lot more of them, it'd be a good idea to act proactively before another tragedy happens.

http://www.messarchives.com/messville/BOST_AC1.HTM

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''Not all bike messengers do this, but a minority do,'' said officerKenneth Westhaver, who patrols Beacon Hill by bike.

I can't recall the last time I saw BPD on bikes, anyone agree? Maybe there have been some at the protests or events throughout the city but I just cannot for the life of me remember seeing BPD patrolling on bikes.

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I used to see them bike in a big group of two dozen on Pleasant street in Dorchester. Seemed more like a group exercise class on taxpayer's dollar than patrolling though.

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… in downtown. Recently I saw 3 together and wanted to give them a thumbs up or something but they passed within a foot of me and I may as well have been invisible. Cops on bikes or otherwise used to say hello back to you and make eye contact if you did the same. Not anymore.

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No exaggeration, the last time I saw police on bikes in Boston was in 2004, when the Democratic Convention was taking place here. Anybody remember that event? In fact, that is the ONLY time I have ever seen police on bikes in this city. It was such a rarity that it made me take notice.

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for instance, at the so-called 'Straight Pride Parade'

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I see officers on bikes quite often in Dorchester and Roxbury.

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They don't ride the bikes. They use them as weapons against protesters.

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after the kid made a reckless high-speed lane change. He's lucky I have a quick brake foot.

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as in the potential accident scenario, I’m going to venture a guess that only one of you has liability insurance. They cut you off driving recklessly resulting in an accident. Now you and your insurer are paying hospital bills, and probably an injury lawsuit. Not even taking into consideration the financial consequences of a serious permanent injury to the scooter driver.

The other day, I watched a delivery scooter blow through about five red lights. We were mirroring each other, both heading in the same general direction. I obeyed all the traffic signals and lo and behold, we both got to the same location at the same time

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Stop catastrophizing.

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Wishing I was 20 years younger and had the cajones to ride one on the city streets myself

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But those scooter gangs with the “New York Wings” delivery boxes on their bikes in Copley Sq. aren’t just delivering food. And they’re not really being subtle about it either. If the cops haven’t caught on yet (wouldn’t surprise me), I would suggest they take a closer look. Stopping them shouldn’t be a problem since they zip down Boylston St the wrong way at high speeds constantly.

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I see them all the time around Back Bay station riding the sidewalks fast and dangerous, and against traffic down Columbus bike lanes, and around Boylston street. Agree with the above they are rarely delivering food, fully masked, without license plates, and the rumor mill for the last few months is saying they are selling something else....

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aren't there state and local licensing agencies who can get involved?

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Yet again, we learn, it's all good fun until . . .

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I thought it was getting bad here, then last spring I went to NY where I hadn't gone for of a couple of years. In the evening, the bike lanes in Manhattan are filled with of these souped up delivery bikes (mostly) zooming around; not the most pleasant experience. They make the Boston bike lanes look pretty quaint by comparison.

The makeshift battery charging stations that have turned into a business were also the source of over 200 fires last year in NYC and over 100 as of late June of this year.

www.nytimes.com/2023/06/21/nyregion/e-bike-lithium-battery-fires-nyc.html

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I’ve seen an uptick of these type of scooters using bike lines, running red lights, and not wearing helmets. I don’t know how Boston law pertains to these types of vehicles, compared to motorcycles and motorbikes. These are not only a nuisance, they have a terrible impact on air pollution.

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...where everyone tries to claim that dangerous behavior is the exclusive province of people who use one mode of of transportation and everyone is an angel?

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