Service of the Race to Add Electric Scooters: Who Gets the Bike Lane? Where do Pedestrians Walk Safely?

December 31st, 2018

Categories: Bicycles, City Living, Civility, Electric Scooters, Transportation

Photo: qz.com

It doesn’t take much to inadvertently kill someone. A few weeks ago a man in his 80s was knocked to the ground exiting a subway run into by another passenger dashing to catch the train. He hit his head and died a few days later.

That—and the fact that pedestrians and bicyclists haven’t yet learned to play well together in Manhattan at least—means that the addition here of electric scooters, that go 15 mph, has zero appeal to me.

Photo: executivestyle.com.au

There are too many accidents with good old bicycles: nine deaths and 1,260 injuries to biclcylsits in 2017 according to nyc.gov. That year one pedestrian was killed in a bicycle crash and 172 people were injured by bicycles according to police reports. These stats may be conservative. Read on.

Another website, nationswell.com, reported “dozens of bicyclist are killed by motor vehicles every year in NYC.” While I’m most concerned about pedestrians, the numbers of people opting for electric scooters will clearly add insult to injury for all.

Photo: cycle-space.com

And how many people didn’t report their confrontations? Daily either I or other pedistrians shriek at bicyclists who don’t bother using the [intrusive bicycle lanes] and chug by in a car lane; ignore traffic lights; ride in the wrong direction or zip by on sidewalks.

Scott Calvert wrote “States Race to Catch Up With Electric Scooters California– lawmakers passed bill on new two-wheeled vehicles; more states planning legislation.”

Quoting “Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director at the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures,” he wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “Only about 10 states currently have laws that apply to vehicle categories that appear to include e-scooters, he said, and only California’s legislature has passed a bill specifically addressing them….. ‘These e-scooters are being used. That tells you they’re filling a need.’”

The electric scooter discussion in venues such as curbed.com is focused on pilot programs and safety by rejiggering street design with repaving programs. Shouldn’t there also be a safe pedestrian lane? And who gets the bike lane—electric scooters or bicycles or will already stretched avenues and streets give up yet more space to alternative vehicles to cars? What are your thoughts about electric scooters in cities?

 

Photo: thelocal.fr

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4 Responses to “Service of the Race to Add Electric Scooters: Who Gets the Bike Lane? Where do Pedestrians Walk Safely?”

  1. Protius Said:

    In my long held view, what mankind and mother earth truly need now is conservative leadership, men and women with sufficient vision to urge the vigorous conservation of our rapidly shrinking natural resources and to put an end to the pointless waste caused by their mindless consumption by proponents of that mindless political corruption also called “supply-side economics.”

    Letting more mechanical devices loose in our already overburdened streets should result in
    increased mayhem, and more fatalities, a step in the right direction for population shrinkage. Also, a decline in both energy and resource consumption should occur as street users, because of the risks involved, back off using them to go on as many of their customary consumption binges as they did in the past.

    In sum, I’m for it.

    Hooray for chaos!

  2. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie wrote on Facebook:

    It is SO dangerous now for pedestrians because cyclists and skateboarders HATE to yield or follow traffic rules. The “all about me” show + people with their heads in their phones makes this environment HAZARDOUS!!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Debbie,

    I’ve visited the UK and countries like Thailand where as a driver and/or pedestrian I must constantly remind myself to look both ways–especially in the direction I’m not used to. That’s how I feel walking around NYC. I was born and I’ve lived in NYC most of my life and find it strange to be on alert when doing something that comes so naturally to a New Yorker: Walk!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Protius,

    I’ll go one step further. Get rid of the bikes and the electric scooters and the special lanes and encourage New Yorkers to do what they do best: WALK. Automatically the traffic issues will lighten up.

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