The Chainlink

Dear Seasoned Chicago Cyclists,
Please try to impart the patience and compassion you would have for a first time bike commuter. Having experienced the roll out in DC and already had one scooter fatality, there's definitely a concern about safety. Basically, scooter users will likely be pedestrians (not cyclists) turned scooter riders so they won't know the ins and outs like a seasoned cyclist. Think first time Divvy user. So yes, you'll see them on the sidewalks (even though they aren't supposed to), bike lanes, and streets. Lots of patience will be necessary. While scooters can be a good addition to the non-car commuter, they do pose risks to themselves (mostly) and other vulnerable users of the roads.

Here's an article with the details of the scooter roll-out:

https://chi.streetsblog.org/2019/06/11/ready-or-not-10-different-sc...

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Eric I'm seeing them all over now too, and likely a rush of privately-owned versions are becoming more prevalent in the non-test zone areas.  As a guess there are more on the way beyond the city's pilot program.  Now available at fine stores near you.  

https://www.mi.com/us/mi-electric-scooter/

Some are even marketed as a commuting scooter, and are less than each of my bikes which will make them easy for people to acquire -

https://www.walmart.com/ip/GOTRAX-G2-Commuting-Electric-Scooter-8-5...

I live in the scooter test area and have not yet fallen foul of one on the roads whilst riding, yet.  But walking the sidewalks does have a new challenge, primarily scooters left standing in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking the pavements for strollers and the elderly and basically just being in the way.  Visually it's also very strange to walk around and suddenly see these little groupings of scooters just standing there.  Imagine just parking a car where ever you are done with it and walking away, regardless of the environment etc.  At least Divvy has stations and there are scooter 'pens' in car parks on some of the trails.   Not sure how it's going to pan out in the long term.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/09/electric-scooters-have-arrived-europe-lot-people-hate-them-too/

Electric scooters have arrived in Europe — and a lot of people there hate them too

BERLIN — Barely a few months after they were introduced in several of Europe’s storied capital cities, the great electric scooter backlash has already begun.

From Paris to Berlin and to Copenhagen, drunken users and poorly parked scooters have provoked the kind of visceral hatred that became synonymous with the dockless scooters’ arrival in American cities last year.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, already vowed to put an end to what she called a trend “not far from anarchy” on the roads of the French capital last month. That was before their introduction in neighboring Germany, where newspapers have since captured a nation in crisis: a man trying to steer his e-scooter onto a high-speed motorway, reports of scores of drunk e-scooter drivers and polls showing a deeply divided country.

The early verdict for the scooters in Europe has been harsh. Commentators have decided they are a “dangerous” trend, “madness” and a “pest.

Some earlier take-aways from the Portland experience, underscoring how micro-mobility helps solve the last mile problem of transit, and, reduces automobile use. A few excerpts, but I'll put in the whole link below.

  • E-scooters are replacing automobile trips. Thinking of their last e-scooter trip, 34 percent of Portlanders said they would have driven a personal car (19 percent) or hailed a taxi, Uber or Lyft (15 percent).   
  • The auto trip replacement numbers are even higher among tourists and visitors (48 percent). Thinking of their last e-scooter trip, 34 percent of visitors would have taken a taxi, Uber or Lyft, and 14 percent would have driven a personal vehicle had e-scooters not been available.  
  • Portlanders are reducing or considering reducing their auto ownership due to e-scooters. Six percent of users report getting rid of a car because of e-scooters and another 16 percent have considered it.  

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/700917

The newest development in the world of scooters that locals are quite happy about but have SCOOTER company's furious. 

Karma, schadenfreude, there's something for everyone here. Hit by a car pulling over to allow a cop by who was responding to your hit-and-run actions? Priceless. Mastercard may need to use this in a future commercial.

I saw a Bird scooter locked up with a U-lock to a bike rack in the loop yesterday.

Luckily it doesn't seem like many are taking advantage of it, but the geofencing seems pretty easy to defeat.  I've seen a lot of branded/rentable scooters east of Halsted up to the river, though not as many east of the river in the actual loop

There are more and more private scooters out there such as this one seems to have been.  Elsewhere such as in the Kafka thread, fleeing police is not the right thing.  Meanwhile, if people don't get back to the wisdom of separating pedestrians from wheeled traffic as this incident reminds us, the Riverwalk might get re-named to ScooterCity.  

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