Dockless Scooters for Raleigh

So I’ve heard rumors that Byrd might be eyeing our city to expand their dockless scooter business.

Personally I’m kind of excited, I think that any option that gets people moving without using cars is great.

Charlotte got surprised by the scooter invasion then moved to ban the service. Public outcry was loud enough that they rescinded their ban.

Should Raleigh regulate/ban/welcome electric scooters?

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Are we talking about stand up scooters or Vespa type scooters?

Stand-up, like an electrified razor. Bird, the Electric Scooter Start-Up, Is Said to Draw an Investment Frenzy - The New York Times

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I’m for whatever will get people out of cars, but we need to think about where and how they’ll be used. Will they be allowed on streets? Sidewalks? Bike lanes? That needs to be considered and communicated because a free for all will only serve to piss people off.


I think the city should just stay hands off to start. If problems emerge, we can craft policy to address those issues.

For the cities that have seen such service, there have been lots of complaints about the visual clutter, some complaints about blocked right of ways. Very few injuries or traffic violations.

I was just out in Austin and saw the byrd scooters in action. Folks were riding them everywhere around downtown. They look like a lot of fun and are pretty fast, maybe 15 mph?

I saw people riding them on the street as well as sidewalks. I agree, some folks could get upset if riders don’t use them reasonably.

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They won’t be used in the manner that everyone wants. It’s almost impossible to enforce. They’ll be on sidewalks and in the road and probably swerving around awkwardly (I know I unintentionally did when I tried it in SF earlier this year). That being said I’m in support of scooters because people being out of cars will encourage street level retail activation. It also seems that this could be another option in solving the “last mile” issue that surrounds transit.

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FYI I reached out to directly per email that it would be great if downtown Raleigh would be considered and surprisingly got an immediate response:

“We are currently with the city to be able to expand our operations in the near future. We hope to be soon!”

I think it is telling that new tech and service companies like bird have Raleigh on the Radar :slight_smile:


Wow that’s fantastic! I’d love it to happen.

Bring them on. We’ve had dockless cars parked on sidewalks and taking up public space for decades, scooters and bikes should be welcomed in their place.


Other cities facing the same issue: Santa Monica just enacted a dynamic cap, based on usage, fees and some other regs. I’d be happy with something similar. Not sure we’d be up to hire 2 full-time personnel like SM did - we can’t even get 2 people working full time under bike/ped planning.

Yeah, but cars don’t run amok through pedestrian areas. For some reason, people think that when they are not in a car, they don’t have to follow any sort of rules or courtesies. I see it all the time in Miami with bikes, skateboards, razors, Vespas, and now these dockless scooters. like I’ve said, I am all for getting people out of their cars but we have to plan for it and think about how it’s managed.


Cars don’t run amok through pedestrian areas, you say?

For some reason, people think that when they ARE in cars, they don’t have to follow any rules or courtesies. That kind of mindset is the result of this auto-dependent culture we’ve become accustomed to. People on the sidewalk are the problem, not the ones behind the wheel of a two ton vehicle.

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Oh come on. Isolated incidents are not the same thing as people persistently disregarding others in pedestrian areas, all the freaking time. That’s not the same thing.


Pedestrians and drivers are both guilty of it, but only one causes great harm and death. Also, cars running over people are not isolated incidents, it happens a lot. The design of our public spaces, roads in particular but also sidewalks and bike lanes, are the real problem. Fix those and then you won’t feel as uncomfortable by people being so close to you, or whatever your problem is.

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Deep breath… :slight_smile:

I am only sharing my actual experiences based on infrastructure improvements that were supposed to solve the problems. Well, they haven’t. No amount of protected bike lanes, signage, etc., stops inconsiderate behavior. It doesn’t happen because there isn’t any consequence for the bad behavior, and nobody calls people out on it either.
To have a civil and properly functioning urban society, there needs to be structure and consequences. To not put a program around these scooters to include presumed behaviors would be the first step in assuring chaos, because there’d be no foundation to even think about consequences.
Again, I am all for doing things that will get people out of their cars. I have successfully moved my life to one that has more than quartered my dependency on my car. Since Jan. 1, I have only put 1,300 miles on it. I walk, take the RLine in Raleigh and the Trolley in Miami Beach. Most of my car miles are to go to big box stores like Home Depot, Costco, etc, or to visit friends/events that can’t be reached successfully by public options.
I am a monthly subscriber to citibike in Miami as well. I take bikeshare from Miami Beach to Miami in order to jump on the MetroMover throughout downtown and Brickell. That said, I’ve experienced the pitfalls associated with the changes in infrastructure and only endeavor to share this so that we might be able to avoid similar problems in Raleigh.


John, it sounds like you’ve got some valuable experiences with these newer forms of transportation. Do you have any input on ways to curtail these unfavorable behaviors? Or is our only option to ban them outright?

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People in cars are the ones that are anonymous and act in all sort of anti-social, inconsiderate ways. They kill people in our area, both pedestrians and other motorists, monthly. I’m willing to bet that motorists in our city will continue to send more people to the morgue and hospital than scooter drivers will nation-wide.

Walkers, bikers, scooter riders may annoy you, but they will not kill you. They have skin in the game and will suffer injuries on the same scale as anyone they hit and have that built-in incentive to be careful. They may startle or annoy you, but likely a big threat. Motorists have no such incentive and the city is designed so they can run into things without any injury to themselves. For example, bus shelters have to be break-away so when motorists run them over they don’t hurt themselves.

I’m OK with chaos - that’s kind of what a bunch of pedestrians looks like, right? I’d rather have the benign chaos of walkers, bikers and scooters mixing it up than have orderly and predictable death from cars.