Dockless Scooters for Raleigh


“Cranky” people on sidewalks include the elderly, kids, babies in strollers, the handicapped, and, you know, people who just want to walk down a sidewalk without having to negotiate a constant barrage of motorized vehicles. IMO, these cranky people have priority use of the sidewalk without exception.

If the scooter companies’ customers are lacking bike lanes, perhaps they can take some of their profits and help fund them in the corridors where their data shows the most demand?


I suppose a person under 18 cannot technically enter into the contract to ride the scooter with out a parents permission.


Bird has offered to help fund more bike lanes.

I’m sure there would be strings attached to any funding from Bird, but as a part-time bike commuter I’d love to see protected lanes happen faster.


Literally no one is saying that scooters should have priority on the sidewalks. But to take your example: the elderly shouldn’t have to go into the street to make way for the disabled. Kids shouldn’t have to go in the street to make way for the elderly.

The street is often unsafe. Period. For people or for bikes or for scooters. That’s the most relevant data point. As a result, everyone has to compromise, especially where the sidewalks can barely fit to people walking side by side, much less anyone or anything else.

I’m all for companies like Bird chipping in. But they really shouldn’t have to: it’s up to the city of Raleigh and Wake County to improve the facilities the tax payers clearly want as shown by the popularity of the scooters. It’s common sense, and past time.


Joe - So you want to selfishly make the sidewalks unsafe for pedestrians, children and dogs bc you feel unsafe on the street?

And I am all for the city creating designated lanes… but there is also a very long list of things the city should be doing that has a higher priority.


Oh, please. The danger faced by pedestrians from scooters on the sidewalk pales in comparison to the danger scooter riders face on busy streets without bike lanes. Would you really insist that scooters drive directly on Dawson or McDowell?

Scooters do not go very fast, and can be slowed down and used to go around people safely. They’re safer for pedestrians than bikes.


It seems to me that since scooter companies are forcing the issue (there weren’t complaints about kids walking in the way of elderly in the way of disabled before, jeez what are we complaining about again?), that they can contribute to improving the infrastructure to accommodate them. I think the city should slap a fee on each ride (how about that $1 to begin a ride? give it to the city) then that money goes directly to improving multimodal (specifically bike lanes in town, sidewalks outside of downtown) infrastructure.


The problem isn’t people riding scooters politely on sidewalks along McDowell and Dawson. It’s the ones flying through blind corners without slowing on Fayetteville from, say, Martin or Hargett. Then they sneer at you, the pedestrian, after nearly running right into you at full speed.

I’ve seen plenty riding full speed on the sidewalks on West and Martin around the Dillon when there’s not a single car on the road. Sorry, but that area is not an unsafe place to ride in the street.

That said, I’ve seen more people riding appropriately on the street lately, which is is good. The beauty of the grid structure downtown is that no one is required to ride scooters on Dawson or McDowell because there are much safer alternatives. Even as a pedestrian I often choose routes that keep me off those roads because they are so car centric and dangerous for everyone else.

And as a point of clarification, congestion doesn’t necessarily equate to less safety when it comes to traffic. In my experience cycling, more cars moving slow is much safer than fewer cars moving fast.


There are always going to bad actors. But that’s no more reason to ban scooters than the fact that some people get drunk and puke on the street is a reason to ban bars.

The sidewalks around the Dillion are enormous. Nevertheless if there are no cars around, I ride in the street (I actually don’t ride the scooters that often — I prefer to walk). But if no one’s walking down the sidewalk, what’s the harm?


I’ll have to watch the discussion that took place during council today sometime later but:

Councilor Thompson definitely takes the prize for most cranky with quotes like “out of control” and “I told you so.” :roll_eyes:


Thompson, 63, on Wednesday announced plans to seek a second term representing District A on the council. The district covers north central Raleigh from the Beltline to Interstate 540.

Read more here:

Couldn’t have guessed. :roll_eyes:


Also kind of interesting how Thompson’s comments are at odds with the spirit of the questionnaire he filled out here:


Thompson can go ahead and go right to his retirement home. What is he even doing on the City Council? There’s the age you are, and the age you feel. If you have the mentality of a grouchy old man on every issue (which he does), you’re not presenting the vision for the future of our city that I expect of our leaders.


And his constituents up in North Raleigh likely don’t even have the Bird app or care much about increasing the livability of downtown. All they see is “disrespectful kids whizzing around on them scooters, texting and scootering and fornicating”.


If in fact someone could prove that these scooters are taking cars off the street, and are being used primarily for transportation, I could be aligned with some of your assertions about responsibilities of the city, etc. However, from my observation as a DT resident, my guess is that the overwhelming majority use of these scooters is joy riding. That isn’t to say that they don’t get used for commuting by some. I’m just saying that that’s not what I see with my eyes.
As for the “people getting out the way for others” narrative that you paint, I fail to see how it’s connected to the issue of scooters on sidewalks vis-a-vis the sidewalk’s primary use. Perhaps I am just not following completely? That said, I highly disagree that primary sidewalk users should have to compromise to allow these motorized vehicles on them due to the lack of protected bike lanes on the streets.
Look, nobody twisted Bird’s arm to provide scooters within the context of zero coordination with the city. That’s not the city’s fault. I do agree that I’d like to see the city fund more bike lanes to happen in more places sooner. However, I’m also a realist. I understand that the city has like a zillion other priorities that individuals or groups of citizens tell them are their top priority.
If I were Bird, I’d share the traveled route data that they surely have and propose specific bike infrastructure in coordination with it. Gestures that show concrete WIIFM toward the city would be a good first step.
I am in a middle of a 7 day trip to Boston and can tell you that this city banned the scooters a month ago. Frankly, I can’t even imagine the headache that the scooters caused in this bustling walkable city. Apparently scooters were dropped into Cambridge and Somerville in July and were quickly removed sometime in August. Boston warned that any scooters left it its city would be impounded. They are nowhere to be seen here.


Some might want to follow this discussion on City-Data Forums in the Triangle Forum.


If in fact someone could prove that these scooters are taking cars off the street, and are being used primarily for transportation, I could be aligned with some of your assertions about responsibilities of the city, etc.

Right here. I now use scooters in place of Ubers for anything under a couple miles. They’re just too convenient and cheap not to use. It’s strictly convenience factor, not as much entertainment.

I’m also a DT resident. It seems to me that people are mainly using them for transportation and not joy riding. Maybe the joyriders are also the most noticeable.


The only people I’ve seen fornicating on scooters were actually quite respectful.


Like mine, an opinion is not data.
You have a different perception than I do about taking cars off the street. I’m not saying that I am right and you are wrong. I am just saying that I haven’t seen any data. “Commuters” on scooters may not always be replacing Ubers. They may also replacing our own two feet: people who would otherwise walk. They may also be replacing ridership on the RLine, which continues to make its loop regardless of scooter ridership.


Okay…this kills me.
From the WRAL website today, this quote:

“One of our community values is getting people on bikes and walking. I am just really frustrated about where the conversation is going, instead of embracing the new technology and being the city we want to be,” said City Councilwoman Nicole Stewart.

So, somebody please tell me how riding a motorized scooter promotes getting people on bikes and walking? :thinking: