Dockless Scooters for Raleigh


#43

If you haven’t tried one, you should first. The scooters encourages you to use a bike lane and not a sidewalk. I find it easier to use a street versus a sidewalk cause curb cuts are annoying.

Technically segways are supposed to be used on the sidewalk but since they never took off, I feel like people just don’t care enough.

I know, I know. There’s what you SHOULD do and then there’s what people ARE doing. I see bikes on sidewalks all the time. Their fault? I say no cause the space for them (the street) is not inviting enough.

I think the same can be said for scooters. If we see them all over downtown sidewalks then it really says something about our streets.


#44

No one is stopping you from walking. It’s about having options. Not everyone wants to or is able to walk like that. If it’s raining, hot, cold, etc. a faster option is helpful. Not to mention people with mobility restrictions that could still take advantage of this. It should help take cars off the road if people don’t have to drive to each destination


#45

Anyone know when the West St. Cycle Track will begin? Or has it already and I haven’t seen it?

I think this would be great for the new scooters… you can go from Cardinal, Publix, etc… straight down to the warehouse district in no time!

I love the new scooters… I just wish we had actual designated lanes for them. I personally think our current bike lanes are pretty bad.

https://www.raleighnc.gov/business/content/PublicWorks/Articles/WestStreetCycleTrackPilot.html


#46

Honestly, do you really think that a scooter will be used by someone with mobility issues? I would think that it would terrify someone like that. Scooters, while motorized, require a certain level of coordination because you are standing and balancing yourself.
I’d love to see the age and fitness demographic of people who actually use them. My guess is young and healthy.


#47

Bike lanes will be key to these being successful. On roads with dedicated bike lanes, it was great. On roads with sharrows, less so. And sidewalks, awful (turns out our sidewalks are kinda garbage, extremely bumpy and uneven, I never notice when on foot). Interesting article about scooter taxes in Portland:
http://www.sightline.org/2018/07/11/portlands-scooter-tax-is-super-high-and-thats-fine/

dl;tr: allow scooters (maybe with limits on quantity) and tax them, use those funds for bike lanes, etc.


#48

So you can’t skateboard on the sidewalks but it’s ok to ride a motorized scooter on the sidewalks?


#49

I don’t think it’s allowed, it’s just what happens.


#50

Is skateboarding really not allowed on sidewalks? Cycling is even allowed on the sidewalks.


#51

My entire life it’s been targeted by cops. Skating in NC since the 80’s. 100’s of times been hassled by cops just pushing down the street or sidewalk. Every skateboarder is used to it.


#52

Charging Birds in the beginning of a city’s roll out is very profitable. Best to sign up now while it’s new. Once the market is saturated with chargers make the switch to a Bird Mechanic.

Learn more about the growing Bird community and join the discussion at https://www.birdforum.co


#53

I hurt my foot running a few weeks back. Simple things like walking around downtown became an issue for me. I’d have loved a scooter!


#54

I’m gonna put on my old man hat for a minute (I’m only 35 tho…)

I see skateboarders downtown periodically, and all theyre doing is pretending to be tony hawk, ruining public stone surfaces, and nearly knocking people over. It’s like the opposite of every cyclist. If you just ride a skateboard for transit, good job. I couldn’t care less where u ride.

Also, walkers on sidewalks are oblivious. If I’m running or even walking quickly, you see people slowly walking 4 abreast with no clue about anyone around. I’d be happy if a scooter, cyclist, or skateboarder bumped into them. Wake up! :smiley:


#55

Not every skateboarder does that and you need to spend more time downtown watching ppl on bikes. I see ppl on bikes run stop signs, red lights all the time while simultaneously bitching at drivers about right-of-way. You can’t bitch at drivers about “bike laws” while riding thru a red light just because you are on a bike.


#56

Sorry for the late reply. I actually took myself out of this conversation on purpose.
In any case, cities across the country are beginning to “react” to these shared dockless options in various ways, including exploring regulations that would, in effect, kill the very nature of them being dockless. Here’s one such story. https://www.curbed.com/2018/6/13/17456664/uber-lyft-curb-scooters-bikeshare
I think the challenge with these systems stems from a naive presumption that people will be polite and behave a civil and respectful manner when using them and leaving them for the next person to use.
The very first dockless bike that I ever saw in Miami was leaning on a tree among bushes off the side of a parking lot of a restaurant in Key Biscayne, FL. I only saw it because I had stopped for lunch with a friend after we were, coincidentally, cycling.
Cities are waking up to the reality that these bikes (and now scooters) are left everywhere including in front of handicap ramps, sidewalks, and other planned and ordered infrastructure.
Unfortunately these dockless systems rely on the respectfulness of its users, and an understanding that the collective good needs consideration over our own selfishness. The sad truth is that does not align with our cultural reality. We don’t live in a culture where all people will stand patiently at a cross walk, and wait for a light to turn red before crossing a non-busy street like they do in Germany. We don’t live in a highly ordered society like Finland where the collective culture knows that it’s rude to be loud on public transit. We don’t live in a culture where everyone will throw their garbage or recyclables into the proper can. We also don’t have a society that has any real consequences for these actions either, and not enough people seem comfortable calling people out on them either for a variety of reasons including their own safety.
So, to make all of these dockless systems work in this sort of environment, cities can do several things: 1) put in more infrastructure to support these new transit options like shared bike lanes , 2) establish and advertise drop off zones for use when finished using them, 3) fine operators whose bikes/scooters are left to block public access facilities, 4) fine users who behave badly (< this will likely never happen).
Operators of systems that dock must work with cities to identify public spaces for their stations; why should alignment with the city be any different for dockless system operators? Are we all allowed to leverage public infrastructure to our hearts content and for our own profit? Is that reasonable to expect?
I suspect that these sorts of systems will become more and more regulated by cities over time as both problems exist for cities, and as operators realize that their investment in their product is damaged or lost. Already in Miami, LimeBike is finding bikes thrown into the bay. If a user finishes her ride and then someone picks up the parked bike afterward and throws it into the bay, who ends up paying for it? How is the asset protected when not in use? The sad truth is that many people can be jerks, and a variety of situations are ripe for someone to vandalize these companies’ assets.
As for operators, I can easily imagine them having to employ more people in the future to respond to cities’ demands. This will push usage fees up and possibly restrict the inherit flexibility that dockless systems provide. I have to wonder how long this ride (pun intended) can continue?


#57

I agree with your proposed restrictions, though I’m not as concerned about the courtesy/chaos aspect. The same logic about parking and behavior applies to private bikes and cars. Decent regulation coupled with enforcement could result in a flexible, unobtrusive system. agree that adequate infrastructure is the key to success.

I would like to avoid outright bans or arbitrary caps on deployment numbers.


#58

One need not look far to see how cities are handling the plus and minuses of scooters- it’s actually great to see these experiments start months earlier here and observe. I now live in SF and after the escooters launched with no regulations there was an immediate recognition that some rules were necessary. Among them is people riding them 15mph on the sidewalk- not exactly safe for pedestrians and also leaving the scooters (same thing happens with the bikes) anywhere you want - so you could walk out to a pile of them (in theory) in front of your house and they could be there for a while if demand/location doesn’t fix that problem. These problems were large enough for the city to step in and they are now working on some policies so stay tuned! Not saying they will come up with a perfect model/solution but could be helpful before any city gets in too deep and then has to basically tell these companies to stop operating while they figure it out.


#59

To be fair, people lock their bikes to a rack or some other permanent object so that it’s not stolen. We lock our cars for the same reason. Dockless bikes and scooters are locked from usage only, but that doesn’t prevent them from being tossed around.
For docked systems, at least an operator can have targeted camera surveillance if they wanted to monitor them. Short of having cameras everywhere and accessible to anyone, how can dockless assets be protected from abuse?


#60

I see those issues as business questions for Bird, from a public policy standpoint I don’t see it as trouble. If vandalized scooters become an issue from blocking sidewalks, fouling creeks ect, we could address that through through charges to bird to make up for staff time spent cleaning up the mess. Then its up to the company if the business is worth the loss of revenue / capital.


#61

Had to share this, thought it was pretty funny! :smiley:


#62

Lol!! I like the comments too.