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samagon

Electric Scooters Sharing

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Everyone's probably read about them, and has an opinion (informed or otherwise).

 

I just read a really interesting article on the subject:

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/27/17676670/electric-scooter-rental-bird-lime-skip-spin-cities

 

The closest place that I know has them is San Antonio. 

 

So when will Houston start seeing these electric scooter share companies roaming the various sidewalks, roads, etc?

 

I would love to see the companies play smart and work with public transportation, convenience stores, or grocery stores (or any other business) and set up 'scooter zones' that would be designated areas that offer a discount to riders if they park there, so they take up less space in areas they aren't wanted.

 

Anyway, I'm ready for them to get here.

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3 hours ago, samagon said:

Everyone's probably read about them, and has an opinion (informed or otherwise).

 

I just read a really interesting article on the subject:

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/27/17676670/electric-scooter-rental-bird-lime-skip-spin-cities

 

The closest place that I know has them is San Antonio. 

 

So when will Houston start seeing these electric scooter share companies roaming the various sidewalks, roads, etc?

 

I would love to see the companies play smart and work with public transportation, convenience stores, or grocery stores (or any other business) and set up 'scooter zones' that would be designated areas that offer a discount to riders if they park there, so they take up less space in areas they aren't wanted.

 

Anyway, I'm ready for them to get here.

 

While I appreciated the Vox article and video that I saw. I'm surprised at the lack of self-awareness that these kinds of groups have. For the past decade they have been advocating for more people using bikes and other forms of transit and then the market immediately finds an opportunity and fills that gap and then all the sudden its an issue and it seems to want to control the market. It just comes off as dense. A prime example of be careful what you wish for.

 

I agree with you though. A middle ground would be to provide more bike racks or zones for parking these things, but I'm honestly fine with the more chaotic nature as it currently exist. The mere fact that these things are just sitting anywhere on the street brings a bigger bike presence that just wasn't there before. Its almost a necessary evil to get to the point where we would like to get to which is people riding more bikes in more situations.

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8 hours ago, samagon said:

 

 

The closest place that I know has them is San Antonio. 

 

 

 

I saw some in Austin over the weekend.

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I saw 2 or 3 people on these around Downtown / East Downtown a week or two ago.  I have a good friend in D.C. who said they are everywhere up there. 

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Evidently, the city had an RFP process this summer for dockless bike share and will act sometime this fall?

 

Hopefully, scooters will be included! I saw that they are banned from Buffalo Bayou Park via city ordinance :(

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Spent the weekend in Austin, which has these everywhere downtown. I was skeptical of them at first, but boy we enjoyed getting around on them.

 

Having these in Houston would do wonders to connect the sprawling entertainment zones. Downtown, Discovery Green, Midtown, Eado, and Washington Ave would be SO much easier to travel between and would make the ITL experience so much more enjoyable for visitors. 

 

These could even work in the Museum District, Montrose, The Heights, Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, Highland Village and Post Oak/Galleria. 

Edited by LBC2HTX

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I was in Austin this weekend as well, but didn't get to try them out. I was surprised that the ones I did see that were parked, were all parked in good spots. Maybe scooterpocalypse is overblown? 

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I went to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill this past weekend.   Got a chance to experience using dockless bikes and scooters.  Didn't witness any obnoxious parking and it was super convenient.  I was somewhat concerned about bringing them to Houston but after this visit I say bring it on.

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There will always be a few a-holes that will ruin it for the rest of us but all-in-all people are pretty responsible and considerate. The benefits outweigh the small nuisances.

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We tried Lime and Bird scooters this past week in San Diego and loved them! It was a great way to get around. I really wish they would come to Houston!

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On 8/27/2018 at 3:04 PM, Luminare said:

 

While I appreciated the Vox article and video that I saw. I'm surprised at the lack of self-awareness that these kinds of groups have. For the past decade they have been advocating for more people using bikes and other forms of transit and then the market immediately finds an opportunity and fills that gap and then all the sudden its an issue and it seems to want to control the market. It just comes off as dense. A prime example of be careful what you wish for.

 

I agree with you though. A middle ground would be to provide more bike racks or zones for parking these things, but I'm honestly fine with the more chaotic nature as it currently exist. The mere fact that these things are just sitting anywhere on the street brings a bigger bike presence that just wasn't there before. Its almost a necessary evil to get to the point where we would like to get to which is people riding more bikes in more situations.

 

I'm a fan of scooters for the last mile transit problem, in fact, I use one myself, though a human-powered Razor A5 Lux, not an e-scooter, to get me to and from the bus stop, so that I can leave my car at home on nice days. I don't think, however, we should so quickly pooh-pooh peoples' concerns about e-scooter apps. I was in San Francisco a while back, and I saw the problem with these scooters littering sidewalks, I saw how they caused congestion and slowdown on the sidewalks of both pedestrian and wheeled traffic. That's not increasing mobility, that's reducing it. And some of these scooters get up to nearly 30 miles an hour. That's way too fast to be safe on sidewalks, especially with an inexperienced rider who just downloaded an app, but these things aren't great sharing the road with cars, either, where they can't necessarily keep up with the flow of traffic so can slow it down, and are low visibility, easy for a motorist to miss. And the problem is the very nature of the app business model is going to lean away from encouraging people to be courteous in their use of these things. When riders have no more commitment to the piece of hardware they're riding than the few minutes they are on it, and don't really care what happens to it when they stop riding it, a significant portion are going to just leave them anywhere, without any concern for whether it inconveniences or even injures someone. Unfortunately, there are just a lot of inconsiderate a-holes in this world. And this model also encourages a lot more casual, occasional, unskilled riders than people owning their own scooters would, which is going to put them and the pedestrians around them at greater risk.

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2 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

 

And this model also encourages a lot more casual, occasional, unskilled riders than people owning their own scooters would, which is going to put them and the pedestrians around them at greater risk.

 

This, I think, is a short term problem. As people become more accustomed to the scooters and find out what their limits are (not just the limits of the devices, but the operator will have their limits too), the incidents of stupidity will go down. 

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I've been in LA for work for two months now and I have grown to hate these things. People leave them everywhere and the company (BIRD) is pretty lax with retrieval. For every responsible rider who is considerate of others there appears to be 10 others who are idiotic and selfish and another 10 who are completely clueless (usually tourists in Hollywood). I'm surprised there aren't more really bad accidents as I've seen folks fall of the devices and into coming traffic. Yesterday, I saw a guy going about 30 on the sidewalk (illegally) while filming himself flying down Gowen. Walkers were diving out of the way. Not a fan. 

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Its illegal to ride them on the sidewalk, and they max out at 17 mph. Shouldnt be much different than a bike. 

 

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Except there is a sociological aspect to e-scooters there isn't with a bike. First, everyone is familiar with a bike, but there is a novelty aspect to scooters, and again, up until now at least, virtually 100% of the bikes on the streets have been ridden by people who owned them. That's limited the shear numbers of bikes and their impact on pedestrians, in a way that having fleets of scooters around for anyone to use already has. Also, bike owners have more invested in the bike, aren't just going to leave it anywhere when they stop riding it. Also as regular riders, they're more likely to comply with the laws. Furthermore, besides being illegal, trying to ride a big bulky bike on an even partially crowded city sidewalk is an exercise in frustration, which naturally deters people from trying to get away with it. Not so with scooters, which are much easier to zip through a crowd on. You simply can't say "well bikes haven't been a problem before, so fleets of rentable e-scooters lying around won't be either." It's apples and oranges.

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Scooters are illegal on the sidewalks here in LA too but it doesn't mean I'm not having to dodge them or risk having my dog run over daily. You'd be a fool to ride those things in traffic. 

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1 hour ago, terra002 said:

Going to have to disagree with you on almost everything you said. 

Okay...

 

Usually if someone disagrees with someone else, they give cogent reasons why.

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On 1/3/2019 at 11:04 AM, Reefmonkey said:

Except there is a sociological aspect to e-scooters there isn't with a bike. First, everyone is familiar with a bike, but there is a novelty aspect to scooters, and again, up until now at least, virtually 100% of the bikes on the streets have been ridden by people who owned them. That's limited the shear numbers of bikes and their impact on pedestrians, in a way that having fleets of scooters around for anyone to use already has. Also, bike owners have more invested in the bike, aren't just going to leave it anywhere when they stop riding it. Also as regular riders, they're more likely to comply with the laws. Furthermore, besides being illegal, trying to ride a big bulky bike on an even partially crowded city sidewalk is an exercise in frustration, which naturally deters people from trying to get away with it. Not so with scooters, which are much easier to zip through a crowd on. You simply can't say "well bikes haven't been a problem before, so fleets of rentable e-scooters lying around won't be either." It's apples and oranges.

 

 - The novelty of scooters is a short term issue and has no real bearing on the long term outlook. 

 - There are docked bike rentals, and have been for a while. Depending on the location they are in far greater use than personal bikes.

 - Sheer. Shear is what you do to sheep.

 - Leaving rental scooters (as well as dockless bikes) anywhere is a short term problem that companies will overcome quickly by introducing policies that encourage (either with stick, or carrot) riders to put the conveyance (scooter or otherwise) in an appropriate location upon completion of use.

 - This too, I believe, is going to be a short term thing. Education on where they should/can be ridden isn't out there at all. If you asked 15 people, you'd get 15 different answers. and likely, if you asked 15 cops, there'd be a level of confusion there as well.

 

Aside from misused homonyms, most of the issues you have don't appear to be long term things, or will be things that can be fixed simply, either through company policy, or public education. 

 

so it would seem that if these are the only problems you have then give patience a chance, these things will sort themselves out.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

 - The novelty of scooters is a short term issue and has no real bearing on the long term outlook. 

 - There are docked bike rentals, and have been for a while. Depending on the location they are in far greater use than personal bikes.

 - Sheer. Shear is what you do to sheep.

 - Leaving rental scooters (as well as dockless bikes) anywhere is a short term problem that companies will overcome quickly by introducing policies that encourage (either with stick, or carrot) riders to put the conveyance (scooter or otherwise) in an appropriate location upon completion of use.

 - This too, I believe, is going to be a short term thing. Education on where they should/can be ridden isn't out there at all. If you asked 15 people, you'd get 15 different answers. and likely, if you asked 15 cops, there'd be a level of confusion there as well.

 

Aside from misused homonyms, most of the issues you have don't appear to be long term things, or will be things that can be fixed simply, either through company policy, or public education. 

 

so it would seem that if these are the only problems you have then give patience a chance, these things will sort themselves out.

 

The novelty of scooters means there is a distinct likelihood that they will have the staying power of Pokemon Go, or of Segways as the great mass mobility solution. But the problems they cause are here now. Your overall answer of "oh, things will work themselves out eventually" is not a legitimate public safety policy, and if (when) this fad fizzles out, there needs to be a discussion about how to manage the next "disruptive" business model that will appropriate public right-of-ways for the storage of their fleets/inventories.

 

Again, docked bikes are not scooters, they are not as likely to be used on sidewalks for the reasons I have already stated, and a bicycle requires a fairly long training period before someone learns to ride it proficiently, so no adult is going to just hop on a bike when they've never learned to ride before and immediately start riding it around a crowded city, and the fact that they have to be redocked to stop the meter from running up your credit card means they end up in designated locations and not littering sidewalks. You also overstate the numbers of docked bikes, or bikes from bike share programs in general, these programs have been hit or miss, and many large cities have been doing away with bike share programs that were never very successful (Seattle, Baltimore, eg).

 

The fact that scooters are too fast and dangerous for sidewalks but too slow and vulnerable for streets is not going to go away, and putting more and more of them out for use is only going to compound the problem.

 

Oh, and by the way, if you're going to be the kind of person who pedantically harps on single-letter typos to try to score cheap points in an internet discussion, better make sure you don't make any of your own from now on. The first letter of a sentence is capitalized, unless you're ee cummings, but you're not.

 

1 hour ago, samagon said:

 

so it would seem that if these are the only problems you have then give patience a chance, these things will sort themselves out.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Re: that Galveston electric scooter sharing article.

 

"People already treat the beaches bad enough, so seeing scooters lying around the streets would not be good either," Galveston resident Michael Ford said.

 

"It's using public property to store your private property to showcase your private property," O'Neal said. "It's irresponsible, and its unsustainable."

 

Nice to know that he's so progressive he is against parking cars on public streets. Should make it much safer to bike.

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On 1/8/2019 at 2:17 PM, Reefmonkey said:

The fact that scooters are too fast and dangerous for sidewalks but too slow and vulnerable for streets is not going to go away, and putting more and more of them out for use is only going to compound the problem.

So, just like a bike...

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4 minutes ago, terra002 said:

So, just like a bike...

 

I would try to explain explain it to you again, but that's obviously futile, you can believe what you want to believe, I'm out.

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On 1/8/2019 at 4:27 PM, wilcal said:

Re: that Galveston electric scooter sharing article.

 

"People already treat the beaches bad enough, so seeing scooters lying around the streets would not be good either," Galveston resident Michael Ford said.

 

"It's using public property to store your private property to showcase your private property," O'Neal said. "It's irresponsible, and its unsustainable."

 

Nice to know that he's so progressive he is against parking cars on public streets. Should make it much safer to bike.

 

I think a more apt comparison is not to cars legally parked in designated parking areas, but to people setting up "shop" on sidewalks, spreading out their merchandise they are trying to sell, so you have to walk around them, creating bottlenecks, etc., for that's what these dockless scooter services are, private companies using the public space to run their business, leaving their equipment out for people to have to step around. In places where sidewalk vending is legal, it is usually regulated, with the city approving locations people can set up their business, so that people don't set them up in places that cause foot traffic congestion problems and/or safety concerns. When a dockless scooter company's customers can just leave scooters just anyone they want, that kind of sensible regulation can't happen.

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For those that are against scooters under what legal/technical frame work would you allow them?  The parking could possibly be handled by geofencing parking areas that are determined by the built in GPS.  You could encourage users to park in these areas by a implementing a "good neighbor" refund or ride bonus.  As for riding on sidewalks,  I see people ride bikes on the sidewalks all the time.   Maybe slow down traffic speeds through road design and have bike/scooter lanes in areas that people travel.  I'm not sure what the right answers are but scooters/dockless bikes fill a niche for people that would probably take an Uber for short range trips.

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27 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

The parking could possibly be handled by geofencing parking areas that are determined by the built in GPS. 

 

I don't think commercial/consumer GPS is good enough for that. Some cities have introduced specific parking areas for scooters on the sidewalk or in on-street parking spots and I don't think GPS resolution is good enough to determine if you parked on one part of the sidewalk.

 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

I don't think commercial/consumer GPS is good enough for that. Some cities have introduced specific parking areas for scooters on the sidewalk or in on-street parking spots and I don't think GPS resolution is good enough to determine if you parked on one part of the sidewalk.

 

Yeah you're right about the resolution for GPS...maybe BLE or something similar.  

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On 1/11/2019 at 2:24 PM, BeerNut said:

For those that are against scooters under what legal/technical frame work would you allow them?  The parking could possibly be handled by geofencing parking areas that are determined by the built in GPS.  You could encourage users to park in these areas by a implementing a "good neighbor" refund or ride bonus.  As for riding on sidewalks,  I see people ride bikes on the sidewalks all the time.   Maybe slow down traffic speeds through road design and have bike/scooter lanes in areas that people travel.  I'm not sure what the right answers are but scooters/dockless bikes fill a niche for people that would probably take an Uber for short range trips.

That all sounds pretty reasonable.  If the gps resolution is a problem, then I guess the cities are going to have to get tougher, have their parking enforcement officers collect any scooters that are left out irresponsibly, and let the companies know they have them, fine them for every day they hold one, and at the end of 30 days they get auctioned off.  Then the companies could start charging their users a surcharge equivalent to the cost of the fine if the last user left one somewhere it got picked up. That would encourage more responsible parking. The companies would need to require that only permanent credit cards or debit cards linked to a bank account be used when registering, no prepaid cards, because from what I read, that is already causing a problem and would be a way for people to dodge the fines. 

 

E-scooter aps or no, all cities need more and better protected bike lanes, and that would be the only place that these would be appropriate to ride. These devices should have highly visible (maybe even RFID) identification for each unit, so if a cop sees someone on the sidewalk on one and can’t take the time to stop him, can report it, the company gets a fine, which it passes on to the renter just like if you get a parking ticket in a rental car. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 2:17 PM, Reefmonkey said:

 

The novelty of scooters means there is a distinct likelihood that they will have the staying power of Pokemon Go, or of Segways as the great mass mobility solution. But the problems they cause are here now. Your overall answer of "oh, things will work themselves out eventually" is not a legitimate public safety policy, and if (when) this fad fizzles out, there needs to be a discussion about how to manage the next "disruptive" business model that will appropriate public right-of-ways for the storage of their fleets/inventories.

 

Again, docked bikes are not scooters, they are not as likely to be used on sidewalks for the reasons I have already stated, and a bicycle requires a fairly long training period before someone learns to ride it proficiently, so no adult is going to just hop on a bike when they've never learned to ride before and immediately start riding it around a crowded city, and the fact that they have to be redocked to stop the meter from running up your credit card means they end up in designated locations and not littering sidewalks. You also overstate the numbers of docked bikes, or bikes from bike share programs in general, these programs have been hit or miss, and many large cities have been doing away with bike share programs that were never very successful (Seattle, Baltimore, eg).

 

The fact that scooters are too fast and dangerous for sidewalks but too slow and vulnerable for streets is not going to go away, and putting more and more of them out for use is only going to compound the problem.

 

Oh, and by the way, if you're going to be the kind of person who pedantically harps on single-letter typos to try to score cheap points in an internet discussion, better make sure you don't make any of your own from now on. The first letter of a sentence is capitalized, unless you're ee cummings, but you're not.

 

 

you know cars were a novelty once, as were escalators, as were lights, as were a lot of things that we all take for granted. I think you are confusing novelty and fad. a fad is something like Furbies. a novelty is something that is new and shiny, but that shininess wears off after you've done it once or twice, and they become more common. besides, if they are only a fad, and will be gone soon, then why are we even worrying about whether laws are made or not? if would be an irresponsible waste of taxpayer money to make a law for something that will be a flash in the pan.

 

there are two kinds of bike rentals. docked and dockless. Houston operates docked bikes. there are also dockless varieties of bikes. your assumption that people don't ride bikes on sidewalks is not accurate. other cities have dockless bikes, and they are left all over hells half acre as well. Houston seems to be expanding their network of bikeshare. 

 

using the wrong homonym is not a typo. your proper (or improper) use of vocabulary words only reflects upon you. I wasn't pedantically harping, just pointing out the correct word to use so you could potentially grow. your correct response would be to note the mistake and try not to make it again. getting defensive only shows that you aren't going to learn from your mistake and it's a waste on my part to have even pointed it out.

 

I was told once by someone that spent a lot of time studying the English language (and sorry, I respect them more than I do you, specifically regarding the English language) that being consistent is far more important that following formatting rules. if someone writes with the same formatting throughout their entire submission, while it may be jarring at first, it becomes expected. you go from having one or two mistakes, to that being a signature, so to speak.

 

vocabulary and grammar have little to do with e-scooters.

 

I do like some of the thoughts you posted about how to enforce rules around scooters. one glaring problem is if someone parks the scooter correctly, then some angry scooter hater gets all crazy and starts moving scooters that are stationed correctly into the wrong place, then the last rider will be punished unfairly. the answer there is one I think that is already in place by a lot of scooter shares. take a picture of the scooter inside the app after you park it to show you have placed it correctly. those users get a discount on their next ride. I think I remember that being how it went.

 

I also absolutely love the idea about having these things share bike lanes. we need more bike lanes though.

Edited by samagon

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3 hours ago, samagon said:

 

you know cars were a novelty once, as were escalators, as were lights, as were a lot of things that we all take for granted. I think you are confusing novelty and fad. a fad is something like Furbies. a novelty is something that is new and shiny, but that shininess wears off after you've done it once or twice, and they become more common. besides, if they are only a fad, and will be gone soon, then why are we even worrying about whether laws are made or not? if would be an irresponsible waste of taxpayer money to make a law for something that will be a flash in the pan.

 

there are two kinds of bike rentals. docked and dockless. Houston operates docked bikes. there are also dockless varieties of bikes. your assumption that people don't ride bikes on sidewalks is not accurate. other cities have dockless bikes, and they are left all over hells half acre as well. Houston seems to be expanding their network of bikeshare. 

 

using the wrong homonym is not a typo. your proper (or improper) use of vocabulary words only reflects upon you. I wasn't pedantically harping, just pointing out the correct word to use so you could potentially grow. your correct response would be to note the mistake and try not to make it again. getting defensive only shows that you aren't going to learn from your mistake and it's a waste on my part to have even pointed it out.

 

I was told once by someone that spent a lot of time studying the English language (and sorry, I respect them more than I do you, specifically regarding the English language) that being consistent is far more important that following formatting rules. if someone writes with the same formatting throughout their entire submission, while it may be jarring at first, it becomes expected. you go from having one or two mistakes, to that being a signature, so to speak.

 

vocabulary and grammar have little to do with e-scooters.

 

I do like some of the thoughts you posted about how to enforce rules around scooters. one glaring problem is if someone parks the scooter correctly, then some angry scooter hater gets all crazy and starts moving scooters that are stationed correctly into the wrong place, then the last rider will be punished unfairly. the answer there is one I think that is already in place by a lot of scooter shares. take a picture of the scooter inside the app after you park it to show you have placed it correctly. those users get a discount on their next ride. I think I remember that being how it went.

 

I also absolutely love the idea about having these things share bike lanes. we need more bike lanes though. 

Yes, I do know that cars were once a novelty, and the introduction of the car had a lot of growing pains as people struggled to figure out how best to incorporate them into society through regulation, etc. Since then we’ve learned from experience that new technologies and paradigms that may impact public safety should be rolled out slowly, with proper oversight. Unfortunately, though, Silicon Valley is a perpetual adolescent, quite often seemingly ignorant of painful past experience, apparently thinking AirBnB was the first to ever think of unlicensed boarding houses, Uber to “invent” the unlicensed gypsy cab.

 

Back to when cars were first a novelty, it actually looked for a while that electric cars would win out over internal combustion. But they, along with the Stanley Steamer car, did not prevail. For electric cars, the infrastructure and technology had not kept pace with the promise, and the idea was effectively shelved for 100 years, and now its time has come. My read is that infrastructure and technology has not yet caught up to dockless e-scooter apps as a practical last-mile solution on a mass scale. In this case, it is not electrical infrastructure or battery technology, but city infrastructure. American cities have been built around the automobile for the past 90 years, making them an unfriendly place for smaller, slower, more vulnerable wheeled transportation, and the technology seems not yet ready for efficient distribution of scooters to where they are needed and to keep them from underfoot. Their moment has probably not yet come.  And you are right that it wouldn’t make sense to make new laws for something that may be a flash in the pan, but we don’t have to make new laws, do we? There are laws against blocking and littering public sidewalks. There are laws requiring businesses that operate in public areas to get permission from local authorities, which indicate that the authorities have the power to review and require certain conditions, even deny activities.

 

I’m a part of the riding community here in Houston, and I say you a vastly exaggerating the number of bicycles ridden on crowded sidewalks, and from my observations of e-scooters in San Francisco, they were being ridden on crowded sidewalks far, far more commonly than bikes.

 

While you continue to double-down on making yourself look like a prat with your self-important pedantry over “shear” vs “sheer,” I’m just going to put this out here.

 

 

https://www.sciencealert.com/people-who-pick-up-grammar-mistakes-jerks-scientists-find

“People Who Constantly Point Out Grammar Mistakes Are Pretty Much Jerks, Scientists Find”

As if we needed science to tell us that.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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12 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

Yes, I do know that cars were once a novelty, and the introduction of the car had a lot of growing pains as people struggled to figure out how best to incorporate them into society through regulation, etc. Since then we’ve learned from experience that new technologies and paradigms that may impact public safety should be rolled out slowly, with proper oversight. Unfortunately, though, Silicon Valley is a perpetual adolescent, quite often seemingly ignorant of painful past experience, apparently thinking AirBnB was the first to ever think of unlicensed boarding houses, Uber to “invent” the unlicensed gypsy cab.

 

Back to when cars were first a novelty, it actually looked for a while that electric cars would win out over internal combustion. But they, along with the Stanley Steamer car, did not prevail. For electric cars, the infrastructure and technology had not kept pace with the promise, and the idea was effectively shelved for 100 years, and now its time has come. My read is that infrastructure and technology has not yet caught up to dockless e-scooter apps as a practical last-mile solution on a mass scale. In this case, it is not electrical infrastructure or battery technology, but city infrastructure. American cities have been built around the automobile for the past 90 years, making them an unfriendly place for smaller, slower, more vulnerable wheeled transportation, and the technology seems not yet ready for efficient distribution of scooters to where they are needed and to keep them from underfoot. Their moment has probably not yet come.  And you are right that it wouldn’t make sense to make new laws for something that may be a flash in the pan, but we don’t have to make new laws, do we? There are laws against blocking and littering public sidewalks. There are laws requiring businesses that operate in public areas to get permission from local authorities, which indicate that the authorities have the power to review and require certain conditions, even deny activities.

 

I’m a part of the riding community here in Houston, and I say you a vastly exaggerating the number of bicycles ridden on crowded sidewalks, and from my observations of e-scooters in San Francisco, they were being ridden on crowded sidewalks far, far more commonly than bikes.

 

While you continue to double-down on making yourself look like a prat with your self-important pedantry over “shear” vs “sheer,” I’m just going to put this out here.

 

 

https://www.sciencealert.com/people-who-pick-up-grammar-mistakes-jerks-scientists-find

“People Who Constantly Point Out Grammar Mistakes Are Pretty Much Jerks, Scientists Find”

As if we needed science to tell us that.

 

neither AirBnB, nor Uber were inventions, they were a melding of two technologies in a way that hadn't been done previously. in business, a good business plan is not usually a single invention, it's usually when someone takes two good inventions and marries them. in the case of Uber I can say without a doubt the marrying of the smartphone with ride hailing is amazing. it is without a doubt a better solution than the cab. I can call for a cab, and then after call for an Uber. I will already be at my destination by the time the cab gets to my pickup location, and to add egg to the face of the cab solution, Uber is cheaper. it is a better solution. 

 

I have a friend that owns an electric car. I ran into him on Saturday as he was wandering the halls of Ikea aimlessly. I was there to find a cheap rug. he was there because his car didn't have enough juice to get him home and he had to 'refuel'. wasting an hour aimlessly wandering the halls of Ikea specifically because I need to refuel is not my idea of infrastructure being ready. anecdotal story, I know, but it is accurate. as I mentioned, many companies are starting to enact rules around how people leave scooters when they end their ride. so the solutions are coming without legislation. they are evolving into a good neighbor without every city they are in needing legislation.

 

when you started riding your bike, I'm sure you fell, that's part of growing. these companies go live with what they think is a good solution, it is a good solution. then as they are used in ways no one imagined they'd be used, new parameters are added to the solution to make it better. it's how all things work.

 

while there are a lot of people who do interchange the word grammar and vocabulary, they are not the same thing. http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-grammar-and-vocabulary

 

I pointed out a vocabulary mistake. I did not point out a grammar mistake. you're the only one who has pointed out a grammar mistake. you've called me a pedant. you've attempted to call me a jerk, the keyword in that link you provided was "consistently" so I think we're both in the clear. perhaps now, before you call me other names, you can agree it's time to just drop it and move on? if it helps, I'm terribly sorry I pointed out your vocabulary mistake.

Edited by samagon

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I’m happy to drop it, just so we’re clear that there would be nothing to drop if you hadn’t made an issue out of something so inconsequential to score cheap points in the first place. 

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Based on my experience (in a large S. American city):

 

  • They are really fun, especially on a bike path. 
  • They are expensive on a per-mile basis. For the price of a subway ticket, which will get you all the way across the city, you can go maybe a mile on a scooter. For two people, an Uber is often cheaper.
  • They're essentially un-usable on a crowded sidewalk. They top out at 20 kph (~12 mph), which is still 3X faster than walking pace, and, while not as bad as a bicycle on the sidewalk, they're a lot less maneuverable than a pedestrian.
  • People DO use them on less crowded sidewalks, especially wider (>12 ft) ones, because it takes a lot of courage to compete with cars and buses for street space
  • IF these become popular, cities will need to reconfigure rights of way, converting one lane of car traffic to cycles/scooters. Above a certain population density, the net result may actually DECREASE congestion (on streets that aren't thru-arterials), since scooters and bikes are far more space-efficient at moving people. If there is more space to ride these safely, a lot more people will use them.

 

If cities want space-efficient transportation (and, above a certain population density, car-based transportation becomes untenable) these are a good bridge between what you can reasonably expect people to walk (half a mile or so) and mass transit. These scooters are reasonably for trips up to a mile or two, and e-assist bikes are comfortable for 2-3X that, but adoption will depend on high-comfort infrastructure.

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I just spent a week in Oakland where my brother recently moved from SF. He's within a mile of a BART station and the 'last mile' scooters were everywhere. I never used them as I had my young ones with me and we just walked everywhere we needed to go. I honestly didn't run in to riders much, but the littered scooters were somewhat annoying especially when they were left on sidewalks and I was trying to walk by with my stroller, and ended up on the street to get around them. From a quick external view, they seemed enjoyable, somewhat annoying, and not cost effective (for the company that gathers them up and recharges them and the users). In Houston, I am guessing they would be less enjoyable, more annoying, and less cost effective.

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Lime making a presentation at the bike summit this weekend as well...

 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

Lime making a presentation at the bike summit this weekend as well...

 

That is awesome! are they fully launching in Houston? 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, urbanize713 said:

That is awesome! are they fully launching in Houston? 

 

No idea, but I would assume we are heading that direction. I'll bet some info is out by the end of the week.

 

11 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

brace-yourselves-scooter-kids-are-coming

 

Hahaha. Fortunately, I think plan is to limit rentals to 16+

 

Also, I actually already asked the BBP Twitter account if they are planning on changing their ban on all scooters (motorized or not) and they replied and said that they were aware scooters were possibly coming and they had talked about it, then deleted that tweet, and replied again and said that the city would be implementing rules for the scooters. No reply to followup question about them currently having stricter rules than the city. 

 

 

Edited by wilcal

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1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

https://buffalobayou.org/visit/destination/buffalo-bayou-park/

Rules and Regulations

  • Scooters and skateboards are prohibited.
  • Motorized vehicles prohibited off roadways & beyond parking areas.

 

Violating city regulations for scooters on a trail as their very first activity in our city - kinda sends a message about what their attitude is going to be vis a vis respecting and working with city authority, and pretty typical for these "disruptive app" companies.

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Posted (edited)

Scooters are a pain in the ass, but one positive aspect is that they encourage people to be on the streets and to engage more with their city. In Austin, and in Corpus Christi, I've noticed so many more people exploring the city-scape and all of it's hidden streets and buildings. That is something I've always wanted in Houston. I think one of the larger challenges that Lime, Bird etc. will face in Houston is vandalization/theft of their scooters.

Edited by HoustonBoy
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5 hours ago, BeerNut said:

@HoustonBoy Interacting with the street-scape is great for GFR.

Exactly! It really does help connect people to their city.

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Anyone talk to the Lime rep(s) at the Houston Bike Summit this weekend? Evidently they were showing off their newest scooter with 10" wheels and a front suspension. No official announcement of course or we would have seen it. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2019 at 7:25 PM, wilcal said:

Anyone talk to the Lime rep(s) at the Houston Bike Summit this weekend? Evidently they were showing off their newest scooter with 10" wheels and a front suspension. No official announcement of course or we would have seen it. 

 

Managed to talk to someone who talked to the rep.

 

Lime is just waiting on "the city to get their $!#@ together". Evidently they want  to do painted boxes in the city ROW for scooter parking. 

Edited by wilcal

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On 5/16/2019 at 1:49 PM, Reefmonkey said:

Violating city regulations for scooters on a trail as their very first activity in our city - kinda sends a message about what their attitude is going to be vis a vis respecting and working with city authority, and pretty typical for these "disruptive app" companies.

 

just so I understand clearly, you're holding Lime responsible for how Chris Matthews of Houston Business Journal used one of their scooters when he rented it?

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59 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

just so I understand clearly, you're holding Lime responsible for how Chris Matthews of Houston Business Journal used one of their scooters when he rented it?

 

He reported that the Lime rep rode it from the Galleria area to downtown (on twitter, not in his article) 

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