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On 5/22/2019 at 4:26 PM, 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?

As wilcal said, the Lime rep rode the scooter from the Galleria area to downtown. Matthews's tweet:

 

" I rode the lone operating Lime scooter in Houston yesterday. Lime scooter rep rode it from the Galleria down the Buffalo Bayou trail to his downtown hotel during rush hour. Would you use these scooters instead of driving your car around Houston? "

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I don't think so, the coverage areas in Austin and Lisbon are huge. What I did like about them was the parking areas were defined - and outright banned in others. Obviously no parking in front of the

Funny, I feel mostly the same way, but with cars.

I'm extremely excited for Lime to come to Houston.   I've ridden these things in Lisbon, Austin, and San Antonio. It will be nice to have in the East End, could ride the light rail and scoot

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3 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I saw this scooter sharing program in Austin this past weekend and that thing is a disaster waiting to happen. I almost hit 3 different people who were swerving through traffic. 

I haven't seen them in practice yet... but curious how are they different from bikes?

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9 minutes ago, brian0123 said:

I haven't seen them in practice yet... but curious how are they different from bikes?

It's not so much the method of transportation as much as how people were carelessly weaving through traffic as if every driver would notice and not hit them. It also seemed like a huge fad but it was interesting to see people use them because you could literally drop it off along the sidewalk and it looked to be an efficient mode of transit for getting across the city quickly. 

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16 hours ago, brian0123 said:

I haven't seen them in practice yet... but curious how are they different from bikes?

 

Scooters are cheaper and lighter, so more can be deployed in a dockless rental type scenario.

 

Additionally, I think the scooters have a lower barrier to entry - you can just step on one and go, while a bike you mount/dismount.  

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biggest difference is you don't get sweaty taking a scooter 1-2 miles.  source: we own both bikes and scooters and our decision on which to take is based almost completely on if we can be sweaty where we're ending up. 

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22 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

It's not so much the method of transportation as much as how people were carelessly weaving through traffic as if every driver would notice and not hit them. It also seemed like a huge fad but it was interesting to see people use them because you could literally drop it off along the sidewalk and it looked to be an efficient mode of transit for getting across the city quickly. 

That was my observation this March when I was up in Austin as well.

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8 hours ago, ADCS said:

I use the scooters at least once a week in Austin, though I prefer the ebikes.

 

Houston BCycle just announced an ebike pilot program for June and July.

 

Only 4 bikes though 😕

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/31/2019 at 4:36 PM, wilcal said:

 

Houston BCycle just announced an ebike pilot program for June and July.

 

Only 4 bikes though 😕

 

 

 

 

BCycle has still not launched their pilot program. They told me that they are putting a more rigorous GPS tracking system on the bikes.

 

2 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Chicago starts its pilot electric scooter program this week. After watching this news story I'm not sure I want them up here.

https://abc7chicago.com/technology/electric-scooter-pilot-program-begins-in-chicago-brings-safety-concerns/5336909/

 

 

More and more I think that the actual end solution will be the sit-down styled electric bikes. 

 

They look like this:

 

Wheels-PR-1-1200x815.jpg

 

They're much more stable/better for older folks/etc. Would love to have them here. 

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yup, electric bike/mopeds are probably the ultimate solution for this kind of mobility.

 

they have bigger wheels, which are better for roads, they offer more possibility for storage, and are more stable.

 

the only drawback is visibility. standing you present a larger profile than sitting, someone in one of those huge trucks everyone drives today might not be able to see someone sitting on a bike (because the top of their head is lower than the hood of the vehicle), where they would see someone standing on a scooter.

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On 1/3/2019 at 10:33 AM, terra002 said:

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

 

 

On 1/3/2019 at 4:14 PM, KinkaidAlum said:

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. 

 

On 1/10/2019 at 1:51 PM, terra002 said:

So, just like a bike...

 

When people have expressed concern about scooters weaving in and out among pedestrians on sidewalks, scooter proponents here have dismissed those concerns by saying they're "just like a bike", because "its illegal to ride them on the sidewalk" (examples above).

 

But is it actually illegal to ride them on the sidewalk? Not according to state law, which allows them to be ridden on sidewalks, unless a municipality deems them unsafe (see the reg below). As far as I can see, the City of Houston has not passed any ordinance to make them illegal on sidewalks. I see Sec. 45-302 prohibits riding bicycles on sidewalks in a business district, and Sec. 45-16 addresses " coasters, toy vehicles or similar vehicles, " on roadways, and 45-502 addresses "minmotorbikes", and 45-18 makes it "unlawful for a minor to operate a neighborhood electric vehicle or a motor assisted scooter on any public roadway, street, alley, sidewalk or city park within the city limits," and there's 32-301 that is specific to Buffalo Bayou Park, I don't see anything anywhere else in the Houston code of ordinances that makes it unlawful for an adult to ride a motorized scooter on a sidewalk.


 

 
Quote

Sec. 551.351. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

 

(1) "Motor-assisted scooter":

(A) means a self-propelled device with:

(i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground during operation;

(ii) a braking system capable of stopping the device under typical operating conditions;

(iii) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;

(iv) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the device; and

(v) the ability to be propelled by human power alone; and

 

(d) A person may operate a motor-assisted scooter on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles or on a sidewalk. Except as otherwise provided by this section, a provision of this title applicable to the operation of a bicycle applies to the operation of a motor-assisted scooter.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

should I find the Eddard Stark "Brace Yourselves" meme and insert "The Scooters are Coming"?

 

also, I have not actually participated in, or been around cities with scooters. I have only ever had the opportunity to read stories on the internet.

 

based on those stories, I am assuming we are going to see the following:

 

twisted bodies tangled with scooter parts strewn about the streets after having fallen off their e-scooters.

e-scooter charging gangs fighting over which scooters they get to charge.

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43 minutes ago, samagon said:

should I find the Eddard Stark "Brace Yourselves" meme and insert "The Scooters are Coming"?

 

also, I have not actually participated in, or been around cities with scooters. I have only ever had the opportunity to read stories on the internet.

 

based on those stories, I am assuming we are going to see the following:

 

twisted bodies tangled with scooter parts strewn about the streets after having fallen off their e-scooters.

e-scooter charging gangs fighting over which scooters they get to charge.

mwtp0.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

I'm extremely excited for Lime to come to Houston.

 

I've ridden these things in Lisbon, Austin, and San Antonio. It will be nice to have in the East End, could ride the light rail and scooter home (rather than the 11 minute walk). Or maybe even lime all the way to the bars and restaurants in EADO on the bike paths/trails.

 

They're really extremely fun and help you explore more. Houston will be perfect with our flat surfaces. Just worry about our potholes more than anything. Scooters on rough roads are teeth rattling. 

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2 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

I'm extremely excited for Lime to come to Houston.

 

I've ridden these things in Lisbon, Austin, and San Antonio. It will be nice to have in the East End, could ride the light rail and scooter home (rather than the 11 minute walk). Or maybe even lime all the way to the bars and restaurants in EADO on the bike paths/trails.

 

They're really extremely fun and help you explore more. Houston will be perfect with our flat surfaces. Just worry about our potholes more than anything. Scooters on rough roads are teeth rattling. 

 

At this point, I don't think that they'll approve them. At least with scooters in the form that they are in now. Lime just had a pretty significant service retraction.

 

They left San Antonio, Atlanta, Phoenix, and more: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/as-lime-leaves-12-markets-a-note-on-scooters/

 

Also, I'm pretty sure the new CoH Sustainability project thing went out of its way to not mention scooters. It said multi-modality transport, but then mentioned bike share and car sharing.

 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

At this point, I don't think that they'll approve them. At least with scooters in the form that they are in now. Lime just had a pretty significant service retraction.

 

They left San Antonio, Atlanta, Phoenix, and more: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/as-lime-leaves-12-markets-a-note-on-scooters/

 

Also, I'm pretty sure the new CoH Sustainability project thing went out of its way to not mention scooters. It said multi-modality transport, but then mentioned bike share and car sharing.

 

Uber and Lyft initially had difficulties getting into our markets, the latter leaving and then returning. 

 

It's a shame they're leaving San Antonio, but apart from zipping around Downtown and King William, there isn't a lot of places to go. Houston already has a lot of bike lane infrastructure/trails and would be a perfect set up for this. San Antonio has little to no set up (in the immediate areas I was in and wanted to go), and required you to ride on the streets with traffic. Lisbon had a ton of bike lanes. Austin also has bike lanes. Super easy to adjust your navigation to the bike setting and scooter away into the sunset.

 

Guess I'll have to look into purchasing one. They're unbelievably fun and can cart my 6'1" 230 lbs self around just fine - even uphill. 

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41 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Uber and Lyft initially had difficulties getting into our markets, the latter leaving and then returning. 

 

It's a shame they're leaving San Antonio, but apart from zipping around Downtown and King William, there isn't a lot of places to go. Houston already has a lot of bike lane infrastructure/trails and would be a perfect set up for this. San Antonio has little to no set up (in the immediate areas I was in and wanted to go), and required you to ride on the streets with traffic. Lisbon had a ton of bike lanes. Austin also has bike lanes. Super easy to adjust your navigation to the bike setting and scooter away into the sunset.

 

Guess I'll have to look into purchasing one. They're unbelievably fun and can cart my 6'1" 230 lbs self around just fine - even uphill. 

 

FWIW, all electric powered vehicles are banned from all trails. Even the electric bcycles have stickers on them saying don't ride them on trails. 

 

I think Houston Parks Board not wanting anything electric (hell, they don't even allow non-electric scooters) is the biggest road block here. Everyone knows that the best place  in Houston to ride these things would be Buffalo Bayou Park. 

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14 hours ago, wilcal said:

 

FWIW, all electric powered vehicles are banned from all trails. Even the electric bcycles have stickers on them saying don't ride them on trails. 

 

I think Houston Parks Board not wanting anything electric (hell, they don't even allow non-electric scooters) is the biggest road block here. Everyone knows that the best place  in Houston to ride these things would be Buffalo Bayou Park. 

Why would they be banned from the trails, it's the best infrastructure for them? The point is to get from A-B, not leisurely ride along the Bayou. These would better serve Downtown, East End, Heights, West End, Montrose, and the Museum District. 

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42 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Why would they be banned from the trails, it's the best infrastructure for them? The point is to get from A-B, not leisurely ride along the Bayou. These would better serve Downtown, East End, Heights, West End, Montrose, and the Museum District. 

 

I think they're banned because of the speeds involved.

 

I think you're right on about these neighborhoods. I wonder if that's also a roadblock for the scooter companies as you would need a bunch of scooters to cover that service area. 

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After visiting Dallas this weekend and seeing these scooters all over the place, I am firmly in the no camp for bringing the scooters to Houston.  They look terrible clogging up corners and walkways and people ride them through traffic like they don't have to follow any of the road laws. I don't think the convenience they bring to getting around outweigh the eyesore and hassle for drivers.

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18 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

After visiting Dallas this weekend and seeing these scooters all over the place, I am firmly in the no camp for bringing the scooters to Houston.  They look terrible clogging up corners and walkways and people ride them through traffic like they don't have to follow any of the road laws. I don't think the convenience they bring to getting around outweigh the eyesore and hassle for drivers.

 

Funny, I feel mostly the same way, but with cars.

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32 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I think they're banned because of the speeds involved.

 

I think you're right on about these neighborhoods. I wonder if that's also a roadblock for the scooter companies as you would need a bunch of scooters to cover that service area. 

I don't think so, the coverage areas in Austin and Lisbon are huge. What I did like about them was the parking areas were defined - and outright banned in others. Obviously no parking in front of the Alamo, Terreiro do Paco, or riding along the Riverwalk, etc.

 

@brijonmang The same could be said about cyclists not obeying laws while riding. Did you try riding one? 

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2 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

I don't think so, the coverage areas in Austin and Lisbon are huge. What I did like about them was the parking areas were defined - and outright banned in others. Obviously no parking in front of the Alamo, Terreiro do Paco, or riding along the Riverwalk, etc.

 

Wow, I didn't realize Austin's service area had grown so large.

 

It's right at about 90 square miles. All of the area inside 610 is just under 100 square miles.

 

The City of Austin's website actually lists out their micromobility operators and the quantity of scooters and ebikes they have available.

 

Bird - 4,500 scooters

JUMP - 2,500 scooters / 2,000 e-bikes

Lime - 5,000 scooters

Lyft - 2,000 scooters

OjO - 500 scooters

Spin - 750 scooters

Wheels - 500 bicycles

 

(Plus Revel with 500 mopeds)

 

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1 hour ago, Montrose1100 said:

 

@brijonmang The same could be said about cyclists not obeying laws while riding. Did you try riding one? 

I don't disagree about cyclists.  I was just offering my thoughts on the scooters... I did not ride them as we were downtown within walking distance to everything we went to.  They look like they would be fun to ride but the way they were just strewn about carelessly on corners and the middle of walkways left a bad taste in my mouth.  Like with anything else, the bad apples ruin it for the rest of the responsible users.  I would be a lot more open to the idea if there was a quicker turn around on the collection process.  

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1 minute ago, brijonmang said:

I don't disagree about cyclists.  I was just offering my thoughts on the scooters... I did not ride them as we were downtown within walking distance to everything we went to.  They look like they would be fun to ride but the way they were just strewn about carelessly on corners and the middle of walkways left a bad taste in my mouth.  Like with anything else, the bad apples ruin it for the rest of the responsible users.  I would be a lot more open to the idea if there was a quicker turn around on the collection process.  

They're collected every night by organized freelancers/contractors and placed neatly on the sidewalks by morning. In my experience there's always a few wayward users who leave them where they shouldn't be, but for the most part users are conscious about parking them in the right place. 

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3 hours ago, LBC2HTX said:

They're collected every night by organized freelancers/contractors and placed neatly on the sidewalks by morning. In my experience there's always a few wayward users who leave them where they shouldn't be, but for the most part users are conscious about parking them in the right place. 

Yes I saw them being collected at night but my experience was more 50/50 on being out of the way vs being in the way.  Maybe some of it can be attributed to a learning curve.

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  • 6 months later...

Is he . . . even allowed to disclose this? I feel like his boss would be pissed if he knew he was just giving out info about clients . . .

Either way, I agree with some of the guys in the reddit thread. The B-Cycles are alright, a dockless ride share program sounds terrible.

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15 minutes ago, HouTXRanger said:

Is he . . . even allowed to disclose this? I feel like his boss would be pissed if he knew he was just giving out info about clients . . .

Either way, I agree with some of the guys in the reddit thread. The B-Cycles are alright, a dockless ride share program sounds terrible.

 

Yeah i'm sure if his boss saw that he would be looking for another job.  Personally I like dockless ride share programs but actually prefer the bikes over the scooters.   I have seen people take a nasty tumble off a scooters and I feel more at ease riding a bike since I already ride one around the city.

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10 hours ago, BeerNut said:

 

Yeah i'm sure if his boss saw that he would be looking for another job.  Personally I like dockless ride share programs but actually prefer the bikes over the scooters.   I have seen people take a nasty tumble off a scooters and I feel more at ease riding a bike since I already ride one around the city.

I'm tired of these teases. Our trails would be perfect fun for them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dug from the Chronicle wrote a story about Dallas pulling their scooters this last week and how Houston never even tried

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Dallas-pulls-plug-on-rental-scooters-ending-15533499.php

 

TLDR about the Dallas situation is that younger people (16-twenty whatever) were hanging out in Deep Ellum and riding around in packs, watching street races, etc. There was a shooting or two at these big meetups, so they think that they'll stop by pulling the scooters I'm guessing. 

 

I actually bought two retired and refurbed Bird scooters and decided to make a coded map of where scooters (and ebikes) are currently banned by the city/county/etc inside the loop(ish) and this is what I got:

 

Red = banned

Blue = gutter "bike lanes" which aren't safe or really passage

 

The one in the NW corner should be blue, too.

 

BYDHUUA.png

 

I kind of harped on this in the twitter thread that Dug linked, but basically, shit is gonna have to change real soon. BCycle was given funding for 100 new e-bikes, and all of them are currently banned from every red bike path above. The current four ebikes have a small sticker that says please don't ride on the trails (lol). 

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In the environmental industry we have a name for business models that oversell their environmental benefits: "greenwashing." And it seems that is just what is going on with the dockless scooter industry. When a life-cycle analysis is done, it turns out a dockless scooter share emits a little over 200 grams of CO2 per mile traveled. A car emits just over 400. "That's great, it's just half the emissions of a car!" you might say, but considering how carbon-intensive passenger cars are, something like a scooter should be considerably lower. Even a city bus has lower CO2 emission per passenger mile than a dockless e-scooter does. The main reasons for this are:

 

  1. Shared scooters don't last very long. They get very heavy use, far heavier than a privately owned electric scooter would get, and unlike a privately owned scooter, get left out in the elements. They get used and abused, and also stolen, trashed, and unfortunately even thrown in rivers. That means shared scooters have a service life no higher than about 24 months on the high end, and as low as 6 months on the low end. That means new ones have to be manufactured to replace them, and the manufacturing process is very carbon-intensive.
  2. Having "juicers" (and whatever Bird calls its freelancers) driving all around the city in conventional cars searching for scooters to charge is very carbon-intensive. It's also really inefficiently done. Chargers are paid by the number of scooters they pick up, and can collect any scooters in any location in their city once the scooters become available for pickup, without specified location routes, areas for pickup, or specified scooters, and even without any regard for the scooters' batteries' state of charge, meaning they get paid for picking up fully-charged scooters. 

 

All this might not be that much of a problem if  dockless scooter rentals were significantly replacing miles traveled by more CO2-intensive forms of transportation, like passenger cars, but that does not seem to be the case. When researchers surveyed  e-scooter riders, only 34% said they would have otherwise used their own car or Uber/Lyft for the trip. 11% would have taken the bus (lower CO2 than a scooter), nearly half would have biked or walked (much lower CO2 than a scooter), and 7% would have just skipped the trip. That means that two thirds of the time people use scooters, they are contributing MORE CO2 emissions than they would have if scooter share was not an option.

 

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab2da8#erlab2da8f3

Edited by Reefmonkey
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just as a quick aside, I've been emailing a bunch of public officials/asking at public meetings and trying to figure out where the law actually stands.

 

At the moment: ebikes are allowed everywhere. State law specifically prohibits municipalities from restricting them where normal bikes are permitted (except for some mountain bike trails). City is going to work on having ebikes specifically included in language via ordinance.

 

Scooters.... are not very politically popular. They are permitted by a lack of regulation basically everywhere except for Buffalo Bayou Park and some private parks like Discovery Green (who have large/new no scooter signs). 

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I confess I don’t know much about this subject; but own a electric scooter. Also own old fashioned scooter that I self propelled myself in. Plus all grandkids have these self propelled scooters.

When I read this thread— I am always wondering about COH existing ban on kids using non electric scooters on sidewalks like those at Buffalo Bayou. There was a sarcastic Park Ranger who, informed me that kids scooters were banned at Buffalo Bayou and I should leave immediately or get ticketed. 
Do they ticket “ shared” electric scooters when ridden at Buffalo Bayou?

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4 hours ago, trymahjong said:

I confess I don’t know much about this subject; but own a electric scooter. Also own old fashioned scooter that I self propelled myself in. Plus all grandkids have these self propelled scooters.

When I read this thread— I am always wondering about COH existing ban on kids using non electric scooters on sidewalks like those at Buffalo Bayou. There was a sarcastic Park Ranger who, informed me that kids scooters were banned at Buffalo Bayou and I should leave immediately or get ticketed. 
Do they ticket “ shared” electric scooters when ridden at Buffalo Bayou?

 

All scooters, electric and non-electric are banned at Buffalo Bayou Park by city ordinance.  All can be ticketed. 

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15 hours ago, wilcal said:

scooters, electric and non-electric are banned at Buffalo Bayou Park by city ordinance.  All can be ticketed. 

Thanks— good to know....... just wondering how COH will let the users of shared electric scooters know.....

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42 minutes ago, trymahjong said:

Thanks— good to know....... just wondering how COH will let the users of shared electric scooters know.....

 

In other cities, they have made the scooter sharing companies use geo-fencing. Basically, the scooters shut off if they leave a certain approved area or enter an unapproved area. 

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Yeah, I had an annoying moment in St. Louis when I tried to ride a shared scooter to the Gateway Arch, and it refused to let me drop off the scooter at a certain place on the sidewalk because the geofence was convinced I was trying to leave it in the restricted park area (I wasn't). Ended up having to go back a block and drop it off.

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  • 1 month later...

At every entrance to Discovery Green they have signs saying " No Scooters" and ramps that are meant to run electrical cords thru them that scooters have a hard time riding over. I guess it's been a problem. They also have signs with a list of things that aren't allowed including bicycles, roller skates, and skate boards but these signs are less prominent in the entrances than the scooters signs. I ride my bike through the park almost every time I ride and so do lots of others, but I've never been questioned about it.

KXV7j0w.jpg 

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Basically anything that has wheels (except wheelchairs and kids strollers) are not allowed. I still ride in on occasion and see little kids of their little push scooters.

OMUm9Dh.jpg

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