So, it seems like our Transportation Department Chief “Sustainability” Officer (air quotes ours), stated that “LADOT would send cease-and-desist letters “as soon as next week” to companies operating outside of approved pilot areas.”
We’ll put the supreme idiotic irony of a transportation sustainability officer shutting down the most effective sustainable transportation solution in decades off to the side, lest it breaks our brains.
ISSUES WITH SCOOTERS LAY SQUARELY ON THE CITY
City of LA:
You’ve built our roads to be able to handle literally MILLIONS of cars. If a few thousand scooter are causing “chaos,” if our thousands of miles of pavement cannot handle the introduction of tiny little electric vehicles, then who, really, is to blame?
Scooters aren’t the problem. They’re merely exposing the scandal that is decades of city planners giving away our public roads to big auto and big oil with streets and highways designed dangerously, inflexibly, and completely car-centric.
Scooter issues are ENTIRELY your doing.
“But!” you might exclaim, “Who could have foreseen this? How were we supposed to know that we were supposed to build bike lanes?”
Oh I don’t know, maybe your own Department of City Planning circa 2010??
A 15-year-old kid riding a bike was hit by a car last night in an intersection I cross four times a day, usually with at least one of my two kids. The crash was so bad they shut down the streets but, amazingly, he’s going to be okay. https://t.co/DM2mZ7x5d2
— Alissa Walker (@awalkerinLA) June 21, 2018
Wait, what? LA’s bike plan? Yep. Back in 2010 the city of LA had a bike network plan. If you, dear reader, have the time (or the sanity), you can go through it and weep. Here’s a snippet:
“The 2010 Bicycle Plan (2010 Plan) represents a new commitment by Los Angeles to complete streets. It is part of a move away from the auto-centric approach of the past, and toward a sustainable transportation system-a system which supports motor vehicle use, but also enables the use of streets by other modes, such as bicycling, walking, and transit, and acknowledges the use of streets for other purposes, such as recreation, retail and public gatherings. Bicycling has an overwhelming positive benefit for public health: a bicyclist gets healthier every mile that he or she rides, rarely injures others in a collision, and doesn’t pollute. Bicycling’s claims on public space are substantially less than those of other modes. Bicycle lanes, for example, take about as much space as a sidewalk, and substantially less than a lane of parking, and bike parking takes up negligible square footage. The 2010 Plan designates an ambitious 1,684 mile bikeway system and introduces a comprehensive collection of programs and policies…”
So back in 2010, the city knew it needed bike lanes. An entire network of bike lanes. And it had a plan to build them. Had such a plan been implemented, scooters would have had a place to actually ride without risking life and limb (as unfortunately, so many cyclists have been forced to risk).
THE FIXES ARE JUST SO DAMN EASY
Ok, let’s not cry over spilt milk (or the spilt blood of cyclists, pedestrians, and even drivers who have been killed due to automobiles thanks to this gross negligence). Let’s ignore all of that for a moment and focus on the here and now. Trying to reigning in scooters by banning them, then running small scooter pilots might have been reasonable IF the issues they are causing weren’t so damn easy to fix! There are two main issues with scooters, and their solutions are quite simple: Scooter Scatter On Sidewalks The solution here is dead simple. It requires some paint and stencils to designate drop-off spots on each block. It’s so simple that “a couple of guys” are doing it:
A couple of guys in Cincinnati chalk painted “bird cages” around the city to show how easy it could be to manage dockless e-scooter “clutter” #tacticalurbanism https://t.co/QYkifhhVM4 pic.twitter.com/026pkccNVC
— Streetsblog USA (@StreetsblogUSA) August 21, 2018
Oh and also the city of Santa Monica is trying it:
We’re piloting scooter parking areas to reduce danger & clutter of #scooters strewn everywhere in Santa Monica.@santamonicacity@CurbedLA@StreetsblogLA@PlanningReport@AbcarianLAT pic.twitter.com/pTHK4rhRCI
— Rick Cole (@SaMoCole) August 21, 2018
Users Riding On Sidewalks
This issue doesn’t have an overnight solution, we admit.
Yet, the solution IS sitting in your archives, gathering dust. That bike network.
Scooters ride on sidewalks because this is what you have turned our city into:
A place where if you don’t own a car, you are treated like a second or third class citizen with almost no street space.
So the solution to sidewalk riding is simple: IMMEDIATE implementation of the plan you already have.
It’s the infrastructure, stupid!
NO EXCUSES LEFT
City of LA, you have no excuses left:
- You abdicated your responsibility to your citizens and our safety, and sold us out to big auto
- You KNEW how beneficial bicycles were, you had a plan, but didn’t implement it
- The solutions to scooter issues are quite simple, yet you choose to ignore them
- And now you’re crying crocodile tears over safety issues??
CITY OF LA, YOU HAVE A NEW GENERATION TO ANSWER TO
You have handed our generation a city clogged with traffic, choking with pollution, paved with deadly streets, oh, and also a planet with devastating global warming.
Dockless scooters and bikes have been a gift we have all been given, which people are actually adopting en mass and are loving.
And your response to all of this is cease and desist orders?
This BS needs to stop.
We demand an immediate stop to scooter roadblocks and instead we call for city officials implementing the relatively easy infrastructure changes required to make all modes of transportation fair and safe.
If you are going to look at your children with a straight face and continue giving cars dominance over the road, you’re going to find yourself on the wrong side of history very soon.