To scoot or not to scoot?August 28, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
Time to discuss the elephant in the room, or on the continent to be more accurate - Electric scooters. These are whizzing around all over Europe. Is it a good thing or not and why?
Clearly, they are an easy and convenient way to travel short distances around town, more environment friendly than by car but less friendly than by public transport, cycling or walking.
As was found with dockless shared bike schemes, cities are being flooded with dockless e-scooters and, people being idiots, they get left all over the place and bigger idiots consider it art to steal and vandalize them, often with public support through friendly publicity.
But let's put aside the issues of share schemes that also relate to bicycles, let's focus on some issues specifically about scooters.
The main problems I see with them are:
1. They are too fast. They are not motor bikes. Motor scooters should have the motor capped at, I think, 15kph. If you want to go faster, get a motor bike, even if it's just one of those cute little ones.
2. They are ridden mostly by joy riders and thrill seekers. They don't appreciate the importance of safety, the safety of themselves and, more importantly, the safety of everyone else. They don't have two-wheeled road sense - awareness and anticipation of what's going on around them.
I saw a scooter rider ride through a red light into a cyclist in Copenhagen. "Sorry" he said but i doubt he meant it nor cared while the cyclist was left to deal with the damage to self and bike.
I was almost wiped out by a scooter rider running a red light while I was walking across with the green. Cars had stopped but the scooter rider was looking to the other side. Not only did he run the red, he wasn't even watching where he was going nor looking to see what's coming. Idiot.
Point 2 above is the product of being too fast and too readily available to those ill prepared. The role of electric scooters on roads and paths should be as a means to commute, more in harmony with leisure cyclists.
My conclusions are that
there is a place for them,
Speed should be capped at about 15,
Shared schemes should use docking stations, which is still not the ideal solution but necessary until someone can work out a way to solve the littering and vandalism problems, and
They should be treated as per leisure/commute cycling.
At the moment, they are a nuisance due to too many inconsiderate idiots using them. As is so often the case, the brainless few ruin good things for everyone else.Read more