Jay Evensen: Scooters are everywhere, but don't set fire to them yet

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 12:54 p.m.

    Gildas,
    I decided to go out at lunch and count how many scooters I saw on the sidewalk in one lap around my block.... 53, in one city block. Is that "not many"?

    There were none a few weeks ago, so it seems like many to us.

    53 scooters on the sidewalk in one block, that's a lot. Channel 13 was interviewing some of the kids, watch tonight. All but 3 of the scooters were on South Temple and Main St. Only 3 on State St (don't know why). And only 2 of the 53 were on the road. The rest were on the sidewalks dodging pedestrians. Actually only half of them were dodging pedestrians, the rest were waiting to be rented. $1.00 to start!

    One more kinda alarming thing... many scooters were being rented by parents for their young kids to play on. Of course these scooters look fun to these kids, and if your on vacation and have time to burn, why not? But are those kids safe zipping down the main street sidewalk at 15 MPH (that's fast on a sidewalk with people strolling the same sidewalk).

    The good thing is... that's 53 cars off main street. But possibly at the expense of safety on the sidewalks.

    Do you see the problem now Glidas?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 10:25 a.m.

    @Gildas - LOGAN, UT
    RE: "First off I have never actually seen anyone on the sidewalk with a motorized scooter. There must be some but not many"...
    ---
    You live in Logan. Come to SLC (where they were recently rolled out).

    I work at CIty Creek, and when I go out there are 6-8 people on them on every block speeding along the sidewalk, and they can go very fast.

    We're not talking about people bringing their own scooter downtown. We're talking about the new dockless "Bird" scooters in downtown SLC. They are everywhere (literally dozens on every block). You just scan the barcode with your phone and take off, and then leave it wherever you don't need it anymore. Then the next person comes along and scans it and takes off.

    Google "Dockless Bird scooters ready to return to Salt Lake City"... to get up on the topic.

    It's a thing in SLC. It may not be a thing in Logan. But saying there's probably not many of them on the sidewalks... makes you sound oblivious.

    I go for a walk every day and they are everywhere. Going to the train last night there were 10 young kids zipping by on them on main street. They go super-fast. And 90% are on the sidewalk (not the road)

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 8:36 a.m.

    Headline: "Scooters are everywhere, but don't set fire to them yet"

    That's one of the more irresponsible headlines I've ever read.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 8:02 a.m.

    First off I have never actually seen anyone on the sidewalk with a motorized scooter. There must be some but not many perhaps.

    Secondly they could be very useful in getting places because I rarely see anyone walk anywhere, except to school, using sidewalks. They either get into their car even for very short distances, or they put on a track suit and walk on the road which is a bit obstructive. It doesn't seem to be a great problem unless someone uses a scooter downtown. Maybe they should just be illegal downtown.

    Thirdly there is a problem for anyone on a scooter using sidewalks since they have to stop and cross the road every one-eighth of a mile. Within its own limits, though, these scooters might be helpful to some people. Similar problems exist for people on power wheel chairs.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 5:08 p.m.

    I think the GreenBikes and scooters are a really good, innovative idea; but, like many other things, the devil is in the details. While the City administration is obviously giddy about these programs, I'm sure the City Attorney's Office risk management person(s) isn't(aren't) nearly so thrilled, due to the significant liability to the City that they represent. I think that alone would incentivize the City to work in earnest to mitigate the risks of injury and property damage. How effective those mitigation efforts will ultimately be is anyone's guess, but I hope they are successful because this really is a good, innovative idea, in my opinion.

  • Trouble South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 4:34 p.m.

    News outlets tell us that it’s illegal to ride them on the sidewalk, but under SLC code riders are still classified as pedestrians when using them. Pedestrians have a right-of-way on sidewalks, so officials who ticket riders are misguided or misinformed since pedestrians are specifically allowed to use the sidewalk.

    The scooters are a great idea, and I hope that they stay and that people use them responsibly.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 3:33 p.m.

    walk.. it is better for you and probably a whole lot safer

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    Aug. 15, 2018 3:24 p.m.

    Walk.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 2:44 p.m.

    I don't care that some innovative person is making money off providing these low cost, low emission vehicles for people who may not be dressed for peddling a bike, or don't want to get all sweaty on their lunch break to borrow to get somewhere they need to go downtown.

    I'm glad this innovative person is getting cars off the roads. Every person you see riding one of these vehicles at lunch is a person who's not in a car, adding to the congestion on our roads, emitting noxious hydrocarbons into our air. Hint.. that's a good thing.

    What I am concerned about is... safety.

    I'm not worried they are going to dent somebody's car. I'm worried they are going to come up behind a pedestrian who doesn't know they are coming and walks in front of them and they get knocked on their can by some guy going 15 mph on the sidewalk. Those things can hurt people (pedestrians). They can't do much damage to cars, but they can sure do damage to a person who doesn't know they are coming and walks into their path with no time for scooter to stop safely.

    Safety is my only concern here (not that somebody may make money).

  • hikeswithdogs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    We need more cars on our roads like I need another hole in my head

    We should be supporting anyone and anything that allows us to remove more cars from the road especially in already congested downtown areas.

  • NEAD SLC, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 10:17 a.m.

    I welcome the scooters. They're cheap and easy to use, and I'm almost not too old to be embarrassed to be seen riding one. Scooter users need to recognize that they are not indestructible and that their actions have consequences. On the other hand, drivers need to recognize that roads are not the exclusive domain of cars. Cars are far more dangerous than scooters, and I don't hear anyone asking for them to be banned (although, now that I think about it...)

    The rule requiring wearing helmets is impractical, if prudent. People aren't bringing helmets to work just in case they might use a scooter to go get lunch at Moochies. Also, the rule requiring riding on the road may be unsafe in some conditions. When I rode along North Temple towards 300 W., I used the sidewalk since there weren't any pedestrians and traffic speed is higher there than closer to the downtown core. People who ride with caution and common sense will be safe. Those who don't should be publicly shamed until they do and held liable for any damage they cause.

  • Corydalis Lehi, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    The scooters are annoying and ugly; they visually mar the city. The scooter companies are peddlers; they are making millions at our expense, literally.
    And how many more peddlers will be licensed to clutter our street corners and curbs? When will SLC say.....Enough?
    Keep the sidewalks for WALKING, and, as long as they're here, restrict the scooters to streets and bike lanes. Ticket the riders who are helmet-less. Protect the time-honored tradition of walking (without fear of being surprised and clipped by a scooter).

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    There are tradeoffs. More alternate means of transportation means fewer cars on the road. I spend most of my time in major metro areas (bigger than SLC) and I see scooters, and dockless bicycles, all over the place. However, I don't see them as a threat or a nuisance. If users are irresponsible, rules, insurance, etc. won't completely fix it. There is still a benefit and folks need to roll with it and not be so uptight. Funny how something like this will cause right-wingers to demand more government regulation and more constraints on free enterprise....

  • RJR Heber City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:00 a.m.

    Great alternative mode of transportation with potential problems. I work downtown and I've never seen anyone with a helmet and have seen adults with a child on a scooter with them a couple of times. Only a matter of time until a pedestrian gets hit and / or someone gets taken out by a car. I saw a guy wreck yesterday morning that was riding with one hand on the bar and the other carrying a bag and a cup of coffee, he hit the curb near City Creek on 1st south and almost went in the water feature. The scooter was fine, however he got up with a bad wheel, couldn't put weight on his one leg when he got up.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 3:51 a.m.

    They should be outlawed as a threat to pedestrians and riders alike. I think OSHA is having a fit about the dangers and threats to life and limb when riding one of these. No skills required other than personal balance by inner ear skills that most humans don't have when they have trouble walking from place to place and get run over in a cross walk.