The perils of eScooters & eBikes by Lyft, Lime, etc

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 21 Aug 2019
at 06:14
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)

  • Bath_VIP
    Participant

    A trend in a number of cities these days is for them to be swamped by eScooters & eBikes provided by the likes of Lyft and Lime. I am used to the Boris Bikes of London which are also appearing in my city of Bath, but the eScooter in particular appears to be on its way to becoming to becoming a modern menace unless something is done about it.

    Last week, my wife and I were walking around Dallas and by the end of it, I was foaming at the mouth at the sheer irresponsibility of the eScooter riders and the Lyft company that provides them. For those not familiar with these, you can pick one up from anywhere on the street and pay for a block of time, after which the scooter powers down and you can abandon it. See the photo below for an example.

    Scooter1

    There are two major problems which have a major impact on disabled people in particular but would also be problematic for many others including parents with children and prams.

    The first is that the riders ride with the same sense of responsibility as cyclists Amsterdam. EScooter riders in particular think they can ride on the pavements even though I saw signs around the city saying this was not allowed. Clearly as someone who can’t see or hear them coming, this is an accident waiting to happen.

    The second and bigger issue is that the riders are literally abandoning the scooters afterwards without any thought for pedestrians as you can see in the other photo which is by no means the worst example. Leaving a scooter bang in the middle of a pedestrian walkway is downright anti-social and selfish and someone who is blind is a major trip hazard. Bikes at least have some body to them that make it possible to pick up the fact that there is an obstacle in your way. A scooter on the other hand has no body except a major trip hazard at floor level.

    Scooter2

    The pavements of Dallas are now littered with these scooters making life a misery for all pedestrians so who is responsible for sorting it out? Clearly the city council can set out traffic laws but it relies on enforcement. Ultimately though, the users need to shamed into being responsible but I think Lyft also need to take responsibility. At the very least, all scooters should have a button on them that links to the police and Lyft that any pedestrian can press if they think it is improperly parked but maybe there are other ways to sort out the problem.

    Frankly, as far as I am concerned, they should be banned full stop. Pavements are for pedestrians only and nothing else. I hope everyone agrees with me on this as without any checks, this will be coming to your city soon!

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    3 users thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I agree 100%.

    These and similar things are yet another blight on the urban landscape and another step to making cities even more unpleasant than they already are.

    At the very least, users should have to pay a deposit which is held until they return the machine to a proper docking station.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    My understanding is they are banned on the UK roads, yet there is is an increase in numbers, especially in London. Not sure why firms like Costco are selling them on mass – with no warning that they can not be used on public roads or PAVEMENTS..


    AFlyingDutchman
    Participant

    The first is that the riders ride with the same sense of responsibility as cyclists Amsterdam

    While I agree with the general point of your post, I do not understand your comparison to cyclists in Amsterdam. I wish all cyclists would spend a week in Amsterdam and other cities in Holland to learn how to cycle responsibly as in too many cities/countries cyclists are downright dangerous. At least in Holland there are bike lanes everywhere, and the Dutch follow the rules for cycling.

    These e-scooters, however, are horrendous. I fully agree they are becoming a menace. Left wherever they wish, they are silent, riders use pedestrian areas and go at very high speeds, often scaring or surprising pedestrians. They need to be controlled. I understood Paris was looking at banning them completely.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Bath_VIP
    Participant

    Cyclists in Amsterdam are notorious for having no regard for pedestrians and thinking they own the place. I have had far too many cyclists trying to run me down there even when I am clearly walking along with a white cane that is clearly visible. Cyclists in other Dutch cities are better and more responsible but not in Amsterdam.


    ViajeroUK
    Participant

    Totally agree, eScooters are an increasing menace in many cities. Apparently they are illegal to use on roads or footpaths in UK, only legal on private property, and there was a widely reported fatal accident in London recently. Not sure about legal status in other countries. As well as the additional hazards for visually impaired people, those with impaired hearing are especially at risk as there is no warning sound that an escooter is about to ‘wizz’ past at 25/30mph.

    UK Police do not seem to take much action against the illegal use of escooters in UK, why not?


    AFlyingDutchman
    Participant

    Cyclists in Amsterdam are notorious for having no regard for pedestrians and thinking they own the place. I have had far too many cyclists trying to run me down there even when I am clearly walking along with a white cane that is clearly visible. Cyclists in other Dutch cities are better and more responsible but not in Amsterdam.

    As I am from Amsterdam, I will respectfully disagree with you on this point. It is often those visiting the city that do not respect the rules, not us residents. I cant fathom any of my countrymen and women would intentionally ignore someone who might be disabled or visually impaired. Certainly not the Amsterdam I live in.


    Henryp1
    Participant

    @AFlyingDutchman – As I am from Amsterdam, I will respectfully disagree with you on this point. It is often those visiting the city that do not respect the rules, not us residents. I cant fathom any of my countrymen and women would intentionally ignore someone who might be disabled or visually impaired. Certainly not the Amsterdam I live in.

    I’m guessing that Amsterdam has marked cycle lanes, I know that England and California do, which ensures safety for pedestrians.


    Bath_VIP
    Participant

    There are cycle lanes and there are cycle lanes. Both are pointless if cyclists believe they can still ride on pavements and ignore traffic lights which is what happens in Amsterdam.

    The Dutch have properly segregated cycle lines in most places i.e. it is clear that this is the road for vehicles, this is the lane for cyclists and this is the pavement for pedestrians. Unfortunately in many places in the UK, what they’ve done is simply divide the existing pavement into two lanes, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians. As a result both are narrow and there is no easy way to tell which is which and therefore the pavement consists of both cyclists and pedestrians. Hatfield is a good example of this as I found to my cost earlier this year.


    AFlyingDutchman
    Participant

    @AFlyingDutchman – As I am from Amsterdam, I will respectfully disagree with you on this point. It is often those visiting the city that do not respect the rules, not us residents. I cant fathom any of my countrymen and women would intentionally ignore someone who might be disabled or visually impaired. Certainly not the Amsterdam I live in.

    I’m guessing that Amsterdam has marked cycle lanes, I know that England and California do, which ensures safety for pedestrians.

    Yes absolutely, and as a matter of fact whenever roads are being built or extended the first consideration in the Netherlands is a bike lane.


    AFlyingDutchman
    Participant

    There are cycle lanes and there are cycle lanes. Both are pointless if cyclists believe they can still ride on pavements and ignore traffic lights which is what happens in Amsterdam.

    While I would never debate whether you have experienced this behavior as I am sure you have, I would venture to say that at least 90% of the times you might have experienced this it would have been by cyclists visiting the city. Almost all hotels in the city ceneter have bikes for use by guests, there are numerous bike borrowing areas throughout Amsterdam, and it’s those who are visiting and dont know the Dutch rules of cycling who are behaving badly. Amsterdam and the Dutch citizenry in general is having a very difficult time dealing with the extremely high levels of tourists visiting Amsterdam in particular, even now to the point that the Netherlands has stopped advertising visiting Amsterdam to hopefully reduce somewhat the pressure on the city. I’m really sorry the bad cyclists have left that impression on you.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    stevescoots
    Participant

    The problem is not the bikes, its the people using them, just like very other problem on inconsiderate jerks we face in everyday life

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    There is the same issue in Singapore, with these mindless “oiks” riding around on these escooters being an absolute menace to the pedestrians and also dangerous as you cannot hear them coming up behind you… They are most definitely a blight on our cities and something should be done about them


    TupeloKid
    Participant

    eBikes are illegal in Hong Kong, and the law is rigidly enforced.

    On the other hand, if you own a big fat 7-seater, or top of the range Merc or Beamer, you can double park in Central Hong Kong with equanimity.

    Just saying.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I saw one of these scooters the other day in France doing nearly 40kph. I was in a car and it was doing the same speed as us on a parallel cycleway and thus not causing any risk to pedestrians, but I just mention this to illustrate how unsafe they are – at any speed, as Ralph Nader might have said.

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