Don't blame scooters. Blame the streets.

  • Published on:  9/18/2018
  • The sidewalks were never meant for this.

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    We teamed up with the University of California to explain one of the hottest trends of 2018: dockless electric scooters.

    You can see more from University of California in our YouTube series Climate Lab:

    You can also read University of California's write-up on the video above here: https://www.universityofcalifornia.ed...

    They’re one of many ‘micro-mobility’ innovations rocketing through the transportation sector.

    Even in cities with exceptional public transportation coverage, gaps persist. This is a decades old problem, often referred to as ‘the last mile/first mile.’ Cities traditionally address the last mile problem by expanding bus routes. But as cities continue to populate while transportation dept budgets dwindle, the patience of commuters is running dry. So scooters, electric skateboards, and pedal assist bikes have become an increasingly popular option for city residents.

    These innovations, while quite popular, also draw the ire of the oft-beleaguered sidewalk pedestrian. The past century of development prioritized car transportation, often at the expense of wide sidewalks that were once bustling with life. So the planners of today are taking a page out of history to prepare for a brave new world of alternative transportation.

    If you’d like to learn more about the deal with scooters in your city, I recommend following Curbed. You should start with this write-up by Alissa Walker:

    Here’s a closer look at the survey data on the popularity of scooters:

    Here’s Sarah Kaufman on the push to regulate scooters in cities:

    Here’s a NACTO write-up on what future complete streets could look like.

    And, just for fun, here’s that Library of Congress footage of San Francisco’s Market Street: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vox
    Vox  2 months ago+43

    If you’d like to learn more about the deal with scooters in your city, I recommend following Curbed. This piece by Alissa Walker inspired this video:

  • TheCriminalViolin
    TheCriminalViolin 8 hours ago

    Blame US Urban Planning and Planners. They are the very ones who went with Dwight Eisenhower's obsession with freeway systems from his short tour of Germany, seeing the Autobahns. Also, we can blame the time of which this country was founded (Technically not fully sovereign until 1789, it was the declaration of independence that got signed in 1776. Declarations do not equate to full and true sovereignty). This was at the start of the peak of the industrial revolution. As such, this meant the US rushed into it, and all things created from it FAST, while putting a major emphasis upon any inventions that came of it in the country and to then effectively over utilize it in order to make a name for themselves in the world while trying to become one of the top industrial powerhouse nations.
    The US was immediately obsessed once Henry Ford brought the people of the country the first automobile. They quickly began reforming streets to be for the car. Later on down the line, you hit 1950 and especially the 1960s, when the US went through it massive addiction to freeways, freeways, freeways! And then their next step in that obsessive process of development - Suburbia and it's sprawl. And this leads us to today.
    The country was built almost entirely for the automobile - the car, and later, the truck. They had no attention or car for the pedestrian, the cyclist, nor the public transport options. It was and has always been purely about the car. This is why the US is in the horrendous and aggravating position it is in today in terms of transportation. It's hideous. With lack of investment and focus in pedestrians especially it wound up doing this to itself. The lack of emphasis or care on the part of making way for public transit is another major self-inflicted wound. Overall, it's the lack of a balanced investment and focus while planning. The US has always had a critical case of Tunnel-Vision. Only focusing on the one obsession they're currently on. It's never caused any good, only problems, especially in the long term.
    A problem with the general public's mindset is quite similar to the tunnel-vision our government always has. They really only see this transport problem from their own form of transit. And, people feel that transportation and infrastructure are far too boring to pay any real attention to, research or talk about. Thus also why the US has one of the worst investment records on both fronts.
    I myself am a lifelong pedestrian and public transit user. I am in fact reliant upon both, unfortunately. If I was in Europe, like say in Praha, Czechia, I wouldn't be too whiny, if really at all. But instead, I'm stuck in the US with our inexcusably horrid excuse for a public transit system, meaning all other forms of transit not including the automobile (=Public Transit). I am also a lifelong transit fanatic. I have spent obscene amounts of time researching, investigating, studying and observing all forms of public/mass transit around the world, not just here in the US. This includes down to the vehicles, paths, concepts and safety extras too.
    This all has taught me how a proper, functional, reliable, easily accessible for all transit system should be ran, and how Planners for both cities and transport within them should plan and implement them together.
    1. Buses are the #1 priority they should have and emphasize, always. Specifically, BRT.
    2. Pedestrian infrastructure and accommodations must follow suit with the bus planning and networks.
    3. Ensure safe, well developed and broad enough spaces for other forms of public transit (Bicycles, Scooters, Segways, etc)
    4. Parks and public open spaces to congregate, relax, play, host events, etc
    5. Auto-related infrastructure and planning.
    Note how the car comes dead last. THAT IS HOW IS SHOULD BE DONE. The US effectively does the exact opposite, and has always done the exact opposite. The main difference is, the US does NOT put almost any funding, emphasis, focus or effort on anything with 1 and 2, while with 3, the do more with than one and two, however still not remotely enough, only focusing on bicyclists and none of the others, and giving them unprotected and incredibly narrow lanes to navigate with motorists, which is proven VERY unsafe to do, and with 4, they do not put enough focus or care into ensuring they are spreading the parks and open public spaces out throughout the expanse of their city, nor do they look to make them truly available for all to enjoy, as they tend to emphasize high-end and expensive parks to entice tourists and photographers, alongside special private events that are expensive and exclusive.
    It's no secret how horribly the US planned out it's transportation networks, how little it has invested within it, and how little care they have to take care of any of it. It's also no secret how just plain horribly they planned literally everything when it comes to free and easy navigability throughout their cities. In fact, it's becoming more and more known worldwide, and is becoming quite frequent that people in other countries use US cities and transport systems as example of what NEVER to do. Portland's TriMet is one of the consistently used examples of how not to run or build a public transit system, and why you probably should never touch light rail, either. The MBTA, NJTransit and Kansas City's transportation systems are the other three alongside TriMet used most frequently, with Las Vegas as an honorable mention of why the more stylistic and fancy forms of transport are beyond idiotic to support (LV Monorail, anyone?)
    One of the biggest problems with city and metro region transportation systems is that the agencies behind them are Multi-Governmental Corporations - as in, it's the government (which is already a horrible idea), and it is all about profiteering from the system. But Public Transport is NOT to be used to try and make a profit on. It's a basic human right and necessity, it is a public service. Thus to run it for profits (i.e, as a corporation, like the US Governments do) is beyond counter-intuitive, idiotic and even offensive for those of us who must use it to get around.
    If they ever are somehow taken out of the hands of the government and private sectors, and put into the hands of the public who rides them, or, put into the control and ownership of a private group whom knows it should never be ran for profits, but only to serve the greater community as a needed social aid - Then it would begin to prosper over time, as they would know that it is the riders that know best, and the ridership that they are serving the aid to. Listen to your riders, and the general public, not to corporate or governmental/political interests and/or money. Understand how public transit is supposed to be ran, how it should be setup. Have them have the say in where and how routes should be laid out. Where there is a lot of people needing a good option for getting around.

  • Tony DNY
    Tony DNY 13 hours ago

    It’s Ridiculous car ana buss share the road . The scooters need to share the bike lane

  • hotmojoe.
    hotmojoe. 15 hours ago

    I don't blame the scooters. I blame the scooterERs.

  • DRock Gaming
    DRock Gaming yesterday

    Good luck trying to implement these scooters in alaska lol

  • TheLukester10
    TheLukester10 yesterday

    When you recognize your small city in a video

  • Gagan Brar
    Gagan Brar yesterday

    People will instead buy large Pick Up Trucks to travel the last mile.

  • Entropian2012
    Entropian2012 2 days ago

    Most people can't afford a car. Cars are a luxury reserved for the rich.

  • Mohammed saad
    Mohammed saad 2 days ago

    The best, learn from India 😂😂

  • The God Emperor of Mankind

    It's mostly on American city planing, they have some of the worst city walk-ability on the planet.

  • Eshank Rishi
    Eshank Rishi 2 days ago

    who's using the scooter for Halloween ?

  • Gravity
    Gravity 2 days ago

    what if that scooter would be moblie and u can carry it on ur bag

  • Nyukfa Ng
    Nyukfa Ng 4 days ago

    You will see mopeds running on sidewalk in Jakarta. Of course in wrong direction too. Stupid riders right. The police don't seem to do anything so far. Since they are outnumbered

  • Rose Billington
    Rose Billington 5 days ago

    Don't blame guns, blame people.

  • Emma Lauren
    Emma Lauren 6 days ago

    At first I thought the title said "shooters" not "scooters"

  • Sonny Wolf
    Sonny Wolf 8 days ago+1

    Dont blame scooters blame yourself being stupid. Hit by them no different than being in car accident and if you too poor to afford one. Get yourself educated earn more money stop bi**** its alternative for short commuting and save the Ozone. I don't have one yet but I can the benefits of them

  • JaySee5
    JaySee5 9 days ago

    This has been a problem for *DECADES!* Ever heard of bicycles? These scooters could use bike lanes if they were properly implemented.

  • Lee Yy
    Lee Yy 10 days ago

    Sadly it's impossible to run dockless scooter program in my country. The company may found all of the scooter lost overnight. With bad or no suspension system, potholes may injure or even kill the rider. Even if you assume everything is smooth, reckless driver will make their way to hit you.

  • J V
    J V 11 days ago

    Reward people for returning scooters to "scooting parking" easier set than done

  • AGBB
    AGBB 14 days ago

    Dear Vox:
    I love that you're getting into urbanism.