Scooter Dudes

My wife and I visited downtown Washington, D.C., over the weekend and marveled at the sight of so many people using scooters. Nearly all of them were young men. When young men are involved, it should come as no surprise that some traveled at what struck me as excessive rates of speed. Scooters are too slow to travel with traffic in streets but can move too fast to travel safely on sidewalks. I can understand why city officials in Richmond and Norfolk might want to regulate scooter speeds. Hopefully, they will make up their minds and end their scooter embargoes quickly because, if D.C. is any example, they will prove to be a popular mode of conveyance.

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10 responses to “Scooter Dudes”

  1. They are all over the streets and sidewalks in Paris. I didn’t see excessively high rates of speed, but then I’m a male person, albeit an old one.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    We spent a couple of days at the Urbanna Oyster Festival where the streets are closed to cars and it looks like this:

    It’s mobility mayhem.

    I can’t seem to find any rules per se but there is no way one could use a scooter but there are baby carriages and folks on mobility scooters.

    I’ve always been curious as to the current rules for sidewalks and roads.

    In theory – bikes are allowed on many roads – roads that have no dedicated bike lanes and no shoulders… we see them up Spotsylvania way on weekends and I’m assuming they are not from around here because if they were they’d know just how dangerous the rural roads are these days.

    Bikes are outlawed on the interstates (for good reason) but apparently not (for whatever reason) on other state roads.

    Motorized scooters are actually allowed on highways (again not on the interstates) and they seem to max out at about 45mph which makes for ugly situations on roads with 55 mph speed limits.

    The world has changed, at least in the US where it pretty much used to be auto, bike and walk and now there are all kinds of variations and the rules for the modes are not so easy anymore.

    the scooters that Jim is alluding to – also come in motorized versions… by the way.

  3. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Vienna and Budapest a few weeks ago…..

  4. djrippert Avatar

    Scooters? I spent a whole lot of time in Manhattan the last four and half years. I was convinced that I had a much higher chance of being hurt by a biker than a car. I am not sure why the scooters trouble you while the bicyclists present no problem.

    1. Bikers stay in the streets — or they should — where they pose less of a problem to pedestrians.

      1. Emph: “or they should.” In DC there are many problems with aggressive bicyclists violating the rules for street traffic as well as common sense — crossing intersections on red lights through gaps in the crossing traffic; going the wrong way on 1-way streets; weaving between and through the lanes of slow-moving traffic; and of course, darting down sidewalks to avoid traffic. Thankfully most responsible cyclists berate these folks for giving their breed a bad name. The little rental scooters are even more ambiguous — like Segways, it isn’t clear where they belong.

      2. djrippert Avatar

        Unless, as a pedestrian, you have to cross those streets. The bike lanes in NYC are outside the places where vehicles park on the streets. I can’t count the number of times I was nearly clobbered while jogging through the East Village to get to the running path along the East River. It was very early morning and the bikers were watching for cars and I was watching for cars but neither of us were watching for each other.Neither of us were paying strict attention to the red lights because there were so few cars out (I’m talking 5 am on 6th St going across 1st Ave for example). You just can’t see the bikes. Maybe if they had to use headlights in the dark?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Yes.. there is a certain taint of militancy with respect to some bicyclists – who hold the view that cars wrongly dominate the rights-of-ways but they donj’t seem to have the same concerns with regard to their impacts on pedestrians…..

          the scooter guys, I’m not sure if they have developed into an identifiable interest/movement but they presume they have a right to use public rights of way… just like the handicapped are permitted to use mobility scooters on public rights of ways and we see more and more of them being hauled around on the backs of cars and provided by Walmart and other big box retailers.

          I’m not sure the DOTs or State legislatures have kept up with these evolutions… they were pushed hard just to try to deal with bicycles.

  5. We go to Baltimore Marathon every year at this time, we run team relay. But this is the first year we noticed the electric sidewalk scooter craze. Now if I grab a ride, maybe I could win the matathon. They can go as fast a car on the city streets.

  6. Motorized vehicles on sidewalks are a menace. We tolerate them for the handicapped because those folks need a break. That these little scooters are too small to be safely ridden on the street does not justify allowing them on sidewalks. Just because a machine exists, does not mean whoever has one is entitled to use it wherever he pleases.

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