Story Update: October 28th, 2018

Walking around Mission and Pacific Beach the landscape is starting to look like a post modern e-scooter wasteland with scooters lined up on sidewalks, laying on the ground and sand – often vandalized by angry locals and residents. Scooter riding has been called “just a fad for tourists and techies”, while local are frustrated by the speeding and irresponsible riders. Perhaps most infuriating of which are parents double riding with their children – who are holding on for dear life as they travel up to 16mph and faster – amounting to nothing less than child endangerment according to San Diego Police. A local San Diego emergency room doctor went on record to say that he believes the scooters are creating a “public health crisis” due to the increase of accidents ending with emergency room visits.

Here’s a quick reminder: Scooters are not actual “birds” – and when 4 or more scooters are lined up together this does not create a “birds nest”. These names are creative marketing world play to try to get the general public to forget how hard they are being fucked over by e-scooter operating companies.

Earlier this week the Washington post reported that a lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles against three of the largest scooter operating companies: Bird, Lime and Segway. The lawsuit alleges “gross negligence, and public nuisance” and seeks class action settlement for those who have been injured by scooter riders or the scooters themselves. The lawsuit also suggests that poor maintenance and upkeep of the scooter fleets is making them unsafe to ride, and a danger to pedestrians and riders alike. Read more: Class-action lawsuit accuses e-scooter companies of ‘gross negligence’

Meanwhile San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner has recently outlined a 5 step plan to try to regulate scooter riding. One of the main requests is to use geo-location to slow down scooters to the 8mph posted limit on the Mission Beach Boardwalk and other sidewalks with speed limits. Another point of the plan requests regular reports from the operating companies on how scooters are being used around the city.

It’s not so surprising that a new Instagram account titled “Bird Graveyard” posts images and video of scooters being thrown from buildings, set on-fire, general scooter fails and mayhem – perhaps accurately portraying the public lash-back and sentiment toward e-scooters. Check it out: https://www.instagram.com/birdgraveyard/

At the time of this update locals report that two large warehouses have been leased in the Pacific Beach area by scooter companies.  Limebike scooter division has rented a 35,000ft square warehouse on Morena Blv. and Uber scooter division “Jump” has rented a large warehouse in Pacific Beach Area. 

Stay tuned, much more to come…

Story Update: June 26th, 2018

San Diego police have been handing out citations to scooter riders on the boardwalk for not wearing helmets, speeding and double riding. Check out the photos here.

 

Mother, daughter seriously injured in motorized scooter crash at Mission Beach when vacationers from Arizona were double riding on one scooter and not wearing a helmet.  The father says “It’s obvious these things do not belong on crowded sidewalks”, and pleads for city hall to reverse the decision not to ban the scooters from the Mission Beach boardwalk.

Original Story: Feb 10, 2018

Have recently spotted a random Lime scooter sitting agains the seawall with no owner in sight? It is very likely that scooter belongs to a new scooter rental service named Bird or Lime S Scooters. The scooters appeared on the boardwalk in the middle of January 2018. They are being used by locals and visitors on the streets of San Diego beaches and boardwalks.

The Lime and Bird scooter companies are well funded startups and are here to stay. Residents are concerned about their presence on the boardwalk due to speeding issues and use of public streets for scooter parking. Scooters can be left anywhere once done being used… wow! An epic battle will ensue and there is a possibility that Lime scooters will be outlawed for use on the boardwalk, thou it is hard to fight a well funded start up company that apologizes and pays fines over obtaining permits and following laws.

To rent the scooter you will download an app onto your phone and follow the instructions from there. The cost is very affordable for $1 rental, and 15 cents a minute at speeds of up to 15 mph to travel short distances.

Once a rider finishes riding the scooter, they can leave it and walk away. This is a reason for controversy around the scooters. In San Diego the scooters are being lined up around friendly businesses. But can also littler the streets with their presence.

Safety concerts include:

Double riding
The scooter is intender for one rider. Double riding is often spotted on the boardwalk. Sometimes the passanger is a young child, which can be considered child endangerment in some situations.

Right of way
On the sidewalk pedestrians have the right of way, but when scooters are passing pedestrians and bikes and going up to 16mph it creates a dangerous situation.  Motorized modes of transportation are not allowed on the boardwalk. Electric powered scooters are in a grey area.

Speeding
The scooters can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. The speed limit on the board walk is 8mph. The biggest offenders of the speed limit are electric powered devices. But Traveling 15 miles is too slow for a roadway with cars and at the same time way too fast for any sidewalk.

Helmets
Riders are not equipped with helmets. Thou companies have offered to provide free helmets to uses. Another tactic that is not practical because helmets are mailed out to riders.

Drinking and riding a scooter is a DUI violation and police have been cracking down.

Use of Public Property
Because the scooters can be left anywhere after being used, the issue of use of public property comes up.  If a scooter is blocking a street pathway this is an issue, when scooters are deployed in a city they are left slightly out of the way but still on public property.  No one else can leave their property unattended without facing a fine of towing, so why should the scooters be any different.

Citations
Riders should be aware of citations. Police have start to target speed breakers as they endanger other boardwalk walkers, runners and children. We have yet to see a scooter going under the 8 mph speed limit. Citations are also being given for double riding, and riding without a helmet.  Some citations can be more than $300.

The scooters are available for rent in Pacific Beach, Venice and Santa Monica.  Read more:

Beachgoers flock to the new trend: Bird scooters

Silicon Beach startup Bird raises $15 million for shared electric scooters

Bird scooters are in San Diego. Question is: Will they fly?

Bird scooter firm settles legal fight with Santa Monica

What do you think of the Lime and Bird scooters on the Boardwalk?  Are they annoying or do you like riding them?  Leave your comments below now to be heard!

3 COMMENTS

  1. The violations are similar to the issues with a small number riding bicycles both rental and personally owned. There is also issues with a small number of pedestrians walking around and not paying attention. There is also people who think the boardwalk is a storage area for chairs beach toys and other junk. It isn’t the scooter or other rental that is the problem. The companies should add on a fee if the scooters or Bicycles are not parked responsibly. The enforcement of the speed limit or the threat of being caught and having to pay a fine works for most honest people. Maybe all the rentals should have a boardwalk speed limit sticker to advise the renter of the potential fine. If you outlaw one type of conveyance rental all rentals would have to be outlawed and that shouldn’t happen since nothing beats cruising the boardwalk and I wouldn’t want visitors to miss the fun.

  2. NOT annoying. These are too small to be a junk hazard, unless left in a pile – I can only imagine people who are against them come along and tip them over or drag them onto the path or sidewalk. I AM JEALOUS AND I WISH I HAD COME UP WITH THIS BUSINESS IDEA. Actually, it would be nice to see an even more sleek, socially-friendly version soon.

  3. As a tourist I think they are great but maybe you could have a bike scooter line on the board walk for them

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