Nashville is banning electric scooters after a man was killed.

AZOldTech

Active Member
Nashville is banning electric scooters after a man was killed.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/21/18701299/nashville-electric-scooter-ban-man-killed

Nashville is banishing the scooters after its first scooter-related death. The city’s mayor David Briley notified seven scooter companies operating in Nashville he was ending the pilot project and banning electric scooters from the streets, according to a letter he posted to Twitter Friday.

“We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue,” Briley writes. “If these devices return in the future, it will be after a public process, on our terms, with strict oversight for numbers, safety, and accessibility.”
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Some cities have proposed rules too onerous for the scooter companies, forcing them to decide whether to stick around or pull out. Uber pulled its Jump bikes and scooters from San Antonio, Texas, last week after the city proposed changes that would cut its fleet in half. Over in Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is proposing new rules after the June 10th death of an e-scooter rider, who was struck by a truck.

One of the last major holdouts, New York State, recently legalized electric scooters, but will allow cities to write their own rules for scooter companies to follow.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
There may be legitimate reasons to ban e-scooters, but this does not sound like one of them to me. We don't ban cars just because someone decides to OWI.
 

AZOldTech

Active Member
There may be legitimate reasons to ban e-scooters, but this does not sound like one of them to me. We don't ban cars just because someone decides to OWI.
Having been to a pedestrian public downtown area of a city were Lime-S scooters are everywhere (and I DO mean literally EVERYWHERE; like in the thousands), and having seen with my own eyes the many close calls with pedestrians, I think there is a good case at the least for controlling their numbers or outright banning them if the right infrastructure does not exist for them (like controlled lanes away from pedestrians). Close interaction of pedestrians walking at a leisurely pace with the fast moving e-scooters just asking for trouble. Even before seeing this article, me seeing that interaction of slow moving pedestrians with fast moving e-scooters just looked like bad or even deadly accidents just waiting to happen, as neither of the parties involved would be wearing any head or body protective gear during a collision.
 
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Sounds like the city let things get out of hand, somebody died, and they faced too much public pressure than would allow them to accept the new proposals and allow the companies to continue. With no regulations by the city to hold companies responsible for things like 1) Having a certain number of 'recovery' vehicles on the road per uses/day, to move damaged or abandoned scooters 2) Paying for their own GPS zoned docks so scooters aren't left in pedestrian pathways or the street, 3) Ensuring they aren't encouraging dangerous behavior, or putting in plans to mitigate that. For instance, if the companies are raking in millions of dollars in these pilot programs, why not make them pay for separated bike/scooter lanes in high traffic areas? For all we know, and what would make a lot of business sense, is that company moved scooters to high traffic commuting areas in the morning Monday-Thursday and moved them outside of bars or other nightlife areas Friday-Sunday, begging for someone who otherwise would have walked or gotten a rideshare to hop on the bank of scooters that appeared outside the bar. And while it can be argued he might have driven himself, in this specific case either 1) that wasn't his plan in the first place or 2) he knew the scooters would be outside the bar. But 7 competing companies in one city with little oversight? Recipe for disaster. I hope cities with busy downtown areas a more proactive instead of reactionary in the future.

Some dense downtown areas ban cars altogether at certain times. There are a lot of potential solutions, but we can see that a wild-west approach doesn't work well.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
There have been many other towns and muni's already pre-emptively banning scooters. the ER's are being filled with tons of injuries, and the worst part is few of these scooter riders wear helmets or protective gear. Consider them one step removed from skateboards, where many skateboarders do actually wear protective gear and helmets, but with a motor to add to the danger. People's balance capabilities on these scooters are a lot worse than e-bikes, due to no gyroscopic effect of the larger wheels on bikes, nor any pedaling motion, which both serve to help people balance. Again many people cannot ride skateboards due to poor balance and poor core strength. The scooters are barely better.

Nashville won't likely be the last city to ban these. Chicago wants to now find out the hard way, with no less than 5 scooter sharing firms. (not allowed in the loop though - thank goodness). Its a revenue thingy for a completely broke and insolvent city, desperate for any ways to bring in revenue. these scooter firms keep dangling big carrots.
 

jim6b

Active Member
Poor decision. Here a drunk kill himself driving a scooter in traffic. "His bad."

We need to appreciated their is individual responsibility for one's actions. The nanny state cannot protect us from our own stupidity.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
I'm in Nashville. Some of the comments here are right on. The guy killed was drunk. There has been virtually no oversight or enforcement of any rules or laws, and there was very little thought to how to address this new mode local transportation.

You can call it a nanny state if you want, but there should be regulations for scooter riding (maybe just the rules of the road), just as there are rules for cars and bikes. We do have some regs, like you have to be 18 to operate a scooter. It's not enforced. It's not uncommon to see 14 or 15 year old kids weaving in and out of traffic with no regard to traffic lights or traffic. No enforcement.

I ride my bike downtown and on the local green ways (shared-use trails.) Dodging people on scooters who have no idea about staying right and abandoned scooters lying willy-nilly in the way is a routine situation.

I could go on, of course. I think scooters will be back, probably with fewer rental companies, and with more regs, like wearing helmets I hope. Corrals will be part of it. There is talk of one scooter company employee on duty per 100 scooters cleaning up wild scooters all the time, and maybe offering helmets. I hope part of the city/rental company contracts include some way to fund enforcement.

There was a video a couple of weeks ago of some dad on a scooter with a 5-yo kid riding on his back. Neither had a helmet. Last I heard the guy is still free and his kid is probably not in child welfare, but if he had been drunk or otherwise caused an accident in which the kid died I would hope it would be a long time before he made it out of the legal system.

Downtown Nashville, the tourist/honkytonk district is pretty much full of drunks 24/7. They spend a lot of money in town and Nashville doesn't want to start arresting them all. Bad for business. But we do have some responsibility to provide a safe way for people to use the streets and sidewalks.

GPS zoning should probably be part of the solution, as well as someone with the authority to check people's age and sobriety and take their scooter away.

Finally, the guy who was killed is the named cause or scapegoat for this ban, but he's really just the straw that broke the camel's back. Scooters were out of hand. Some of that is Nashville's fault. A lot of it is the scooter companies' greed. It could all be avoided if everyone used scooters responsibly of course, but that's not the business model for the cheap-to-rent scooter companies.

Some or all of these issues are transferable to bikes and e-bikes. So far bikes are less common in Nashville, and e-bikes are mostly rider-owned or more expensive to rent than scooters, so responsible bike use is somewhat higher than for scooters, but it's something we need to pay attention to!

TT

TT
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Why ban scooters?

People die on motorcycles, but they didn't ban motorcycles.
When cyclists die due to traffic accident, nobody say ban bicycles. Same as rollerblades, skareboards, etc.

People get hit by cars every day, did anyone protest to ban cars?

Why target scooters??
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
Scooters are targeted because they are grossly misused and so far none of the scooter rental companies seem to give a damn. Their misuse endangers others. And the way they are abandoned lying across sidewalks prevent access, which is a real problem, especially to handicapped people, but also somewhere between an annoyance and a danger to other people using the right-of-way.

If scooters were used with anything close to a common sense level of responsibility and consideration of other people on the streets and sidewalks there wouldn't be an issue.

TT