Let the Scooting Begin
You may have noticed the scooters appearing around Portland recently. Three companies have started programs renting electric scooters via phone apps: Bird, Lime, and Skip. Like the Biketown bikes, the scooters are meant primarily for one-way trips and leisure use. When finished with a trip, riders simply leave the scooters parked on the sidewalk.
Some people are excited about the program, but others fear the scooters will become the nuisance they are in other cities (I’m looking at you, San Francisco). Residents aren’t pleased that a company can come in and drop a bunch of hardware (in various states of repair) on their streets because it’s a public cost in terms of obstacles and accidents, but the profit is strictly privatized. It’s a fair point. The scooter companies are fighting that perception with things like a pledge to financially support Portland’s bicycle infrastructure. We’ll see what happens.
But at the same time, it looks like fun! Lighten up already, yeesh.
I tried it and it was fun! And terrifying. In my opinion it feels too fast for a sidewalk (you’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk) and too slow/awkward for traffic. Rider posture is extremely upright, which makes it feel like any bump could send you flying. A helmet helps to increase a feeling of safety (you’re supposed to always wear a helmet), but nothing really helps the wibbly-wobbly feeling of tiny wheels speeding beneath you. I think my sense of self-preservation is probably just too developed at this age to be able to enjoy it. But you might enjoy this suspenseful video my husband made of me when I first hopped on:
Spoiler alert: The FedEx truck and I both survived.