Backward-Thinking “Leadership” Ruins New York City

New York Today: Are Electric Scooters Legal?

The West Coast is abuzz with electric scooters — standing scooters, like a Razor, but with a motor — and we’ve started seeing them around New York City.

So what’s the deal: Are they legal here?

“They are illegal and I am not aware of anything in the works to change that,” Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the city’s Transportation Department, said in an email.

Violators may receive a $500 civil penalty if they are caught riding them, and their scooters may be impounded.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

As I’ve said previously.


They are not legal, but it’s not enforced,” said Sarah Kaufman, an assistant director at the N.Y.U. Rudin Center for Transportation, whose research there has focused on scooter share markets across American cities and around the world. “Anecdotally, everyone has seen a motorized scooter on a sidewalk.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Any cop could have a bad day and want to ruin yours too.

And WTF:

The biggest obstacle here: There’s no place for scooters, physically.

“They’re too fast for the sidewalk, they’re too slow for traffic, and they’re too slow for bike lanes, so there isn’t a safe space for them,” Ms. Kaufman said. (Most can go up to 15 miles per hour.) “The focus here is on dockless bikes and electric-assist bikes because those are the speeds of New York.”

OK, is she out of her freakin mind?

You know what a bike going faster than 15mph is called? Dangerous! How long has she been in this city? Does she know of the hazards that overwhelmed the city from bike messengers decades ago? People were injured, some were actually killed.

The only place I’ve seen bikes going really fast has been on the west side bike path — and those people are stared at by everyone as if they’re crazy. Which they have to be, to go that fast with so many others around.

Additionally has she ever bothered to go to YouTube to watch the ride videos from Tishawn Fahie? She’d get educated fast out of that nonsense about there being no “safe space” for electric personal transport!

She returns to semi-lucidity here:

Even so, exploring travel alternatives remains top-of-mind for some city residents. With the L train shutdown less than a year away, scooters could offer “a great advantage” to those affected, according to Ms. Kaufman, who led a Rudin Center report on ways to mitigate commutes during the closure of the subway line.

“We’re going to have hundreds of thousands of people needing to find new modes of transportation,” she said. “Because there will be overcrowding on other subway lines, we might as well provide a variety of modes like rideshare and bus-bridges and, of course, bike share. However, not every person can or is willing to ride a bike.”

Scooters have a lower barrier to entry, she added.

“You’re generally not scooting in traffic — you’re generally on the sidewalk — and it’s easier to learn to navigate a scooter, and you don’t necessarily need a helmet like you do with a bike,” she said, “so people see it as an easier mode. A faster mode than walking, but not as labor intensive or stressful as biking.”

The shutdown of the L subway line is a microcosm of what I’ve previously envisioned. Does she even bother to read blogs?

This is the kind of backward thinking ruling New York City. I’m sick of it. Use the damn Internet and educate yourselves! Join 2018 already!

Previously here:

Uber All The Things?
Brainless Mayor Allows Dockless Bikes In New York City
Chronological List Of Electric Scooter Posts
eScooters category

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2 Responses to Backward-Thinking “Leadership” Ruins New York City

  1. So, you want to deal with a bunch of assholes on scooters while you are walking around on the sidewalk?

    “You know what a bike going faster than 15mph is called? Dangerous! ”
    No, that’s called cruising speed. When I used to ride my bike regularly, I always checked the speedometer/trip computer I had attached to the bike. 15mph is not as fast as you think it is.

    • mikecane says:

      Go to the west side bike path. That’s where most tourists using Citibike are. You’d be surprised at how slow they go. They’d be like that with eScooters too.

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