Alt-Wheels Notes #9


The Mother Enemy of All Wheels (even cars). Source.

Note: During the creation of this post, Twitter launched their latest redesign. So screensnaps here are going to be a ghastly mixture of old and new today.

From now on I will begin, when possible, with group actions to improve Alt-Wheels infrastructure.

Calls for Change

The following is Nashville, Tennessee (which banned rental eScooters) this Wednesday. Twitter:

Cyclists organized it but it matters to all Alt-Wheels. Bring your electric skateboard, electric scooter, electric unicycle, Onewheel. Display solidarity and increase the numbers participating.

New York State/City

As of 6PM EDST, the New York State Alt-Wheels bills are still limbo:

This is absolute insanity and I expected better from new Congressman Max Rose: Staten Island pols call for microtransit pilot program

A press release from Rose’s office suggests a similar approach for Staten Island, wherein vehicles would “pick up passengers, who signal through mobile phones, and bring them to the nearest express bus, Staten Island Rail Road station, or to the Ferry terminal.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

More vehicles on the road is the solution? Uber, have you heard of it, Max Rose? Earlier in the piece, he’s quoted as saying:

I’m willing to try any and every outside-the-box idea and new initiative available to ease our commuting nightmare.

That “outside-the-box” stuff apparently does not include rental eScooters! Has this guy already forgotten what a traffic nightmare this Island is? And Borough President Oddo supporting this is a double embarrassment. He lives here. And he’s tweeted about how bad traffic is. Yet he supports a plan for more traffic! What changed inside your head in the two years since you said this, Oddo:

Because outside your head, the traffic is even worse. And you know that!

I was surprised that CitiBike functioned during the Saturday power outage that affected portions of Manhattan. They explained:

The outage also fried batteries, one of them inside a Boosted Mini X electric skateboard: Power outage in Midtown Manhattan fried the battery on my board. Happened at work :(

Aside from always wearing a helmet when riding, always plug devices into a surge suppressor when charging.

The “Micromobility” Grift

As mentioned in a recent Notes, the grifters have nothing but praise for this abomination on wheels:

At the tweet is an embedded video. Refraction has not put that anywhere on YouTube I can find. But I have skills and here are some screensnaps to disembowel this grift.

This autonomous monster is about half the size of a Smart-brand car:

And what important cargo will it carry?

Two shopping bags! That aren’t even filled to the brim!

Now look at the route it will take:

What? Do you think a human on a bike would do that? No. It would be this:

Because human beings have brains and want to get the job done. And it’d still be faster that this Pod of Idiocy even if the human walked his bike on the sidewalk the opposite way first!

And look:

That wobbly slow-moving thing wants a bike lane! And then there’s this double hilarity. It sees a human in a crosswalk …

… and stops in the intersection!

And then proceeds even though a car moving faster than it does is approaching the intersection:

Here’s a rough overlay of two screensnaps showing how it can’t hug the curb when turning:

And then, delivery accomplished, there’s this final laugh:

The customer has to be in the street to get the packages!

Listen, don’t carp to me about this being a prototype and all those lines used to con gullible venture capital. I’m not buying it. This video is even worse than some YouTube videos I’ve seen. Here, Refraction, take your medicine: Your YouTube Video Is The Most Important Day Of Your Life. And all you grifters drooling over that? It’s why I call you grifters. You can’t even fake credibility. Next!

And those damn things absolutely do not get into New York City until this happens:

Because that delivery monstrosity is not taking any of the existing precious and rare road real estate from human beings. Period!

eScooters

It looks like Emily Hartridge was riding a Xiaomi M365 or clone when she was killed by a driver:

Her boyfriend bought her two. The one at left is clearly of the M365 design. The one at right is by e-micro.

An article that rehashes just about everything to date: Invasion of the electric scooter: can our cities cope?

But it contains two new bits of info. First:

The closest comparison in the UK is with dockless bike companies, three of whom have pulled out of the market within a year, complaining that vandalism in Britain is higher than anywhere else they have done business.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That’s tragic. This needs to be repeated:

Jordan Peterson: Making Things Worse (Short)

And second:

Some cycling charities see e-scooters as potential allies in the battle to get better cycle paths. Rachel White, head of policy at Sustrans in the UK, said they were “generally supportive” of scooters, if speeds were limited and they were kept off pavements. Beyond safety, they are only worried that having access to effortless travel might make us put in less effort. “A slight concern is that they don’t have the same health benefits as walking or cycling,” she said. “But generally, another group of organisations lobbying for more protective cycleways can only be a good thing.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Two points there. First one:

A slight concern is that they don’t have the same health benefits as walking or cycling.

Do cars? Does public transport? Stop. And I will keep repeating this until it gets through: Not everyone can pedal and not everyone wants to pedal.

Second one:

But generally, another group of organisations lobbying for more protective cycleways can only be a good thing.

Yes, it is. But the thinking needs to change. As long as they’re called bike or cycle paths, there will be opposition. My preference is for wheel lanes. Let’s not have the sense of ownership drivers feel towards streets transfer to bike riders in what should be lanes for all Alt-Wheels.

Department For Transport Asks Stakeholders Today Whether UK Should Legalize E-Scooters

Twitter (video at link):

eScooters — and eUnicycles — made the news in Russia too. This video is cued to where the report begins (about 17:25):

“Сегодня”: 15 июля 2019 года. 16:00

I don’t speak Russian but I do know the term for “scooter” and the word “anarchy” is clear too. It’s also evident they’re rehashing what’s happened with eScooters in America and Europe while discussing the situation in Russia.

Here are some screensnaps:

Based on what they do next, this doesn’t seem like a pro-eScooter report. They pit this muscular eScooter against a pedal bike in a race …

… and to illustrate the muscle of the eScooter, they show it passing a motor vehicle:

Yes, there are eScooters with that kind of oomph. I don’t favor them or recommend them. But I can foresee the day — five years from now, maybe? — when they will dominate the market. It’s the kind of thing every damn current car driver would want to make them forsake their vehicle.

An eScooter with that power inevitably leads to dickish behavior:

And the final word goes to a retailer selling them:

I don’t think that’s Doc-Hello, who is the world’s expert on the Xiaomi M365.

Last Kick

Twitter:

Dismount

Get your Major Taylor on.

That quote is:

It is my thought that clean living and a strict observance of the golden rule of true sportsmanship are foundation stones without which a championship structure cannot be built.

Major Taylor was a cycling athlete whose story needs to be better known. There’s a new biography about him.

Additional news, elsewhere:

Posted once a day: Transportation Alternatives Daily Bike Forecast by Bike Snob NYC

Has a Morning Links compilation: Biking in LA

Updated many times a day: Streetsblog and Streetsblog NYC

Previously here:

Alt-Wheels Notes #8
Alt-Wheels Notes #7
Alt-Wheels Notes #6
Alt-Wheels Notes #5
Alt-Wheels Notes #4
Alt-Wheels Notes #3
Alt-Wheels Notes #2
Alt-Wheels Notes #1
Alt-Wheels Notes category

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