What Are Alt-Wheels?
Alternative Wheels. I don’t like the term “micromobility.” In fact, I hate it. It sounds like tiny wheelchairs. The person who coined that marketing term apparently never saw TV ads in American for “mobility devices” — which are basically motorized wheelchairs. Alt-Wheels are these: pedal bikes, kick bikes, handbikes, recumbent bikes, pedal tricycles, electric tricycles, electric bikes, kick skateboards, electric skateboards, kick scooters, electric scooters, electric unicycles, and the Onewheel. In Singapore, anything small and electric is separated from that bunch and they’re called PEVs: Personal Electric Vehicles. (And, by the way, while cyclists look to Denmark, it’s Singapore that’s the world leader in electric Alt-Wheels.) I don’t like using the term “vehicle” because that’s a legal term. And if governments start considering Alt-Wheels as that, we’ll have “rider’s ed,” registration, licensing, and insurance requirements for all of them. And that damn well should not happen until Alt-Wheels have street parity with cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and everything else of that ilk, gas or electric.
New York State/City Legislation
The Alt-Wheels bills are still in limbo:
Here is my proposed a solution to moving things along:
In every locality that an eScooter rental company enters, they must hold thirty days of free lessons to people in a variety of locations. A full damn month of teaching people how to ride and the local laws about riding (because each municipality can set their own conditions) should increase the safety factor. These 30 days of free lessons should be held before any rental eScooter company is allowed to deploy their fleet to the public at large.
Now add that, get the Assembly and Senate to agree, and sign the damn bills!
New York City & Cycling
This is ridiculous: Taking Action on Pedestrian Safety
The New York State Departments of Transportation and Health have teamed up with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee on a first-of-its-kind pedestrian safety campaign in New York State. It provides a $110 million, five-year commitment to improving pedestrian safety across Upstate New York and Long Island through the Three Es – Engineering, Enforcement and Education.
People don’t need to be told how to walk. Drivers need to be held accountable for running over people.
Toronto, Canada can have the nice things America can’t: Bicycle Parking Stations
Bicycle stations are secure, indoor parking facilities for bikes. Protected with 24 hour video surveillance, they provide safe, long-term parking to safeguard your bicycle against theft, vandalism and bad weather. Only people who register to use a bicycle station can access the facilities. Most bicycle stations are close to public transit facilities to make your commute more convenient.
As we rolled through town, I asked him how the bike felt. Turns out he hadn’t switched on the e-assist yet. At the bottom of a steep climb up a city block, I told him to put it in Turbo. I could see a lightbulb switch on in his head, just like that motor kicked in its 250 watts. The learning curve was pretty short. And he was going to have a lot of fun.
I think he said something very dad-like when I caught up to him at the stop sign, like “Holy cow!”
For cyclists used to being second-class citizens, watching bikes navigate the Netherlands is revelatory. It’s not just that Dutch train stations all house massive underground bicycle garages, with thousands of bicycles, or fietsen, locked up on tiered racks. It’s not just that every busy street has a handsome bike lane, paved in dark-red brick. It’s that on Dutch streets, bikes rule the road. They take priority in design and traffic flow. Traffic circles are laid out so that cyclists need never stop for cars. Busy intersections often have overpasses or underpasses, so that cyclists never have to slow down.
Its exit, when completed, would leave the bike population here at about 36,000, down from 39,000.
Another local start-up, Anywheel, has a licence to operate 10,000 bikes.
Meanwhile, Moov Mobility, the newest entrant in the market, has a sandbox licence to operate 1,000 bikes.
This could be an interesting tool: Sidewalk Labs spins out urban data-gathering tool Replica into a company
The Replica tool, which has drawn the ire of some privacy advocates, grew out of Model Lab, a project started two years ago to investigate modeling as a way to address urban problems. Early work focused on meeting with public agencies throughout the world to learn more about the data, processes and other tools they used.
The Replica planning tool was born out what they discovered: Public agencies don’t have all the information needed to understand the link and interdependence between transportation and land use. The upshot is an incomplete picture of how people move within cities, leaving public agencies ill-equipped to make decisions about how land is used and what transportation is needed and where, the company says.
You know you’ve always wondered: MPG of a Human
Singapore is not kidding: One e-scooter rider fined, another jailed after victims suffered fractures in separate incidents
Prime mover driver Tan Gim Moh, 61, was sentenced on Wednesday (Sept 11) to 18 days’ jail for causing grievous hurt to part-time sales executive Tan Peck Lay, 58, by riding his device in a rash manner on a pathway in front of Block 760 Yishun Ring Road.
In a separate case, another e-scooter rider, Tham Chee Boon, 36, was fined $3,500 on Wednesday following a near-collision with a pedestrian who became startled, stumbled backwards and fell, fracturing her skull as a result.
Hoboken is not kidding either: Hoboken ends contract with one of two E-scooter companies after mother, baby struck
Hoboken has ended its contract with OjO, one of two E-scooter companies it entered into a six-month pilot program with in May, with Mayor Ravi Bhalla explaining in a tweet that the seated scooters haven’t “adapted to the needs of our community.”
In a Twitter thread, Bhalla cited a number of complaints: no implementation of a required slowdown zone near the waterfront, an “inability to provide” on the ground education staff, and a lack of “a robust public education campaign.”
Lime continues to do it right:
Scoot rental eScooters publishes some stats: A year of Kicks
“We agree with local elected officials in San Diego who’ve said current micromobility regulations foster an unsustainable operating environment, which is why we’re ending our operations as of today,” Uber spokesman Nick Smith said. “We look forward to working with the city to develop more sensible regulations.”
Uber notified the city on Monday and notified its users on Thursday about the change.
San Diego passed a slew of regulations for dockless bike and scooter companies in April, including speed and parking restrictions in certain areas as well as permitting fees and data-sharing requirements.
According to reporting from the Detroit Free Press, surveillance footage showed showed Numata riding down a downtown street when his motorized skateboard stopped and sent him falling forward.
Radio frequency interference (RFI) in urban areas can sometimes cause a disconnection between a handheld remote control and the board’s electronic speed controller (ESC), leading to a potential disaster. The faster the travel speed, the higher the possibility of multiple injuries or even death. This is a known hazard for people who do their research (and for those who read this blog and these Notes). A helmet will not help if it is being used incorrectly. Ride safely.
Pavel Garmas discusses the two kind of batteries most DIYers use. This should be considered a broad introduction to the subject and not the final or even complete word.
Fabian was in the previous edition of Notes, wherein he had a run-in with the police. In this video he tells about an electric skateboard owner who was given a whopping $960 fine:
His call for electric skateboard owners to have driver’s licenses is appalling. He hasn’t thought that through.
We continue the subject of EUC safety with these two videos that provide an overview and details about the hazards of pushing one too far:
Experienced rider Duf is back with another Dunkin’ range test of his Onewheel Pint. This time he sets the app for Pacific mode and attempts a ten-mile trip.
Sonny Wheels provides a video on how to change the tire on the Onewheel Pint:
Mario Contino, a schoolteacher in NYC, is back with another commuting video. This time on his Onewheel Pint.
The route to work was 1.3 miles, and took about 15% battery. I weighed 175lbs, my backpack about 20lbs.
This sounds very nice — We ran traffic simulations on our people-first street designs. Here’s what we found — until you notice this:
We believe this network’s improved transit, bike, and pedestrian options will encourage more people to leave their car behind. (So too would our preference to implement curb pricing, although the simulation doesn’t assume the immediate adoption of this policy.) For these reasons, our simulation assumes that only 40 percent of travelers use a car.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
It all sounds so great. Because it’s waving a magic wand. No modified street will immediately drop to 40% of car traffic. It will start at their initial simulation state. What happens to traffic then? This ignores how long it would take for drivers to be Red Pilled into ditching their car. It also ignores the fact that humans aren’t predictable and such a change could lead to protests.
Last week’s Apple Event came and went without any announcement of their rumored Tile competitor. According to reports, Apple has fallen behind in finishing all aspects of iOS 13 and their rumored Tag can’t be unveiled until then.
In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on how these tags will be very, very useful for recovering stolen Alt-Wheels.
Additional news, elsewhere:
Posted once a day: Transportation Alternatives Daily Bike Forecast by Bike Snob NYC
Has a Morning Links compilation: Biking in LA