Alt-Wheels Notes #27

What Are Alt-Wheels?

I have since narrowed the scope of Alt-Wheels and contrast it to those covering micromobility. That’s all in this post.

New York State/City Legislation

The Alt-Wheels bills are still in limbo:

See the Assembly and Senate websites for yourself: Assembly Bill A7431B, Senate Bill S5294A, and Senate Bill S6597.

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

The streets are filled with killers: Unlicensed driver charged in death of tot in stroller on Bronx street. I cannot keep up with the number of people maimed and killed.

And because of the dangerous streets: Fewer New Yorkers are cycling: city report

The number of New Yorkers who regularly ride a bicycle dropped 5 percent in the last two years, data released by the city Tuesday showed.

Approximately 787,000 adult city residents rode at last once a month in fiscal year 2019 — down from 828,000 two years earlier, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s annual “Mayor’s Management Report.”

The numbers come from the city Health Department’s annual surveys, conducted via interviews with a 1,000-person sampling of Big Apple residents.

Does that 1,000-people sample include interviewing Alt-Wheels riders? I doubt it. I wonder how many would say they switched from a pedal bike? And how many would say they’d never consider a bike?

I really doubt any drivers attending read this article or were convinced by it: The Five Stupidest Things Said at Fort Greene’s Town Hall to Protest the City’s ‘War On Cars’. This is an emotional issue that can’t be countered with soulless facts.

Corey Johnson’s Bold Words Show Leadership — And How We Can Hold Him Accountable

And on the most basic level, I want a city where getting around doesn’t make people insane. In fact I don’t think it’s crazy to dream about a city where getting around is not just miserable, but maybe it’s actually pleasant.

New York City wasn’t always an open-air free garage: Streetscapes/Cars;When Streets Were Vehicles for Traffic, Not Parking

The ban against permanent parking on the city streets extends back at least to the mid-19th century, and was considered a sacred contract by the time the automobile arrived in real numbers in the early 1900’s. Search any early photographs you want — you may find streets crowded with traffic, but not with parked vehicles.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s parking was permitted on the city streets for up to one hour, and three hours after midnight. Thus just about everyone needed a garage for overnight parking.

But automobile owners were beginning to take as a permanent right what was extended as a temporary privilege: In a letter to The New York Times in 1931, Albert Schaile, a Manhattan resident, complained that it was getting “almost impossible to cross the street” because of the parked cars, and that the situation was getting worse.

Few defended overnight parking: The police thought long-term parking encouraged car thieves and permitted loitering places; the Fire Department complained that hydrants were frequently blocked, and the Department of Health complained that parked cars made it difficult to keep the streets clean.

Free street parking has to end.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson reminds us there’s a new law to deal with blocking bike lanes:

Link: DOT and Council Member Carlina Rivera Announce Changes to Protect Bike Lanes During Construction Projects with New Rules and Bill Passage

This Twitter thread provides evidence that business increases when cars are limited on streets:

I don’t now why such evidence has to be formalized. Most of us have been kids in cars who’ve said, “Ooh, stop here and let’s look!” only to be shot down with, “We can’t. There’s no parking.” Cars don’t shop. People do.

Electric Scooters

Cars Still Dominate the Short Trip — Can Cities Change That?

The answer to that question is Yes. And the Dutch city of Delft shows how:

Delft was made more inhospitable to cars; these days, a driver can battle his way toward the center of the old city, creeping through narrow one-way streets and swarms of cyclists and pedestrians. But it is impossible to drive all the way from one side of Delft to the other: to cross the city, you must ride.

Boldface emphasis added by me.

The Verge report is full of ridicule: Mercedes-Benz quietly enters the e-scooter market. Ridicule is my turf and I’m not laughing at this one. See why: Micro, Not Razor, Created The Modern Kick Scooter. This partnership might finally push Micro into thinking differently about how they design their next eScooter. Such as including a screen and an app. Micro makes durable eScooters overall and they own the kickscooter market for children — which means those kids are being primed for moving without being trapped in a car as teens and adults.

On Twitter, Lime continues the best marketing in the field:


Link: Can I Kick It?

Electric Skateboards

The NYEF E-Bike and E-Board Festival was this past weekend. I didn’t attend. Tishawn Fahie has it covered in this video that shows the growth of Alt-Wheels use in New York City:

NYEF 2019 Recap

Electric Unicycles


In this edition, using an EUC on non-urban wild hilly terrain:

Technical Sessions – Hill Climbing with the MSX and 16X


Future Motion did a promo video that will seem utterly ridiculous to outsiders but captures the feelings of owners:

Onewheel: Stay Stoked

We have another Jimmy Chang video this edition:

Onewheel Pint Age Limit: 1st day of school VLOG

Last Kick


Up is down, down is up.


Apple Tag May Prevent Cyclist Deaths And Stymie Bike Theft, But At What Cost?

The dark scenarios in that article don’t interest me and I doubt they’ll happen. It’s otherwise a good overview of Apple’s and competitors’ tech.

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 category

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1 Response to Alt-Wheels Notes #27

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