Alt-Wheels Notes #29


What Are Alt-Wheels?

Alternative Wheels. Which differs from “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

Congressman Max Rose on Cars

I was never on board with the “Breaking Car Culture” rap. That’s because I’ve rarely lived in the Elysium of Manhattan. It’s been mostly the outer boroughs where mass transit into the city has generally fallen apart since the 1980s. The anti-car advocates seem to think we can just shove everyone into mass transit regardless of the number of homeless people, crazies, and outright career criminals that threaten law-abiding productive people. People drive in from the outer boroughs simply as a matter of self-preservation despite the odds of traffic crashes. The language needs to be adjusted to stop alienating people. The hand-wringers have to be shoved aside and ignored when it comes to mass transit safety, period. And there must be a thoughtful strategy that attracts people to alternatives of their own free will. No other ways will work.

Hoboken is onto something here. I went to a store and there was an SUV parked at a corner I needed to cross. It blocked my view of traffic and blocked the view of drivers to see me. This is something I would have taken for granted, as “background noise,” until I saw that video! Getting rid of these blind spots helps everyone: Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and Alt-Wheels riders. Sherlock Holmes: “The world is full of obvious things which nobody ever observes.”

It’s time to ban cars from Manhattan

We keep asking: “How can we make the city more accessible to all of its 8.5 million inhabitants?” Yet the automobile is privileged by default, even as the city takes small steps to address other transit woes.

If we really want to make change, we need to start with Manhattan, where a mere 22 percent of residents own cars. And instead of small steps we need to take one big leap: ban cars.

Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?

We talk a great deal about how cars congest our cities and pollute the atmosphere. We talk less about how they keep killing and maiming people simply trying to get from A to B on two feet.

Where The Hell Are The Pedal-Assist Citi Bikes???

Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different

The UK’s Association of Cycle Traders: The impact of e-scooters on the cycling industry: The ACT

The primary stance of both the ACT and the BA is to work together to encourage e-scooter responsibility among the wider cycling industry. Whilst there is an obvious opportunity for IBDs [Independent Bicycle Dealers] to start selling e-scooters, until the government announces a regulation change it is crucial for retailers to be aware of the law and they must relay this to any buyers of e-scooters to ensure safety. It is important the industry provides, and is seen to provide, clear advice to consumers at the point of sale about where e-scooters may be legally used.

There’s another domino waiting to fall: Bicycle dealers also selling eScooters. It’d be a great source of new income. And it’s something cyclists refuse to admit: Not everyone can pedal and not everyone wants to pedal. Motorized personal transport is going to outnumber manual pedal bikes. That’s the inevitable future.

Electric Scooters

Bird raises $275 million Series D round at a $2.5 billion valuation

Prior to this round, Bird had raised more than $400 million in funding and reached a valuation of $2 billion last June.

And this probably accounts for how they pulled off getting more funding:

That’s part of a thread. A US$3.50 minimum fee places it above the US$2.75 fare for NYC’s mass-transit system. This is a huge fail.

Amazon’s safety warning on electric scooters after death of YouTube star Emily Hartridge

He said the combination of their small wheels and high speed meant riders could easily be knocked off by a bump in the road — or even hitting something as innocuous as a “ring pull from a drinks can”.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read about eScooters. Is this guy on drugs or just stone cold stupid?

Micromobility Europe draws attention from rideshare investors, including Apple

…Apple reportedly sent a significant number of its employees to the MME conference.

Looking for their slice of cheese. Good luck.

If these Notes had a department called Bitch, Please, this would be in it: Unagi is the iPhone of scooters you actually buy

This is the only honest part:

Scooters are part of a powerful wave of new technologies that actually sell us back our time. When a 20-minute walk becomes a four-minute scoot, you gain something priceless. Urban landscapes unfold beneath their wheels as you explore new neighborhoods or parts of parks.

And I quote that only because it reiterates what I’ve said from the beginning. How many of these DUH! Moments will it take to sink in? Next!

Panel calls for PMD riders to be at least 16 and to pass a theory test before riding on public paths
Requiring PMD owners to carry insurance might be in the future. The government is working with insurers for the best way to design such coverage so the cost isn’t excessive. That report is available [direct PDF link].

Paywalled: Users, interest groups welcome panel’s proposals on regulating PMDs; some urge more steps

Man dies after falling off e-scooter in Tanah Merah Coast Road

A 30-year-old man died in hospital on Tuesday morning (Sept 24) after he fell off his e-scooter in Tanah Merah Coast Road.

Preliminary investigations suggest that he lost control of his e-scooter, police said on Friday.


The man had serious spine injuries and had many fractures after he fell off his personal mobility device (PMD), his former colleague told Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News.

Paywalled: Poll shows 70 per cent of Bedok North residents want ban on PMDs

LTA delays announcing results of review on licences for PMD sharing again, seeks feedback from firms on safety

PMD battery catches fire while charging in Marsiling flat, elderly man taken to hospital

PMD concerns continue to mount despite actions to curb errant riders

Ride a PMD? Know the dos and don’ts

Land Transport Authority: Rules and Code of Conduct

Singapore will have to eventually admit that what they call PMDs should be allowed in the street. And restricting an electric unicycle to just 10kmh (6mph) actually makes it less safe. EUCs need more speed for increased stability.

Electric Skateboards

Via a marketing email from JayKay Trucks:

Well, if I was a Shark, I’d want to know how the hell they’re claiming a 1M€ valuation with no sales past their touting their first shipment (see Alt-Wheels Notes #15) and one “review” (see Alt-Wheels Notes #23). They said they “survived,” but at what cost? The American Shark Tank program had an onerous contract that made me blanch when I read it. I’d be surprised if the German program had anything less.

Here’s an exciting combo created by Redditor u/Maroon_Roof. An Unlimited drive on a folding BoardUp deck:

More photos at Imgur

This is impressive but its veracity is in doubt:


The starting battery level isn’t shown and we’re to take their word that it’s “at the end of a 13 mile ride.” The part that is impressive is the torque for the hill climb. But since we don’t know what the starting battery level was, we can’t know how much of the battery was eaten by the climb. This is from a new company.

Apparently written by people who don’t know the entire range of electric skateboards available: Development of a Leaping Mechanism for Electric Skateboards

Electric Unicycles

3D Print a High-Power Electric Unicycle

Michael Paolini, a veteran EUC rider, makes his Notes debut with two videos. One comparing an electric unicycle to an electric skateboard and the Onewheel, and a second video discussing the riding safety gear he uses.

OneWheeler learns EUC and offers thoughts between the two.

Lower Body Protective / Safety Gear for PEV riders


It explains itself:

Onewheel Vlog #10: Float Life Fest 3

Last Kick

Three Big Things: The Most Important Forces Shaping the World

I haven’t had time to think through the implications of that. One obvious thing missing: Climate change.



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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