Feedback from Aug. 30 and Beyond | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly

Feedback from Aug. 30 and Beyond 

Readers sound off on "the herpes of the transportation world."

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Cover story, Aug. 30, "Get Off the Road!"
Rather than titling it "Get Off the Road!" a better heading might have been: "Get Off the Sidewalk!" I do a lot of my in-town travel by bicycle and I am an avid supporter of alternative and innovative transportation—anything that reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and reduces traffic congestion. As such, I love the idea of electric bicycles and scooters, docked and undocked.

As a cyclist and one-time motorcyclist, I am also keenly aware of the dangers of two-wheeled vehicles for both their riders and for pedestrians. I'm, therefore, a bit incredulous that this fleet of electric scooters has been allowed to be unleashed in SLC with little regulation or means of enforcement directed at their operators. Buried (unfortunately) in your article, are a few of the safety practices that the companies suggest and that appear to have been agreed to by the city. They include an age requirement (16 or 18, depending upon the company), not exceeding a speed of 15 mph, having a driver's' license or permit, not travelling on streets with speed limits exceeding 25 mph, travelling in as far to the right on a street as is safe, not riding on sidewalks, not operating a scooter while impaired by alcohol or drugs and wearing a helmet. I may be the only one, but in the brief time that scooters have been on our roads, I have witnessed multiple violations of all of these practices, including children 12-14 years old riding on downtown sidewalks.

I wonder if the police have cited any violations or even given warnings ,or if they even have the authority to do so under existing laws. While neither the city nor the state have developed codes that regulate electric scooters, other jurisdictions have, including the State of California (California Vehicle Code Division 11 Chapter 1 Article 5). I urge SLC to immediately adopt and enforce the California code until it or the State of Utah can develop one based upon existing laws, public input and local experience. It will be too bad if we wait until serious injuries begin to occur before electric scooters are properly regulated as are other forms of transportation.
Gene Ammarell,
Salt Lake City

I was on 4th S. and State the other day—a big wide sidewalk. Had one of these zoom by so closely, I had to open the door to the building I was going to and duck behind it to avoid the idiot.
Mike Zauner
Via Facebook

I rode them first in San Diego last March and nearly fainted when I saw them in SLC. As long as the driver isn't a nuisance they are crazy fun. Stop complaining.
Via Instagram

I've had to dodge that crazy fun four times to not get smooshed. They need their own traffic lane off the sidewalk.
Via Instagram

1. Salt Lake City will never be cool, no matter how hard it tries. And it will never be well-planned for any type of vehicle, no matter how much it thinks of itself as Boulder West. In fact, I would call the scooters an ASMI—Another Stupid Moronic Idea—and I'm being politically correct in the expansion.

2. The scooters are a perfect example of lack of planning and regulatory foresight or, for that matter, acumen of the mayor's office and the administrative departments for which it is responsible and of the obsequious city council. Such incompetence unfortunately almost invites vigilantism, which [in] the case of the scooters is all too easy.

3. Note the Dos and Don'ts photo. Two people who should be walking.

4. Why is [scooter charger] Jeff Zivkovic allowed to teach? From his need to find problems for his unfortunate students to solve, he sounds just about as creative as a mushroom. I'm all for increasing teachers' salaries so Mr. Zivkovic can make charging scooters his full-time job and not burden the school district with his dead weight.

5. One day there is going to be a terrible accident that involves a helmetless scooter rider and a car or a pedestrian. And what is the City going to say then? Boo hoo, we are so sorry we are incompetent. Let's set up a GoFundMe account and a stuffed animal/artificial flower depository.

6. One more note about world famous Utah hypocrisy and alternative transportation. I always found it interesting that [SelectHealth] constantly warns riders to use helmets in their puff pieces and then sets up bicycles for riders—without, of course, helmets.
Steve Ifshin,
Salt Lake City

As someone who hit the slightest bump and took a header into the ground, hard, I cannot recommend helmets more strongly. Mine saved my skull.
Tiffany Young
Via Facebook

It's an interesting phase or transition we're going through. I'm curious how things will look in one year and also how things will be in winter.
Andy Conlin
Via Twitter

I love them. They get lots of use and I really am not seeing them causing problems (cluttering sidewalks, recklessness, traffic impeding, etc.). Winter could be interesting.
Jared Steere
Via Facebook

Great idea. Total eyesore.
Via Instagram

It's interesting to me that most of the negatives cited have to do with the riders, not the providers. That seems to point to education about the who, what, where, when and why of riding.

As far as extra driving, the GREENbike van drives all over to drop of and maintain its bikes. Seems hypocritical to say call out scooter companies for the same thing.

Helmets ... not required on motorcycles or bicycles, so?

Also, are not the GREENbikes subsidized by the taxpayers or did that end? Birds want to contribute dollars to infrastructure and God knows our roads suck and our bike lanes are often no more than a stenciled silhouette on a pothole-ridden chunk of asphalt.

Change is evil and to be feared, true enough, but I honestly believe we just need to work out some kinks in a new system.
Michael Dodd
Via Facebook

Out with the old, in with the new. These scooters are awesome.
Via Instagram

These scooters are annoying. Us skateboarders can't ride anywhere downtown, but people on scooters are everywhere. It's prejudice!
Via Instagram

They're annoying and stupid [but] they create less pollution than cars. Our air is killing us. We need to embrace alternatives to cars, or accept more people being dead needlessly. If you hate them, ride a bike.
Ras Beret
Via Twitter

Can't wait for all the reports of fist fights between people trying to retrieve the scooters for overnight recharging. Or better yet the reports of road rage/car accidents.
Brian Albers
Via Facebook

People have to learn and obey traffic laws. Otherwise, people will get hurt/killed anyway.
Katrina Katrinka
Via Twitter

Burn 'em.
Via Instagram

Let evolution weed the people out. Keep the scooters rollin' ... right into oncoming traffic.
Via Instagram

Hate those GD scooters everywhere! Wish I got points for every person I could knock one off of.
Via Instagram

Some people also have something wedged up their ass. I agree they need to be parked more mindfully, but otherwise get over yourselves.
Jennifer Guest Billingsley
Via Facebook

Another way to make Americans even lazier. Why walk two blocks when you can scoot there? I live downtown and they're everywhere now. They're the herpes of the transportation world—but they sure look like fun!
Via Instagram

Urban Living, Aug. 30, "Work It"

The company that offers a competitive wage will have more success in hiring.
Joe Schmidt
Via Facebook

We encourage you to join the conversation. Sound off across our social media channels as well as on this here website for a chance to be featured in this section.

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