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Thread: Let's talk about e scooters

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    To charge a single scooter from 1/2 charge to full charge in about an hour under full direct sunlight takes about 8 square feet of solar panel.
    These docks hold 24 scooters. How big are the solar panels I wonder? They were not shown in the photo.

    That said, the very fact that a company has already sprung up to solve this problem, and almost as fast as this thread can discuss new problems, people are coming up with ideas to fix them, make this whole thing really exciting to watch.

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  3. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    As a citizen and advocate, I think its at least likely enough to justify the cost of painting scooter markings in bike lanes, say.
    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    It IS regulatory. What may be confusing people is the use of pictures as short hands for the law.

    Does anyone think that the presence of a bike symbol, but no scooter symbol, with the pointer to the bike lane means scooters are banned from those lanes? Clearly they are not.

    The symbols mean - the lane on the right is a "bike lane". It is open to all vehicles eligible to use bike lanes under Virginia Law and local codes - which means human powered bikes, ebikes, scooters - but NOT cars, motorcycles, etc.. The lane on the left is a general travel lane - it is open to all vehicles eligible to use general travel lanes under Va law and local codes - cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bikes, ebikes, escooters, etc.

    It not practical or necessary to have a symbol for each type of vehicle. A "bikes may use full lane sign" sign can be added if there is an actual problem with harassment.

  4. #153
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    It is not required to have a scooter symbol for the scooters to be legal in a bike lane.

    It is however useful to encourage a community of new users, who are not familiar with the rules of the road, to use bike lanes. The bike riders who will use general travel lanes in preference to a PBL are already familiar with the law. And encouraging them to avoid the bike lane is hardly as pressing an issue as encouraging scooter riders to avoid riding on sidewalks.

    Also with respect to practicality, there is a lot more room on the pavement in a bike lane than there is on a small sign.

    So there is no contradiction whatsoever in my points above. Thanks for playing though.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 06-14-2019 at 01:29 PM.

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  6. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I remember the Dot com boom. Lots of failures. Lots of bankruptcies. But also, I guess, google. and a few other big hits.

    The notion that because VC is involved it automatically means a concept won't last strikes me as just as unrealistic as thinking every new concept getting VC money will succeed.
    Forget the dot com boom, look all the way back to the railroad boom. Everybody lost money on that unless they got out early, were getting huge government subsidies, or were supplying goods or materials to the railroads (often via shady insider deals which transferred investor money to the people running the show). Did railroads survive? Sure--but the original investors didn't make anything, the end result looked very different from what they started with, and the amount of money wasted (much of it by the government) was staggering. Scooters are similar, except that the wasted money isn't coming from the government (yet, and hopefully ever). They may exist in 50 years, but there's no way they'll be using a business model where the customer pays basically nothing, they lie around all over the place, they get replaced every few weeks, and the investors make billions.

    The basic problem is that the wealth distribution is so skewed that rich people are running out of things to do with their money--so when someone comes along with something like magical scooter companies they think, "why not?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by phog View Post
    Every streetlight is connected to electrical power...
    Streetlights aren't actually very cheap--something like $5-10k lifetime cost--and you amortize the cost of running the wires by having a crew run a whole bunch of them in a straight line, usually when building the street and it's relatively cheap. But, like everything else related to scooters, the money for this can presumably be pooped out by angel investors swooping overhead.

  8. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    They may exist in 50 years, but there's no way they'll be using a business model where the customer pays basically nothing, they lie around all over the place, they get replaced every few weeks, and the investors make billions. "
    My expectation is that after a shakeout, the surviving companies will raise prices (which will also reduce total usage and the optimal fleet sizes, which will by itself resolve some of the complaints), that the vehicles will be redesigned to be more resilient, that there will be at least some docks (possibly with the semi dockless model discussed above), there will additionally be scooter/bike corrals (which local transport depts will like because they provide an excuse daylight intersections, otherwise hard to overcome the resistance to remove motor vehicle parking).

    But then I thought Hillary would win, so don't go by my opinion.

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  10. #157
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    I like the idea of scooters and the dockless model, but there being scattered about is a serious safety issue, particularly at night or in periods of low visibility.

    My thought on regulating them is pretty simple:
    1. Make it illegal to park them along any shared use path, bike lane, or cycle track except in designated parking areas.
    2. If a scooter is illegally parked along said locations in #1, any person may remove the scooter after a period of one hour, take it to an impound lot, and collect a $50 reward. Scooter companies will pay a fine of no less than $100 for any scooter they want removed from impound.
    3. Any accident involving a cyclist, runner, or pedestrian and an illegally parked scooter will be considered 100% the fault of the scooter company regardless of other extenuating circumstances.

  11. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    2. If a scooter is illegally parked along said locations in #1, any person may remove the scooter after a period of one hour, take it to an impound lot, and collect a $50 reward. Scooter companies will pay a fine of no less than $100 for any scooter they want removed from impound.
    So what would stop me from taking any scooter at all, claiming it was improperly parked, and taking it to the impound lot for my 50 bucks? 6 or 8 a day and I'm makin' a 6-figure income.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    So what would stop me from taking any scooter at all, claiming it was improperly parked, and taking it to the impound lot for my 50 bucks? 6 or 8 a day and I'm makin' a 6-figure income.
    Since the scooter companies have location data on all their scooters, it would be pretty easy to demonstrate you are committing fraud and have you criminally charged. It wouldn't be much difference than a tow truck driver picking up cars off the road that were legally parked and claiming they were illegally parked in a lot they were contracted to patrol. Both are fraud and can get you in a lot of legal trouble.

  13. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    Since the scooter companies have location data on all their scooters, it would be pretty easy to demonstrate you are committing fraud and have you criminally charged. It wouldn't be much difference than a tow truck driver picking up cars off the road that were legally parked and claiming they were illegally parked in a lot they were contracted to patrol. Both are fraud and can get you in a lot of legal trouble.
    So what would prevent me from taking a scooter that is legally parked in a designated parking area, moving it 10 feet away and claiming it was parked illegally? I don't think their location data is sophisticated enough to differentiate?

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