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Thread: Counting scooters "strewn" on the trails - MVT at the CCC to the Jefferson

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    The scooter companies have and shared all of the geocoded data on the location of scooters with the localities. It's not perfect - e.g. it's not good enough to tell if a scooter is properly parked on a sidewalk v in someone's yard beside the sidewalk - but it's good enough to narrow whether the scooters are in the vicinity of the trail. I'm not sure what citizen-led counts get us that a data query wouldn't show quickly, with no volunteer time...
    If you know who in Arlington has or will receive the counts for the MVT from this week, please share. What frequency do you think the data is provided? Is the data public or proprietary?

    It seems to me that the scooter companies provide a bonus for retrieving and charging scooters parked at hard to reach locations. Maybe if they were to just pay more, the problem would resolve itself with company resources.

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    I rode a motorcycle to work on I-66 with a bicycle clamped to the back, took the bicycle home. In the PM: Too many to scoots tp count scattered across The Mall, one broken in half at the Washington Monument, plenty more all along Memorial Bridge,and MVT. Almost none once I got to the Custis Trail in Rosslyn.
    Are any of these companies actually profitable yet? I don't see how it is possible....

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    Quote Originally Posted by phog View Post
    Are any of these companies actually profitable yet? I don't see how it is possible....
    The things are for all intents and purposes disposable; individual scooters have a v. short lifespan (about a month according to a recent article). Any "profit" has to come from seed money or subsidies. It's a passing fad that will barely be remembered in a few years. This too shall pass.

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    Yesterday morning there were at least four scooters on Trollheim. At least the wood was dry so any need to swerve was less likely to cause a slip and fall. I was very pleased to see that there were none there this morning, when it would have been dangerous. Instead there were four between Memorial Bridge and the Merchant Marine Memorial, three of which were nicely parked next to benches and one tossed to the side.

    Actually, on my commute yesterday, before seeing this thread, but after seeing all the ones on Trollheim, I was thinking that NPS should just start fining the companies a few hundred per day for hazardous littering - those batteries being hazardous to the environment. And this would be for ones that are not located within50ft of a parking lot or some such accessible point for juicers. This time of year it would be worth it to the NPS to have someone go collect them and send notices to the companies for fines and then charge them each day they do not come and pick them up at some obscure NPS location that is only open some limited number of hours. If the companies wish to bill back to the last user, that is up to them. They could have their software warn the user that the location they just left it will cause them to be charged a fee and thus recommend that they move it. There could be a time limit, like if they or someone else moves it in an hour, then there is no fee. But something like this could be done.

    Can those things move when not powered? Meaning if the battery died can someone ride it like a regular, albeit heavy, scooter (like the electric CABIs)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    Can those things move when not powered? Meaning if the battery died can someone ride it like a regular, albeit heavy, scooter (like the electric CABIs)?
    The few I have moved out of the trail, have been wheel-locked --- so they don't roll. (Don't know if that still happens with a truly dead battery, however.) One of them, after I'd moved it perhaps 10 feet from its badly-parked location, suddenly started talking to me with a recording, "Do not move the scooter. If you continue to move the scooter, police will be notified" or words to that effect...

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    Quote Originally Posted by phog View Post
    I rode a motorcycle to work on I-66 with a bicycle clamped to the back, took the bicycle home. In the PM: Too many to scoots to count scattered across The Mall, one broken in half at the Washington Monument, plenty more all along Memorial Bridge,and MVT. Almost none once I got to the Custis Trail in Rosslyn.
    So did you leave your motorcycle strewn about?

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    One dark winter morning I moved one off the middle of the Custis near the spur that goes to Ballston. It didn't roll and it was heavier than I expected. It already had a fairly loud alarm going off before I even picked it up; I felt bad for the people in the town houses right next to the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    If you know who in Arlington has or will receive the counts for the MVT from this week, please share. What frequency do you think the data is provided? Is the data public or proprietary?
    I do not, but mobility@arlingtonva.us does. They've been very responsive and they are eager to work this out because they see scooters as a transportation option to cars (i.e. good) but recognize that there are issues to be worked out.

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    1. There has been craziness with scooters around the mall and tidal basin lately? Its Cherry Blossom time. Craziness in all modes. Sure. To note though, I have seen scooters ridden in orderly and proper ways (and as lawfully, or more so, than bikes) on Eye Street bike lanes, on Maine PBL, etc all winter. Last weekend I was in Old Town and saw some being ridden properly (in the street, not on the sidewalk) there.

    2. The rates for them are high (at least one company its a dollar to unlock and then a dollar per 15 minutes?) and they seem to get a lot of use, so I am not sure they are losing money even with the one month service lives (that's based on a study in Louisville I think? The scooter companies keep this info close to the vest I think) Also I read an article suggesting that they are looking at more resilient scooters with significantly longer service lives. I am not sure that the scooter business will survive, but I don't think it can be ruled out based on what we currently observe.

    3. I continue to think that the way to address scooters on trails is with pickup with trailer pulled by electric bikes - whether by the scooter companies, or by NPS and charged back to the scooter companies. Unfortunately electric bikes are still not legal on NPS property, or on the bridge sidepaths. Perhaps those policies need to be reviewed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    One dark winter morning I moved one off the middle of the Custis near the spur that goes to Ballston. It didn't roll and it was heavier than I expected. It already had a fairly loud alarm going off before I even picked it up; I felt bad for the people in the town houses right next to the trail.

    We hear car alarms probably once a week or so, always at night, and we live on the 12th floor. When we have our windows open we can hear the buzz of traffic from King Street (we are not right on King Street) Worse when its a loud truck or motorcycle.

    On Seminary Road there are people who live close to the traffic speeding along at or in excess of 40MPH (its (controversially) a 25MPH zone, but without traffic calming it gets lots of much faster traffic). Yet the opponents of traffic calming there ignore the noise impact on neighbors and insist that a road diet there is all about the evil bike lobby. (Please see Judd's post on that if you live in Alexandria and want to vote on it)

    I would love to have a local policy focus on the noise impacts of passenger transportation. If that were done seriously, it would mean focusing on the issues presented by cars and trucks, not scooters.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 04-05-2019 at 09:43 AM.

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