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Smoother

Rentable escooters will be the Death of EUCs in Major cities of the World

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the following is excerpted from a recent post of mine in another thread.  The title, is a bold statement, I agree, but In a year you can all point at me and say "you were wrong" and this is one case where I will be very happy to be wrong. 

Now, before I paste the post I just mentioned.  Let me clarify the statement in the title.  By "major City" I mean any city where rentable escooters have forced the authorities to enact more restrictive laws, or enforce more rigorously, the laws that hitherto were being ignored.

In smaller towns, and villages, and out in the country and on trails, we will probably be ok.  But occasionally we will hear of someone being fined or losing their wheel or both; even in these lesser areas.

(begin quote of myself)

"This is a translation of the proposed French law as it pertains to EUCs:

"Its use is prohibited on public roads (sidewalks and traffic lanes).

Moreover, any dangerous behavior deliberately putting the life of others in danger can be punished with 1 year of imprisonment and 15 000 € of fine.

Use is permitted on private roads (for example, private property road, driveway of a private residence)."

It also applies to eskateboards, etc.  Pretty much anything with a motor EXCEPT ebikes.  ebikes are allowed on the road and bike trails only, no sidewalks; so no change there.

So, if this is approved, France will become like England.  And this is why I am relieved I am a lone wheeler wherever I go.  A lone wheeler attracts little attention, and is rarely seen (after all when I'm not riding, I'm unseen, and if I ride one day in town "A" I'm unseen in towns "B" "C" and "D" etc.  And even when I'm in town "A" I'm only on one street/path at a time, I'm not everywhere, and I'm not there all the time. And a lone rider can easily dismount (and hide/disguise the wheel) or turn down a side street when the 5-0 comes around the corner. Not so easy for a group to "disappear". Of course, I don't have the robocop look either, so maybe not so easy to blend in if you're all kitted up.

The day there are group rides in my area is the day I must find another area to ride, because the authorities and Mr. and Mrs. busybody can't ignore so many lawbreakers.

I may be wrong but I attribute all this new scrutiny and law making to the explosion of rent-able escooters last year.  With so many dim whits terrorizing the streets and sidewalks of our major cities, people have been complaining in drovers, and the authorities have been forced to act.  So instead of escooters being our savior in terms of PEV acceptance, as some predicted, they have had the exact opposite effect.  Next years when all the escooter companies are gone (from most cities, not all), we, the lone EUC riders, riding our expensive, privately owned machines, carefully and considerately, will be left to face the wrath of all these new laws, and more importantly, the fact that Joe Public knows these laws and is quick to call the cops. And to make it worse, these laws will be there forever, because no one undoes a law that isn't being used, it just sits there on the books waiting to be cited by Officer "It's the law", or Mr. and Mrs. busybody.

I recently said a Dualtron type scooter might be my next PEV, but I think, an ebike makes much more sense now. No one is going to degrade the laws against bicycles, they are too entrenched in society.

Reading what is happening in major Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona (as a direct result of the rise of escooters) breaks my heart.  I remember 2 years ago when I could wheel anywhere in Barcelona, Benidorm, Sitges, Alicante, Torreveija, etc, and no one gave a damn.  Not any more.  When I return there I will be restricted to the point of making it uncomfortable to ride." If I had known the first time I wheeled down La Rambla in Barcelona, would be my last, I'd have done it a few more times.  The world is reacting to mass Pevs but not in our favor.

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"Throttle-controlled" may be the key.  Throttle-controlled scooters are earning a reputation for injuring bystanders.  You may point out to your legislators that the unicycle is not the same thing.

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Here is an article originally posted by @Circuitmage from last year that I think gives a clue about how regulations are trending in the United States; which in general seems more e-bike and EUC friendly than Europe on the regulation side of things. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/as-e-biking-grows-us-cities-consider-easing-rules-on-where-the-machines-may-be-used/2018/04/06/d20b2f58-3756-11e8-8fd2-49fe3c675a89_story.html?utm_term=.8743f48b619f

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Thanks @Lutalo . :) 

I would add that some NEW signs in the small town I live in now specifically state "scooters" in addition to mopeds and skateboards as being not allowed in some shopping center parking lots. While they don't specifically state "EUC"''s , they do appear to be attempting to list more ride able things to keep off their property and "scooter" looks to intentionally cover many different things.

Previously I was noting that the city park signs and other parking lot signs did NOT include scooters or other "electric" personal vehicles. I believe they also state "bicycle" so if I ever get stopped for riding in their shopping center, I will be specifically asking about bicycles not being allowed either. What is this coming to? Buy a car , walk or nothing?

 

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The people that legislate don't ride a PLEV so they don't care. But most of the problems are due to a small minority of riders that don't understand how to ride safely when close to pedestrians (lack of education) and those that simply don't care.

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7 minutes ago, Circuitmage said:

Thanks @Lutalo . :) 

I would add that some NEW signs in the small town I live in now specifically state "scooters" in addition to mopeds and skateboards as being not allowed in some shopping center parking lots. While they don't specifically state "EUC"''s , they do appear to be attempting to list more ride able things to keep off their property and "scooter" looks to intentionally cover many different things.

Previously I was noting that the city park signs and other parking lot signs did NOT include scooters or other "electric" personal vehicles. I believe they also state "bicycle" so if I ever get stopped for riding in their shopping center, I will be specifically asking about bicycles not being allowed either. What is this coming to? Buy a car , walk or nothing?

 

See!  It's happening already.  Most people don't know what to call an EUC so they write "scooter" and any offical can point at your wheel and say "that's a scooter too".  Even if you successfully explain it isn't they'll just turn around and say, "well those aren't allowed here either" One day they will spell out EUC or electric unicycle or one wheeled device, and that then will go up on the "forbidden" signs too.  It was much better when we were the only electric wheels other than ebikes.

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If the people that see the benefits of PLEVs outnumber those that complain, then the legislators have to go with the majority ... or so you would think. Its usually the complainers that they hear from because the other side is mostly silent.

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31 minutes ago, Nic said:

If the people that see the benefits of PLEVs outnumber those that complain, then the legislators have to go with the majority ... or so you would think. Its usually the complainers that they hear from because the other side is mostly silent.

Money talks too, so if the camp for PLEVs Lyme, Bird, etc have more money than the other camp they win.  Who is the other camp? Big transport? Cyclist groups? Pedestrians?

Big transport is not new to these battles and they fight dirty.  GM, Firestone and Standard Oil of California were convicted in 1949 of conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce in sale of buses, fuel, and supplies, in several major US cities.

In LA they got rid of the trams (yeah, did you know LA had an excellent tram system back in the day) in favor of GM buses running on Firestone, tyres, burning Standard oil fuel.  To make sure the trams could not come back or be used elsewhere, they stacked them up and set them on fire (I've seen the footage).  My ex Father in Law Lived in Pasadena when it was mostly open fields.  He used to hunt rabbits with his .22 (try doing that today) and the Keystone cops shot a lot of their footage around there.  He said he could ride a tram all the way to the beach for 10c or less.

330px-Pacific-Electric-Red-Cars-Awaiting-Destruction.jpgPacific Electric Railway 'red car' streetcars stacked in Los Angeles awaiting demolition in 1956

Read as much as you want here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

As per any discussion of this sort, some say it didn't happen quite like this,  Fake news? You be the judge.

 

Edited by Smoother
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1 hour ago, Circuitmage said:

I believe they also state "bicycle" so if I ever get stopped for riding in their shopping center, I will be specifically asking about bicycles not being allowed either. What is this coming to? Buy a car , walk or nothing?

Correct. A significant portion, perhaps the majority, of towns and cities in the US have moved quickly and surely to ban bicycles, eBikes, eScooters, electrics, skateboards, and rollerblades from their region. In my locals I've seen new signs forbidding both bicycles and electrics. Even walking is difficult, as now transformers and other items in the newer rebuilt roads force you to duck underneath them (curbs are moved back to make room for more parking and wider lanes).

The eScooter pushback is in full swing with no wasted time as cities took this opportunity to not only ban shared eScooters but also privately owned eScooters. Cities like Toronto, Washington, among many others, have also torn up their protected bicycle lane due to driver outcry.

Even celebrities like Whoopy Goldberg hate bicyclists with a passion, as an interview with her and NY mayor.

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a25937433/whoopi-goldberg-bike-lanes/

While oil production will increase 20-40 % by 2030.

https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/Energy-and-environment/Energy-resources/Outlook-for-Energy/2018-Outlook-for-Energy-A-View-to-2040#aViewTo2040

This means if the oil companies guess right then they'll meet energy demands at affordable prices while if they guess wrong then the world will be deluged in cheap oil making big infrastructure such as wide roads and automobiles cheap to produce.

California's energy consumption increased by about 40% just in the past decade, and I think CA is a great indication of how the rest of the nation will soon go, that is, increased energy usage while keeping gas prices very low due to increased production.

All this means is a perfect storm against eScooters and eBikes despite their recent success.

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4 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Correct. A significant portion, perhaps the majority, of towns and cities in the US have moved quickly and surely to ban bicycles,

Wow! so not even this mature entrenched transport mode is safe over there.  In London by comparison, cycling is highly encouraged and the push for more bike lanes continues, although a continuous (and safe ) bike lane structure is no where to be seen and the occasional cyclist gets squashed by a truck or bus, and there are regular confrontations between angry cyclists and angry drivers.  There's even a "bike to work" scheme.  If your employer participates, you can get a bike of your choice and your employer pays for it (it's more complicated than that but I cant be arsed to look it up).

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1 hour ago, Smoother said:

Wow! so not even this mature entrenched transport mode is safe over there.  In London by comparison, cycling is highly encouraged and the push for more bike lanes continues, although a continuous (and safe ) bike lane structure is no where to be seen and the occasional cyclist gets squashed by a truck or bus, and there are regular confrontations between angry cyclists and angry drivers.  

Personally, I've learned to never react in any way to hostile drivers, and to simply take a side street or curb hop away from the driver who shadows you. Drivers are hostile because they see bicyclists as getting in their way, and by simply existing you're making them angry. The reason bicyclists and drivers are angry is because they are fighting for the same road space. It's not a zero sum game but it looks like it to drivers who haven't done simple math in calculating their vehicles respective footprint.

It's like when people get angry when another person drives alongside them then jumps into the line ahead of them. If you thought carefully about it, you would then welcome aggressive drivers jumping in front of you because they are utilizing every inch of road. Keep the water pressure high, I say.

Drivers don't like other vehicles getting in their way, and will support anything that discourages those vehicles from being on the road.

Fundementally, and I think insurmountably for most places, that since between 97% to 99.95% of people on the road drive automobiles (in the US), that means you're trying to overcome an overwhelmingly hostile population. It's just not possible, and in just the past year we are seeing not just pushback but the banning of all alternative vehicles including bicycles.

For people living in the US suburbs, I challenge you to read your Homeowners Association rules; it  likely bans recreational bicycling. For people living in St Louis, note that bicycles are now banned from most areas of the city since they are no longer allowed on four lane roads or roads with 35 mph and greater speed limits.

The speed and scope nationwide against bicycles and electrics is breathtaking; while many cities (Memphis and Austin) welcomed eScooters, many cities have not and simply banned them.

I'm astonished at how quickly this all played out. One one hand we have cities and towns getting rid of minimum parking requirements while encouraging bikes and eScooters, and others doubling down on faster wider roads, bigger parking lots, and eliminating bicycles and electrics. It's all very sudden.

Even the drop of oil prices, and an expected huge drop in the near future (to compete with solar and wind) may  make unsustainable road building now sustainable. Of course, that means we'll rocket past 5 C global warming.

Who knows, there may be huge drawbacks to stuffing people downtown with electrics. Crime, disease, light pollution, stress, unhealthy food, whatever.

We'll soon find out as those places seperate culturally. Who made.rhe right decision?

Edited by LanghamP
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Interesting, and disturbing at the same time.

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7 hours ago, Circuitmage said:

Buy a car , walk or nothing?

Buy a car (or else)! :crying:

Edited by RayRay
No alternative

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  Many CITIES in the US are working to become more bike friendly. They are closing car lanes and turning them into bike lanes. Closing city blocks and making them pedestrian and bike only. ( EUCs are classified as bikes in TN) 

  There are 23 miles of mountainous terrain between my house and my city courthouse or town center.  It rains 3 or 4 days every week during the fall and winter months not counting the spring showers and thunderstorms . Bicycles are just not that practical in my area. If not for the locks on the river I could get around quicker by boat than car. 

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Private property will always have the right to decide what constitutes permissible transportation on their property. Many private spaces don't allow anything outside of walking or jogging; this has long been the case.

The compelling thing about the Washington Post article was that it focused on measures under consideration by regulators of public spaces.

The public space measures in DC and some other major cities are headed toward deregulation. While others are headed toward more stringent regulation or banning.

The invariable process of legislation struggling to catch the speed of tech development will always create gray areas,  and gray areas in the law always create uncertainty and opportunity. 

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16 hours ago, RockyTop said:

( EUCs are classified as bikes in TN)

I assume you've researched the legal side of EUC use in our state judging from this post and another we interacted on. Would you mind telling me where I can reference this info possibly in case I ever need it?

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@RockyTop does the TN code say anything about "Play vehicles"?  The WI code talks of EPAMD (which EUCs seem to meet the description of) but then also has a line saying that "Unicycles are Play vehicles" (with no mention of electricity) - so there's two totally different sets of rules that could clearly apply (one saying you can't go on the roads at all and another giving essentially the same rules as a bicycle). 

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36 minutes ago, BarrettJ said:

@RockyTop does the TN code say anything about "Play vehicles"?  The WI code talks of EPAMD (which EUCs seem to meet the description of) but then also has a line saying that "Unicycles are Play vehicles" (with no mention of electricity) - so there's two totally different sets of rules that could clearly apply (one saying you can't go on the roads at all and another giving essentially the same rules as a bicycle). 

  I just did a quick check and did not find anything. I do not think that I have read a term in the TN state law about play or toy vehicles. I have come across the term in other states. The danger for GA and TN laws is the close terminology to handicap devices. The good thing about the south is that if you are not causing a problem or damaging property no one cares what you do. We have a guy that lost his drivers license. No possible way he will ever get it back. He put a 5hp Briggs engine on a 3 wheeled bike an runs all ove town with it. No one cares. (Expect the park rangers) 

   The only thing that causes the park rangers to take note of the EUC is the fact that they are paid to pay attention and enforce 10 park rules, one of them is no motorized vehicles. When I show them state law they are pleased to go on their way with a future explanation as to why they did not stop me. 

       “I did my job. Those things are neat. Maybe I could get one to patrol with.“

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On 2/12/2019 at 3:01 PM, RockyTop said:

Many CITIES in the US are working to become more bike friendly. They are closing car lanes and turning them into bike lanes. Closing city blocks and making them pedestrian and bike only. ( EUCs are classified as bikes in TN) 

This is true in my part of Canada as well; cities seem to have noticed they can save  a lot of money and realize other benefits (reduced pollution, carbon impact) if they can reduce their auto burden. As well, it seems clear that the pressure to to reduce carbon emissions is going to become more intense with each passing year, so the smarter cities are getting started with that now.

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Once a bicycle lane has been put into a city, it only has a limited time before one of two things happen.

1. The bicycle lane is successful as many bicyclists use it, and is then accepted permanently by the local culture.

2. A popular revolt occurs by drivers, and then the bike lane is removed.

2018 saw the roll back of quite a number of bicycle lanes due to populist demand.

https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a23566413/los-angeles-is-the-worst-bike-city-in-america/

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/how-to-kill-a-bike-lane/559934/

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina/articles/2018-07-15/south-carolina-city-to-remove-bike-lanes-on-busy-road

https://www.thestate.com/latest-news/article214892680.html

I would guess most bike lanes will be removed in the near future, simply due to the fact that drivers outnumber bicyclists by a 50 to 1 ratio, and see each bike lane as taking away from free flowing auto lanes.

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29 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Once a bicycle lane has been put into a city, it only has a limited time before one of two things happen.

1. The bicycle lane is successful as many bicyclists use it, and is then accepted permanently by the local culture.

2. A popular revolt occurs by drivers, and then the bike lane is removed.

2018 saw the roll back of quite a number of bicycle lanes due to populist demand.

https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a23566413/los-angeles-is-the-worst-bike-city-in-america/

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/how-to-kill-a-bike-lane/559934/

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina/articles/2018-07-15/south-carolina-city-to-remove-bike-lanes-on-busy-road

https://www.thestate.com/latest-news/article214892680.html

I would guess most bike lanes will be removed in the near future, simply due to the fact that drivers outnumber bicyclists by a 50 to 1 ratio, and see each bike lane as taking away from free flowing auto lanes.

Green policy will hopefully see that this doesn't happen. How much damage from Hurricanes can the US handle before realising that global warming is a real issue?

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1 hour ago, LanghamP said:

I would guess most bike lanes will be removed in the near future, simply due to the fact that drivers outnumber bicyclists by a 50 to 1 ratio, and see each bike lane as taking away from free flowing auto lanes.

Horses vastly outnumbered cars at one point and yet, here we are. :efef2e0fff:

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