Long-time reader Steve “Bikeboy” Hulme is a full-time bicycle commuter and obviously not a fan of motorized scooters or bikes, even with electric motors.
He has shared his thoughts with the GUARDIAN. He opens with a memo from the Downtown Business Association.
Boise will soon join a growing number of cities offering E-bikes and E-scooters as transportation options.
Two companies – Lime and Bird – will be the first to bring stationless E-scooters to our city in mid-October.
To plan for the devices hitting the streets this month, the City of Boise updated our bicycle code to allow for the arrival of this new model of transportation.
The City is requiring that Lime and Bird, along with any other company operating a stationless service, to have a fleet of at least 50 but no more than 250 devices. The City also set a limit of 750 total stationless devices to be allowed in the city.
The updated city code allows for:
– Stationless bicycles
– E-bikes with a motor that has a power output of no more than 750 watts and a top speed of 20 miles per hour
– E-scooters with a motor that has a power output of no more than 300 watts and a top speed of 15 miles per hour can be operated
They can be used within City of Boise limits:
– On streets
– On sidewalks and crosswalks
– In bike lanes
– On the 25 miles of Greenbelt paths managed by City of Boise
So – activate a scooter with your “smart phone,” and away you go. Just lock the scooter at the other end with your “smart phone,” and walk away.
Hipster Milennials, with a “smart phone” in one hand and a Starbucks in the other, maneuvering a 15mph electric scooter down the sidewalk? What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!!
Did our Overlords get ANY citizen input, as they updated the city code? Do they even care what traditional sidewalk users and Greenbelt users think? (I assume the Law Enforcers will be carrying some sort of watt-meter – you know like their loud-motorcycle noise meters – to make sure everyone remains in compliance.)
“NO MOTOR VEHICLES” on the sidewalk or Greenbelt… it seems so quaint now, doesn’t it?
There’s a 3-month trial period, which ends on January 15. Because if there aren’t problems or conflicts from October to January, SURELY there won’t be from June to September. (Sigh…)
Other questions that occur to me:
– What is the target demographic? (So far, pretty much every rider I’ve seen has been fairly young and healthy looking.)
– What is the intended benefit, for the community at large? Will Boise be even more “livable” if there’s less walking? (Nobody will ever convince me that these toys will replace very many car trips.)
– Will the city be settling the lawsuits out of court? (You can bet that if the City Council sanctions 15mph electric vehicles on the sidewalk and Greenbelt, the crashes, injuries and lawsuits will follow.)
Okay, I’ve vented.
Interesting SAN FRANCISCO STORY.
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