Scooter Media Brief: Then the CDC Rode In

There's still plenty of electric scooter news in the world.

Read Time: 4 minutes

December 14, 2018, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Dockless Scooter Share

Stav krikst / Shutterstock

Planetizen has been gathering electric scooter news for months now, and for a while the narratives were holding steady—cities were banning electric scooter share, people were embracing them, riders were ending up in the hospital, and scooter companies were launching operations without permits.

But then, this month, the Centers for Disease Control changed the arc of history by launching its first study of the public health impacts of electric scooters. According to an article by Dan Solomon, the study will take place in Austin, and seek to find hard data on the health risks of electric scooters. "It will be the first study of its kind, focusing 'on 37 EMS calls and 68 scooter injuries reported through syndromic surveillance conducted at area hospitals.'"

The study could provide an important step toward a more complete understanding of the consequences of the sudden popularity of electric scooters, and one that could also answer to at least one of the modes more measured and thoughtful, skeptics. Angie Schmitt's take on the electric scooter craze, blasted semi-frequently to Twitter, is more than worthy of amplification:

There is still a lot of work left to do to figure out how electric scooters to fit into the mix of travel modes. Here's the latest news and commentary on that societal project.

National News

National Commentary

Local News

Local Commentary

James Brasuell

James Brasuell is a writer and editor, producing web, print, and video content on the subjects of planning, urbanism, and mobility. James has managed all editorial content and direction for Planetizen since 2014 and was promoted to editorial director in 2021.


The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022

An annual list of the must-read books related to urban planning and its intersecting fields.

November 28, 2022 - James Brasuell

The  Rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux is crowded with pedestrians in a lively European scene.

European Cities Act on Density

The sprawling mass of suburbia has been a disaster for the environment. But now smaller, denser cities herald a renaissance in city living.

November 20, 2022 - Wired Magazine

Victorian two-story buildings with retail shops in downtown Nashvile, Tennessee

Nashville Sets Downtown Parking Maximums

Nashville is the latest city to enact a substantive change to the parking requirements set by the city’s zoning code—doing away with parking minimums and setting parking maximums in the city’s Urban Zoning Overlay.

November 20, 2022 - The Tennessean

Dark parking garage, empty except for one car covered with a red tarp

Advice for a Post-Parking Mandate World

After abolishing parking requirements, what can cities do to make the most of new space and revenue and avoid backlash?

5 hours ago - Next City

View of park ranger with tan hat from behind, ranger looking out at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Western Voters: Yes to Conservation, No to Extremism

Voters in Western states generally favored candidates who support public land conservation in this November’s election and rejected extremist rhetoric.

6 hours ago - High Country News

The Boring Company

Detailing the Boring Company’s Poor Track Record

Elon Musk’s promised solution for congestion—the Boring Co.—has proven most successful at disappearing on the governments that trusted them.

7 hours ago - The Wall Street Journal

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.