Looking for Scooter Shame, a Local Paper Found Scooter Support

The Willamette Week put out a call for tips about electric scooter users acting badly. They got an earful of the unexpected.
August 9, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Electric scooters are one of the hottest topics in planning—provoking hand wringing, controversy, and some of the fastest legislating in recent memory. But there's also more and more evidence that the loudest voices of opposition are necessarily in the majority on the issue.

In addition to a game-changing study, published recently by Populous that found evidence of widespread popularity for the new mobility devices, at especially high rates among low-income users and women, there is this mea culpa from Willamette Week.

Last week, dockless electronic scooters arrived by the hundreds on the streets of Portland. These rental scooters have been the target of widespread ire in California cities where they've launched. So WW asked readers on Twitter to send reports of questionable scooting choices to scooters@week.com.

It didn't work.

Instead of stories of scooters gone wild, "[a]lternative transit activists seized the opportunity to remind us that, in their view, the real menace on Portland's streets are cars," according to the article. "In dozens of sarcastic emails, respondents reported bad driver behavior."

The bulk of the article is devoted to presenting the case for scooters—which the Willamette Week was at least gracious enough to admit it had stumbled upon inadvertently.

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Published on Monday, July 30, 2018 in Willamette Week
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