Scooter Vigilante Shut Down

A scooter vigilante's activities in Scottsdale were short lived. A local columnist has an ambivalent take on the story.

1 minute read

June 16, 2019, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Joanna Allhands pens an opinion piece on the subject of Michael Smalley, who took a vigilante's to approach to scofflaw scooter users by impounding scooters and holding them for ransom. The idea wasn't unique to Smalley, who registered a business in Scottsdale to do the work of taking scooters ransom. Another company in San Diego attracted a lawsuit earlier this year for similar activities.

According to Allhands, Smalley was both wrong, and a folk hero.

Smalley, like many of us, was tired of seeing scooters turn up in the most annoying places. Like, oh, say, in the middle of the sidewalk.

But he didn’t just walk by and get annoyed, or silently curse companies for using public right of way to make money. He didn’t even report it to the city in hopes that some code enforcement officer would spring into action.

No. He impounded the darned things. Smalley even registered a business with Scottsdale to do this kind of work.

Smalley didn't ask permission, however, to impound private property, and has backed down from the practice since police were notified.

Allhands is clearly not a fan of scooters, if the editorializing apparent in the above quote didn't make clear.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Arizona Republic

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.