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Op-Ed: Cities, Get the Scooters Under Control

Scooters are a useful addition to the mobility landscape, but cities need to address the many safety issues that come along with them.
June 22, 2019, 9am PDT | Camille Fink
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Margaret Renkl says chaos has ensued since scooters hit the streets of Nashville just over a year ago. She recognizes that scooters are a convenient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly travel mode. But she says the scooters are a safety hazard to both users and pedestrians, and she notes a series of fatal accidents in cities in the United States and Europe.

"Electric scooters are fun, and joy should never be discounted, but a city needs to be the municipal equivalent of the sober parent, the safety-conscious parent, and either ban the devices altogether or commit the resources to make them safer," writes Renkl.

She argues that cities need to regulate scooters and back up the regulations with enforcement. They also need to make long-term plans for improved infrastructure, including dedicated lanes, to accommodate scooters.

In May, a Nashville man was hit by a car and killed while riding a scooter, and his parents are calling for a scooter ban in the city. "Nashville’s Mayor [David] Briley, who is running for re-election, has asked for draft legislation that would ban the scooters outright if companies don’t respond adequately to a list of safety concerns," notes Renkl.

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Published on Monday, June 17, 2019 in The New York Times
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