Parking Study: Scooter Scofflaws Far Outnumbered by Car Scofflaws

The worst offenders of parking violations on the streets today aren't scooters—they're food delivery and ride-hailing drivers.

2 minute read

March 5, 2020, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Electric Scooters

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Daniel Aloi writes to share news of a new study completed by planning researchers from the University of Oregon and Cornell University, with help from Lime and the city of Denver.

“Scooter clutter” has been a concern amplified by media reports in urban areas where micromobility has entered the landscape, with large numbers of dockless scooters and shared e-bikes on city streets and sidewalks. But a recent study finds that motor vehicles are still the main offender by far when it comes to blocking access by other travelers.

The Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives journal published the study this week. The study examines five cities—Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Santa Monica, California; and Washington, D.C.—for insights into scooter, bike, and car parking behavior. Aloi explains the methodology of the study:

Researchers collected 3,666 observations of e-scooters, bikes, motor vehicles and “sidewalk objects” such as sandwich boards. Research assistants recorded parking behavior on both sides of a busy commercial corridor for three days, eight hours each day. They observed parked cars, scooters and bicycles, as well as sidewalk furniture including advertising, construction materials and sidewalk-mounted elevator or stair-access doors.

And the findings:

The study found that parking noncompliance rates across the five cities were far higher for motor vehicles (24.7% of 2,631 motor vehicles observed) than for micromobility vehicles (0.8% of 865 scooter and bike observations).

As noted by Aloi, most of the car parking noncompliance was generated by food delivery services and ride-hailing companies.

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