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Boston and surrounding communities hope to get some electric scooters running this spring

Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville are working on a pilot program that could unleash some of those electric scooters that briefly showed up in Cambridge and Somerville earlier this year, City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) said today.

O'Malley said transportation officials in the four communities are also working with state senators Joesph Boncore (D-Cambridge) and Michael Barrett (D-Lexington) to carve out exemptions in state laws that would otherwise group the lightweight battery-powered vehicles with Vespas and other gas-powered vehicles.

O'Malley said he backs the scooters, here "in the city where public transportation really began in the United States." They scooters, which unlike BlueBikes, would not have fixed docking stations, but which would just be left wherever riders no longer need them, would help remove cars from the roads, in part by giving people a new way to get to transit hubs and decrease the creation of greenhouse gasses, he said.

He added, though, that they'll need "robust oversight and rules and regulations," something he said he'll propose after the new year.

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Comments

Cool, but where are the flying cars?

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Jetson! Still waiting for my flying car, also. We're said to be right around the corner 50 years ago

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Dockless scooters in downtown Boston where there's barely enough sidewalk on most streets. Combine that with riders that'll swerve between car & bike lanes and fly through sidewalks too.

What can go wrong?

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Ban cars

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Are a plague of junk left scattered everywhere here on West coast. Mostly recognition that millions will never be able to afford even a cheap car again here in USA.

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(a) Car ownership is pretty much endemic in the US - almost 2 per household

http://www.autonews.com/article/20180123/MOBILITY/180129900/car-ownershi...

(b) Most people who don't own cars in Boston do so by choice

(c) You can buy a used car at virtually any price point, if you really want one

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He added, though, that they'll need "robust oversight and rules and regulations,"

Really though? That's bullshit.

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Is that the same sort of robust oversight & regulation as we have for space savers? This will be terrible downtown and in older neighborhoods where sidewalks are narrow and self-engrossed scooter users will scatter these willy-nilly.

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* Brick sidewalks
* Sidewalks with heaves from tree roots
* Lack of access ramp at corners

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I think the previous post was about storage of the scooters.

I certainly hope scooter users know enough to not ride 15-20mph down downtown sidewalks.

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As long as they drive in the other motor vehicle lanes and not bicycle lanes. There's already problems with motorcycle and scooter using the bike lanes. Motor vehicles (these scooters use motors) don't belong in bicycle lanes.

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which means they are traveling more or less the same speed as pedal-powered cyclists. They are also electric, so they aren't making noise or spewing fumes. As a frequent cyclist, I don't see this as a big problem.

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Boston and surrounding communities hope to get some electric scooters running this spring....

But what about the people that actually live in Boston and the surrounding communities? I'm more interested to hear what they think.

I for one am not a fan of these

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I walk, bike and take the T around Boston where I live and work. While I understand brogrammers are too lardy to bike or walk and need an alternative to being chauffered around by uber/lyft, it shouldn't be something that is going to make walking and biking around the city worse. Having these things speeding in bike lanes and sidewalks like those segways will be terrible.

via GIPHY

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If no one wants to use these, they'll make no money for the owners and the companies will pull out and take their scooters with them. So if they're truly that unpopular it seems like a problem that would solve itself.

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I'm a fan of electric scooters.

If we're worried about things taking up space, then just take a look at all the acreage given over to pollution spewing cars and trucks.

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I don't see an issue with them as long as kids ride electric scooters in the bike lanes and on the streets and NOT on the sidewalk with pedestrians and wheelchair users.

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to say nothing of joggers, Ubers, UPS, FedEx, Staties, ATM-users, Dunks shoppers, and beer trucks.

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Why do you have a problem with disabled people riding their motorized wheelchairs in the bike lane? If there is a law banning diabled persons from using their motorized wheelchairs in the bike lane, then please cite it.

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Sidewalk ramps and width requirements exist for the sole purpose of wheelchair accessibility. They belong on sidewalks, not in a travel lane of the street.

Nothing against wheelchair use, but in a bike lane they're a hazard to cyclists the same way a parked car would be.

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“They’re slow” is the main gripe motor vehicle drivers would give about bicyclists riding in regular traffic. Just saying.

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Very good point. But according to the law, as far as I could tell from a quick search, wheelchair users are considered pedestrians, which means they technically belong on the sidewalk. I admittedly haven't had many run-ins with wheelchair users, either on the sidewalk or in a bike lane. But of the ones I have seen, I don't recall ever seeing one moving at the same pace as I would on a bike.

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I'd love to neutralize idiot wrong-way joggers, but most power chairs that end up in bike lanes are moving at a fairly quick pace and are easy to tail until I can pass them.

I know full well why many chair users use those lanes, too: the sidewalks and ramps in these parts are often in impassibly shitty condition.

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Aren't wrong way joggers preferable? I mean, I'm assuming they get out of your way, which is why pedestrians are encouraged to go opposite the traffic. Of course, if they are expecting you to change lanes, yeah, screw 'em.

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No no no no no no.

There shalt be no dockless anything allowed. It's litter and, just like an Allston student who leaves a bed bug habitat on the sidewalk, the perpetrators should be executed, not encouraged.
And unlike bicycles which belong on the road and walking which belongs on sidewalks, scooters belong on neither. Scooters are a hazard to cyclists and pedestrians alike.

If this is allowed to continue, next thing you know we'll have scooter tours just like those asses on the segways, who also should have been executed.

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There shalt be no dockless anything allowed. It's litter

Like all the cars?

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I am someone who thinks walkability should be the primary design factor in any city. I think cars should be tertiary to pedestrians and cyclists. But here are the rules that need to be enacted in a perfect city:

Cars are ok. Not everything is close and the mass transit has huge black holes it doesn't go to, nor will ever go to anytime in the next century. That should be worked on, but in the meantime... Also cars are utile for when you need to buy something heavy, or are going long distances, like outside the city.

We just don't need as much street parking or highways going through the city. New buildings should still have parking requirements, but only 1 per unit, not per bedroom, and under the building, not next to it.
Semi-s however need to unload outside of town and transfer to smaller trucks and vans for inner city deliveries.
Large parking lots can remain, but only if they are canopied with solar panel installations, and designed to be more permeable so you have less runoff.

Bicycles are great and should have the right of way over everything on the road except for emergency vehicles. But...
-Only if you own the bicycle and keep it indoors when not using it. Sharing things is how we have bedbugs and STDs.
-You must buy only the best parts and lavish said bicycle
-Only if you shame anyone who uses oil instead of wax lubricant on their chain. White Lightning Lubricant 4 Life Baby!

Skateboards are acceptable, but anyone using rollerblades, scooters, segways, hoverboards, etc. should have their offending device rectally implanted in them. Skateboarding Is Not A Crime. Those other things are.

Walking is the best. It burns more calories than cycling or sitting and it's good for your muscles and posture. But... something needs to be done with walk buttons at crosswalks. They should actually do something, not just tell you to "Wait".

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These look so much fun!

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They scooters, which unlike BlueBikes, would not have fixed docking stations, but which would just be left wherever riders no longer need them, would help remove cars from the roads, in part by giving people a new way to get to transit hubs and decrease the creation of greenhouse gasses, he said.

Man, that run-on sentence needs help.

The last part is most important. If dockless scooters can reduce vehicle miles traveled, then they are essential to decreasing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. We need to focus on transportation because it is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. Consequently, any politician (see: Marty "car guy" Walsh) who has "signed" the Paris Climate Agreement should welcome this pilot. Any pro-science person should too.

If the concerns center on making space for scooters and avoiding conflicts with pedestrians on sidewalks, then we need to rededicate far more space for mobility lanes. For good examples, check out Causeway Street in Bulfinch Triangle and Commercial Street in the North End.

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I wouldn't call causeway street a good example. It is not at all comfortable to ride on, with heavy traffic on both sides and no real protection, and the east end in particular was horribly designed with a turn so tight it's dangerous.

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Downtown has roadways built out in the 60s and 70s for suburban commuters to fly in and out of the city as fast as possible. Long past time for the city to reconfigure these roads, drop some lanes where appropriate, expand sidewalks, build protected bike/scooter/bus lanes. Look at Congress St near City Hall, it's nuts. Downtown should be the safest place to walk and bike, not the least safe.

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Let's start with the all the high speed, multi-lane one-way roads.

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Tony C would have approved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hkaAuCm8X4

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