Local Bike Advocates: E-Scooters Are Game-Changing - StreetsBlog USA

Bike advocacy has changed dramatically since privately owned e-scooters began flooding American cities about a year ago, advocates from cities across the country say.

We reached out to key bike advocates in Kansas City, Baltimore and Nashville to get a sense of just how big of an impact e-scooters have made in their cities. Independently, all reported it is pretty huge — especially in the way e-scooters expand the pool of people using “active” transportation.

Scooters have raised concerns about safety and sidewalk accessibility in the press. A couple bike advocacy leaders also raised some potential issues as well. Here’s what they had to say:

In Baltimore, a desperately needed new option

Liz Cornish, the executive director of Bikemore, says the arrival of e-scooters and dockless bikeshare in Baltimore has made her job much, much easier. About 180,000 people have registered as users on either Bird or Lime scooters since they appeared on city streets in July — an enormous number.

“The ridership in Baltimore has just been way larger than I think anyone had anticipated,” Cornish said.

Some of the reasons seems to be specific to Baltimore, she said, while others don’t.

But Baltimore has long struggled to implement a workable city-sponsored bike share.

“The challenge with docked bike share … in order for it to work stations have to be sited close together,” said Cornish. “In a segregated city like Baltimore, a decision has to be made who gets the stations first.”

Dockless bike and dockless scooters have neutralized that concern, she said.

“The function of being dockless these things can be deployed in more different neighborhoods from day one,” she said. “It immediately removed the argument that these vehicles are only for certain people.“

And it helped removed some other key concerns as well.

Click here to read the full article: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/14/local-bike-advocates-e-scooters-are-game-changing/