They are absolutely everywhere, left strewn across sidewalks, lawns, boulevards, plazas and parks. Dockless scooters and bikes!
Dockless bike sharing arrived in San Diego on February 22/18, when the City Attorney gave the legal OK. The main companies involved were LimeBike, Ofo, Bird and DiscoverBike (formerly DecoBike docked) rounded out the list. In March 2019, the city terminated Discoverbike’s agreement for breach.
The dockless electric assist bikes and scooters’ rear wheels lock in place when users are done with them. This means, they can be picked up anywhere and dropped off anywhere and as the photos below will attest, they are dropped off anywhere and everywhere. The city’s thinking was that this type of bike share would promote more use of bicycle and scooter commuting and it definitely seems to be working.
All you need to start riding is the app and a few simple instructions. Like step ladders, the liability disclaimers are clearly written on the bikes, in an attempt to absolve the rental companies and the city of any liability for injuries to the users.
However, we doubt that many riders, particularly tourists, actually read the fine print and even fewer take any safety precautions into account, such as wearing helmets or not riding on sidewalks. While we were in San Diego, we saw people dressed in formal grad attire riding them, older folks riding them and even couples riding them tandem. Hmmmmmmmmmm. In the feature photo, you see me with one foot on the scooter. This was for my son’s benefit. When we texted the photo to him, he came back immediately with “You are not riding these are you, they are hard on the face.” The last comment was a reference to my bike accident in Nice, which required an ambulance ride, 2 hospital visits, 3 home nurse visits and substantial dental reconstruction when I got home. Nope, we did not ride them, but we did have to dodge them on our trips down the sidewalk, along the waterfront and by the beach, as they whizzed hither, thither and yon. Oh to be young(er) and foolish again.
Each morning, we passed workers on scooters corralling the little guys and hauling them back to to rank them neatly in scooter and bike zones. There was even a truck and trailer load one morning. I can imagine it must be a full time job keeping them in place and charged.
Don’t get me wrong, there were occasions where bikes and scooters were neatly placed, but these artful arrangements did not last long. Oh well, I hear Edmonton is about to make a deal with LimeBike and Bird, so scooters (and maybe E-bikes) could be coming to a street near us soon. Hope they can find them all before our September snows arrive……………….