"why are we still trapping ourselves in car ownership"
We can't even get this stubborn ass population to switch to the metric system. Forget about trying to get them to loosen their grip on their cars.
A few years ago, Seattle voters approved a transportation levy that generates something like $2 million each week. However, only a tiny fraction of that goes into repaving city streets to make them usable by bicycles and escooters. Seattle's transportation priorities truly suck.
No, that isn't the right question. The right question is "Are free floating scooters a good idea for a city this size?". The answer is "No."
Seattle is a big city. We have busy streets, with lots of pedestrians. A dockless system (whether a scooter or bike) is not appropriate for a city this big. It makes sense for smaller cities (Yakima, Burien) but not Seattle.
Seattle should do what every other major city managed to do, which is build a docked bike system. These scale. You can have a lot more bikes without clogging the sidewalks. It requires some subsidy. I know that drives some of the techy-libertarian folks crazy -- but the free market won't solve all of our problems. Add lots of docks, subsidize a bit, and it will be successful. Studies prove this: https://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NACTO_Walkable-Station-Spacing-Is-Key-For-Bike-Share_Sc.pdf, we just can't seem to believe that all we need to do is copy the success of other cities.
Instead we will have scooters, and they will be limited, and rarely used. They will be an annoyance to pedestrians, limiting an expansion. They are cheap to move, but still not that cheap, and so, as with the dockless bike system, the prices will go sky high, before the company just abandons it (and us).
It is bad enough that the city keeps ignoring what other cities do, but it sucks when a decent newspaper (like The Stranger) does as well.
Personally I think we put too much onto the sidewalks. It makes sense to me to prevent motorized traffic where everyone else is walking (excepting wheelchairs). As for all the trouble you went through to get the car jack, why didn’t you just use your bike? Or rent a bike with a decent rack?
Why should anyone trust the opinions of someone too dumb to change a tire and thinks that 12 mph (aka a five minute mile...) is "about the speed of a brisk jog?"
It's like raining for the next hour.
Anyway, if you had an electric car, your repair costs and time spent would drop 40%.
Figures from the new all-electric Ford F-150 which accelerates 60% faster than gasoline versions do.
Ditch the fossil fuel anchor, baby!
Oh, and most of Seattle is flat, it's just you people living on hills that complain. Hope you enjoy your views.
Take the e-scooter on the light rail or monorail or electric bus if you must
👏👏👏 Good article! Yes cities should be made for peopeople and not based only around cars which cause climate change and put too many people in unnecessary debt. Thanks for asking the right questions here!
Also, deaths and accidents by motorists are increasing. More people on bikes and scooters are getting hit by cars. We need to stop our car addiction and help out people instead 😁
You list all of the reasons why you need a car (work, errands, getting where you want in a timely manner...), but then sum it all up with "but why do we need all this space for carssssss?". Ummm...
Pro-tip: next time put a chock or a rock behind you tires so your vehicle doesn't roll. You could have injured yourself, or someone else!
eScooters are silly. A scooter might be a fun novelty, but who in their right mind would consider a scooter to be a legit mode of transportation? With their tiny little wheels and pivot steering, they're far easier to crash than a bicycle. Hit a rock bigger than a pebble, and you go right over the handlebars. On a decent day, a bicycle might be a suitable substitute for a car for some things, but a scooter? No. And adding an electric motor doesn't make them any safer. It just invites more lazy people to use them who don't know what they're doing.
I'm not sure what the big push is for eScooter-share is about. Bike sharing has been tried using several different models, and has mostly failed to take off in Seattle. There just isn't the demand for them. Or at least not enough demand under the price and conditions they've been available for so far. What makes you think that scooters will be the answer?
@16 - one reason that bike shares fail here is that most of the people who want to ride bikes already have them, and many of the rest just steal one when they want to get to/from their camps. Scooters are different in that no self-respecting adult actually owns one, so maybe there is more demand. But keep the goddamned things off the sidewalks in any case. And if you are "scooting" in the bike lane, stay to the right already and turn down your headphones so you can hear people passing you. Too many people not paying attention.
There is no "post-car world". It's not happening. It's short-sighted thinking. Stop pushing for it. Our energy is better spent on how to make SOV's work, and to reduce the need for transportation in general.
It doesn't help that Seattle city government is anti-car. They are intentionally making traffic worse, which just creates more resentment and lack of trust.
And if we weren't such collective idiots, we'd have one unified public transportation system rather than an alphabet worth of acronyms with nothing connecting with anything else. It's confusing, it's inconvenient, and it's such stupidity that a lot of people avoid it simply because they have no idea how it works and they never will.
I thought we were all about minimizing risk of physical injury in this town.
This is so dumb. I love those scooters. I ride them all the time in LA - where it's flat and dry. But they CAN'T CLIMB HILLS. So what's the point in Seattle? Matt if you want to be carless just get an electric bicycle. You'll never want to go near an escooter again.
Good point, Jack.
So, if you see an e-scooter and you're in most of Seattle where it's flat enough, use it.
But if you're going up a hill, get an e-bike.
Article in one sentence - "Dumb-ass can't change a tire correctly, so instead whines about rain, complains about dockless transport that isn't completely charged, and does it all while failing to acknowledge the rampant stupidity of the city's war on cars and alternative transport.
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