The Gita Robot Might Save Seattle's Unloved Sidewalks

Comments

1

Seattle is the town where half the city whines about not having any sidewalks, and the half that has sidewalks prefers to walk in the street, ideally in dark clothes after sunset.

But be careful what you wish for. Neighborhoods that have gotten sidewalks have had many instances of angry people who didn't realize how much of their yard was actually city right-of-way.

2

You might be right, Charles. If the Gita did become the hip expensive new gadget for techbros, then said wealthy techbros might demand better sidewalk infrastructure. And, sadly, they probably would have more political clout than our disabled citizens.

But that all presupposes that the Gita finds a market. Personally, I'm extremely skeptical that it will. There is very little that a Gita can do that can't be a accomplished with a cheap foldable utility cart for less than $50. It is otherwise a ridiculously expensive novelty toy.

3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W4MYJt8c4w

4

There's a lot of Seattle north of the ship canal that doesn't have sidewalks, and a lot of homeowners up there who really love not having 'em. They drive nice cars, they have high opinions of their own opinions, and they have the time to find out about and show up to obscure city planning meetings.

They're the reason the City never feels any pressure to budget more than a pittance for sidewalks. Ain't no robot gonna change that.

5

Remember when the Segway was going to “transform cities as we know it?” All the leading tech billionaires of the day invested in it and touted it. It was going to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells!

And what it ended up being was a shitty annoying novelty for obese tourists. It changed nothing.

Anyone want to place bets on this robot toy effecting city planning in any meaningful way?

6

Has anyone considered how likely it is that this very expensive gadget is only going to survive maybe a handful of excursions before some inattentive motorist who is not expecting a tiny pod to be trailing behind a pedestrian in a crosswalk takes it out?

7

@6 Or a Tesla and a Gita could get their avoidance algorithms locked into that little dance pedestrians do when trying to get out of each other's way... or maybe just Captain Kirk each other into erasing their operating systems to resolve the paradox.

8

@8 -- perhaps the wee robots'll Organize
fancy themselves a militia get Well-armed &
Vaporize any wanna-be automotive-maniacs

or the odd Inattentives...

9

More sidewalks, more bike and scooter litter. If you really want to help the disabled, mandate dock rentals throughout seattle for these companies and give them steep fines everytime they end up blocking sidewalks.