Tacoma Today
Tacoma Today Charles Mudede

One meaningful way to read the story of Tacoma beating Seattle to Lime's popular electric scooter is as a sign of the times. This year, the 206 entered a period that has seen much of the progress it made in public transportation and bike infrastructure slowing down or going in reverse. We have, of course, our current mayor to blame for this current and sorry state of things. It is indeed Durkan who has banned electric scooters from our streets due to "safety concerns." She has spoken with other mayors. She read something bad about them in a Washington Post article that basically presented its content as real knowledge but in fact, made no such advancement, as it only said there was a spike in scooter accidents in such-and-such a city because there was a spike in the number of scooters in such-and-such a city.

But anyone who is not fully mesmerized by the dazzling illusions perpetually pumped and promoted by the masters of America's car ideology would almost instantly see how utterly ridiculous it is not to emphasize almost all safety concerns relating to urban transportation on cars: their speed, their size, their streets, their dominance, their pollution.

From Seattle Times:

Tacoma has a mix of 250 electric bikes and scooters in its 60-day pilot. Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello said the city didn’t give much thought to distinguishing between bikes and scooters, although he expected scooters to be more popular.

“We’re very excited to try it out and give people a new opportunity to get around in an inexpensive way,” Mello said.

Seattle’s first year of stationless bike sharing had very few injuries, according to unpublished findings from Harborview Medical Center, but electric bikes weren’t yet available for much of the study period.

And so it is: Tacoma, Seattle's old and often bitter rival for prestige, has beaten it to a mode of transportation that is growing in popularity around the world and is not a fossil fuel-burning machine. It's also reported that Spokane (another rival) will soon have scooters. Seattle is really losing its edge.