So I know we all need to get around. And we all have used technology to hasten the pace and ease the process of getting around. But I have to say, those red bikes and motorized scooters that showed up in Providence suddenly a few months back are, to me, really starting to become highly annoying. The red bikes are troublesome, but let's save that for another time and focus on the scooters.
I know these things have been just popping up all across the nation. In some cities, they weren't even authorized, according to NBC Nightly News, who reported that one city ended up impounding the scooters and holding them until the company that installed them in the city paid $93,000 in violation fees. I applaud that city.
Let's get down to the issue that is really at the center of this for me: safety. Safety for the general public (those walking, in cars,etc.), and safety for the scooter rider. Admittedly, it is odd seeing a man in a three-piece business suit cruising down the sidewalk on the East Side on a motorized scooter. I don't know how fast they go, but they go fast enough to do some damage in the event of a crash, be it into another person, into a moving car, and to the rider, none of whom seem to be equipped with helmets in the event of a wipeout or crash into a storefront plate glass window.
Some may see these scooters as social progress - offering more alternatives for transportation to those who can't afford transportation an easy and quicker way to get around. But, to me, it's regressing. I personally have had to dodge people of all ages and sizes on the sidewalk as they scooted past, have had a friend get his idling car at a red light crashed into and watch a woman fly from her scooter to the ground. Scooters trying to beat crossing lights. Yes, do people walking sometimes present hazards (jaywalking, etc.) But everything is intensified with the speed and general lack of experience of most people on these new scooters.
Bottom line - the City of Providence and all cities afflicted by these new "modern conveniences" need to seriously look at the risk-benefit ratio of these scooters and bikes, and, should they decide to keep them, enact new safety measures (maybe painting scooter/bike lane lines on sidewalks, etc.) because this current arrangement, in my humble estimation, isn't working out.
I would protest these scooters at the State House or City Hall.
But I don't have a scooter to get there.