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Chicago lock-to rule means scooters are parked on bike racks. Is that a problem or NBD? – Streetsblog Chicago

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Chicago lock-to rule means scooters are parked on bike racks. Is that an issue or NBD? – Streetsblog Chicago

Final 12 months throughout Chicago’s first dockless electrical scooter pilot, the satirical Twitter account Chicago Fails tweeted out countless photos of e-scooter misuse, together with the devices strewn throughout sidewalks, thrown in rubbish cans and dumpsters, and even hanging from bushes. The photographs have been amusing, however sidewalk muddle — particularly when it impacts folks with disabilities — and vandalism eyesores aren’t any laughing matter. There was even a case final 12 months the place somebody dropped a scooter from the Bloomingdale elevated trail, smashing a automotive’s sunroof. All of it served to show the precept that it’s not an important concept to have mid-weight objects unsecured in public space, the place anybody can knock them over or decide them up and misuse them.

Scooter mayhem final 12 months within the West Loop. Picture: Steve Niketopoulos through Chicago Scooter Fails

That’s why Streetsblog Chicago advocated for having a “lock-to” requirement for scooters, with built-in locks for securing the units to bike racks, signal poles, and parking meters. Town carried out that technique, and for this 12 months’s pilot all of the scooters from the three concessionaires, Chicken, Lime, and Spin, have built-in cable locks. Consequently, Chicago Fails hasn’t had a lot to tweet about scooter-wise this summer time. Scooter-blocked sidewalks and trashed e-gadgets have just about gone the way in which of the dinosaur in Chicago.

Riding scooters in Lakeview. Photo: John Greenfield
Driving scooters in Lakeview. Picture: John Greenfield

The plain draw back of the lock-to technique is that scooters are taking on area on our metropolis’s restricted variety of bike parking fixtures, and that basically annoys some native cyclists. The sight of a big bike rack with each parking area occupied by a scooter, as was lately the case on the Ravenswood Marianos, is certainly eye-roll-worthy. To its credit score, Chicken eliminated most of these scooters shortly after a Streetsblog reader tweeted the photograph beneath. “Distributors are inspired to take proactive steps to ban the parking of extreme variety of scooters in a single location,” states the city’s scooter guidelines.

I’ve additionally heard complaints that persons are discovering scooters locked to fences, railings, and bushes in entrance of their properties. That’s towards the principles of the scooter pilot. However, the identical points exist with personal bikes. However is the lock-to rule making a parking crunch? It is dependent upon who you ask.

Personally, I don’t see the lock-to scooters as a significant obstacle to bike parking. The cables are lengthy sufficient that it’s not laborious to push the scooters out of the way in which to lock your bike to a rack. The Chicago Division of Transportation has additionally lately put in tons of of recent racks, which ought to assist ease any potential parking scarcity.

Nonetheless, the scooter corporations are personal entities making the most of a public useful resource, city-installed bike racks. It’s not clear whether or not any of their allow charges are going in direction of bike racks. The division didn’t have an instantaneous reply to that query. If not, we should always foyer for the scooter companies to be required to pay for extra bike and scooter parking, ideally on-street corrals situated out of the way in which of pedestrians.

Observe John Greenfield on Twitter at @greenfieldjohn.


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