In our latest WATAG newsletter – https://bit.ly/2wJbAdm – we asked for comment about electric scooters.
Please read and tell us what you think. We’d like more comment.
E-scooters: the impact their legalisation would have in the UK
Read this article from The Conversation (19 Feb 2020) and think about the issues as they affect us in Australia, and in particular in Melbourne and Whitehorse. (Think Box Hill)
A City of Whitehorse Councillor has already been contacted by Beam, an electric scooter company who would like to run a pilot program so that Council to test the market.
Refer also to this article extract published by Bicycle Network last year, for another viewpoint.
Please note that, as far as WATAG is aware, Council has NOT considered this request from Beam yet, and has NOT developed a public response to this request.
WATAG would be interested in YOUR views so we can start a conversation.
Chris had this to say following the WATAG Newsletter article.
Being not excessively well informed about the pros and cons, the following is probably a tad subjective, though I’m hoping not overly.
I use active transport on a daily basis (admittedly less-so post-Corona, due to working from home), but have encountered this new generation of electrified vehicles on occasion. I tend to class them in the same way as the electric skateboards I see from time to time. Wonderful technology and great in theory, but perhaps falling into the cracks between the three more recognised forms (and essentially “speeds”) of mainstream transport – walking, cycling, driving/motorcycling. Part of this is due to legalities (helmet or not, footpath or not) but also because authorities already seem so slow as it is to deal with cycling.
I don’t have anything against the electrified nature of such transport, in fact I recently changed from conventional bicycle to e-bike
(pedal-assist) and love it. The fact that the speed is essentially the same as a conventional bike (rather than being much faster) means it “behaves” as a conventional bike from an infrastructure planning perspective.
E-scooters and e-skateboards would generally be slower than bicycles, though faster than walking – thus creating their own “niche”, ie in effect a fourth “speed” of transport. As an additional downside, there isn’t an obvious way to lock them up when going in to shops etc.
I think in an ideal world, bicycle infrastructure would be expanded, and we could probably stick with the three “speeds” of transport, and welcome e-scooters and e-skateboards to *share* the bicycle lane/path.
I think numbers (at least for the immediate future) would be small enough that cyclists should be able to coordinate with them… assuming people were sufficiently disciplined (keeping to the left unless overtaking, etc).
However, as stated, bicycling infrastructure is still limited, with authorities failing to keep up. As such I would be personally hesitant to encourage/support their (e-scooter) use in the current environment (ie without significant upgrade to cycling infrastructure, which could then be classed as cycle/scooter/skateboard).
James responded to the Newsletter article:
Fom what I have seen many times electric scooters show a total disregard for pedestrians on the footpaths forgetting that pedestrians have right of way.
i have never seen electrics scooters give way to pedestrians in my travels
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed one in the local area, but obviously they must be around. I went to Adelaide last month and saw lots of them in the CBD. They seemed to me to fit in OK, but probably there would be useful lessons to be learned, one way or the other, from Adelaide’s experience.
Check out what’s happening in the UK: https://escooteroo.com/
NZ Government could ask cyclists to share bike lanes with e-scooters
Uber head of operations for Australia and New Zealand Henry Greenacre spoke with https://www.stuff.co.nz about Jump e-scooters in Wellington.
E-scooter riders could soon be allowed to use cycle lanes, as both the Government and Wellington City Council (WCC) look at ways to reduce the conflict on the pavement.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter has confirmed the Government plans to consult on new regulations this year, including a proposed rule change to allow e-scooters in cycle lanes and cycle paths.
Read full article here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/113983324/government-could-ask-cyclists-to-share-bike-lanes-with-escooters?rm=a