How ’bout those scooters, eh? Well, the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) wants to know what you think of them.
A survey “intended for both people who have and have not used scooters in Milwaukee” is currently live on the DPW site, and will remain live until the end of this year’s Dockless Scooter Pilot Study—a.k.a. December 31, 2021. “This information will help DPW, city officials, and residents of Milwaukee evaluate the pilot study and identify next steps regarding dockless scooters in Milwaukee,” the DPW says.
So yeah, if you’re so inclined, go ahead and fill out the survey. It only takes a few minutes. Here’s what I (Matt) put down, along with some extra commentary.
1. How many dockless scooter trips have you taken in Milwaukee in 2021?
More than 20
[I was skeptical when these things showed up in 2018, but boy oh boy did I use the hell out of them in 2021. Quick trips to the bar or movie theater, long trips home from Fiserv Forum after a Bucks game, you name it. I gleefully scooted home from High Dive at 3 a.m. one night/morning, causing my friends to wonder: What happened to the real Matt?]
2. What is the most frequent reason you’ve ridden a dockless scooter?
Traveling to/from entertainment or event
3. Other than your most frequent reason for riding a dockless scooter, why else have you ridden a dockless scooter? Select all that apply.
Traveling to/from a work-related meeting or appointment
4. Think about your last dockless scooter trip in Milwaukee. If a dockless scooter hadn’t been available, would you have taken the trip?
5. Think about your last dockless scooter trip in Milwaukee. If you hadn’t taken a dockless scooter, how would you have traveled
Taken rideshare (Uber or Lyft) or taxi
[Here’s a fun thing about scooters: they’re pretty cheap! Uber rides at bar time and/or any other time it makes sense to call an Uber: not so cheap! Also, I could have easily walked a lot of my scooter rides, but there’s something to be said about getting a hankering for Creature From The Black Lagoon pinball and zipping over to the Landmark in three minutes flat.]
6. Before riding a dockless scooter, did you have enough information to ride it safely?
7. Think about all the rides you have taken on dockless scooters in Milwaukee in 2021. How frequently did you ride on the sidewalk, other than at the beginning or end of your ride?
[Okay, so here’s my “sidewalk-riding” rant. Milwaukee isn’t the most bike-friendly city on the planet, but it isn’t the most bike-unfriendly city, either. If you’re a slightly-more-than-casual bike rider (like me), you tend to know which streets and routes to take, and which streets and routes to avoid. Heading south from Downtown? Stay off Water Street and take the bike path on 2nd instead. Headed north from Downtown? Stay the hell off that stretch of Water Street that goes past the swing park and Red Lion because it’s a two-way street and there are cars parked on either side and there are no bike paths and it’s a total death trap. And here’s my point: bikers may know these things, but casual scooter riders may not. And what happens when casual scooter riders suddenly find themselves on death-trap streets? They head for the sidewalks. I believe many (most?) sidewalk-riders are doing so out of safety and necessity, and not because they’re unaware of the “no sidewalk-riding” rule.]
8. Did you know that riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk is illegal in Milwaukee?
9. What type of transportation do you use most often when traveling around Milwaukee?
[I love MCTS. It’s great. It’s better than all forms of public transportation combined. I’ve lived here for 25 years and I don’t think a week has gone by without me taking the bus. You should take it more often.]
10. Other than the type of transportation you use most often, what other types do you use in a typical week when traveling around Milwaukee? Select all that apply.
Drive personal vehicle
Rideshare (Uber or Lyft) or taxi
Dockless scooter rented through Bird, Lime, or Spin
11. Thinking about potential issues regarding dockless scooters, please indicate how concerned you are with the following:
Dockless scooters blocking sidewalks when parked = Moderate level of concern
People riding dockless scooters on sidewalks = High level of concern
Dockless scooters are not safe to ride = Low level of concern
There isn’t a safe, connected network of bike facilities and trails to use = Moderate level of concern
There are not enough dockless scooters in the City of Milwaukee = Very low level of concern
Dockless scooter rider behavior around people walking = Moderate level of concern
Dockless scooter rider behavior around people biking = Moderate level of concern
Dockless scooter rider behavior around people driving = Moderate level of concern
People riding dockless scooters appear to be under 18 years old – Low level of concern
People riding more than one person to a dockless scooter = Low level of concern
Driver behavior around people riding dockless scooters = Moderate level of concern
12. Thinking about potential benefits of dockless scooters, please indicate the level of importance for the following:
Fewer cars on the street = Low level of importance
More transportation options in Milwaukee = Very high level of importance
Better first mile/last mile connections to transit = Moderate level of importance
Increased support for walking, biking, and getting around without a car = Very high level of importance
Scooter riding is a fun activity for residents = Moderate level of importance
Scooter riding is a fun activity for visitors = Moderate level of importance
13. On August 3, 2021, new dockless scooter trips were prohibited from starting in Zone 1. What was your opinion of this prohibition?
Very unfavorable opinion
[See my response to “Other” below.]
14. How did the prohibition of new dockless scooter rides in Zone 1 affect you? Select all that apply.
I was unable to start a ride where I wanted
I was unable to end a ride where I wanted
I changed my route to avoid Zone 1
I was unable to reach a destination or end point because I couldn’t ride through Zone 1
Other (please specify) = I was forced to ride on pothole-riddled side streets. I was also forced to cause a scene by cursing to the heavens: “IF YOU’RE GOING TO BAN THESE THINGS DOWNTOWN JUST GO AHEAD AND BAN THEM EVERYWHERE!”
[I used dockless scooters a lot during the NBA Finals. Instead of driving my own car (ugh) or even taking a bus or an Uber, it was incredibly convenient to simply hop on a scooter and be free and clear of the Fiserv Forum crowds in minutes. Neat! But then the city banned the things from downtown, and suddenly my downtown trips became a lot less convenient. What’s worse, they became kind of dangerous: If you’re riding a scooter and you enter a “banned” zone, the scooter not-so-slowly stops. Pushing it out of a “banned” zone? It not-so-slowly starts up again. Banning scooters on the Riverwalk and college campuses? Fine. But banning them in the one place they’re most useful? Come on.]
15. What changes would encourage you to use dockless scooters more often? Select all that apply.
A safe, connected network of bike lanes and trails to use
16. At the conclusion of this pilot study, do you support the City of Milwaukee developing permanent regulations to allow dockless scooter share in Milwaukee?
Yes, they should be allowed
17. What is your overall opinion of dockless scooters in Milwaukee?
Somewhat favorable opinion
[Why not “extremely favorable”? Well, for as much as I enjoyed these things this summer, I found that I didn’t really miss them at all last summer. You know, that summer when things were more or less shut down? There were no scooters then, and somehow life went on. If they disappeared today, life would go on. They’re not vital to living in and enjoying Milwaukee, but I dunno, they’re kind of fun.]
18. Please share any additional comments or feedback you have regarding the Dockless Scooter Pilot Study in the City of Milwaukee.
Thanks for doing this and keep up the good work! GO BUCKS!
[Oh yeah, one thing I forgot: Don’t bother with those parking corrals. No one uses them.]
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