On December 31, 2019, Milwaukee’s Dockless Scooter Pilot Study will come to an end. The study—which began in July—is intended to asses the future of electric rental scooters in the City of Milwaukee. Currently, 1,350 of the things are allowed, spread out between three companies: Lime, Bird, and Spin. What will the future hold for these curbside fixtures? We’ll find out soon. (Yes, some of the scooters will be sticking around in the snow.)
And maybe that future won’t be so bright. Earlier this week, the pro-scooter crowd was dealt an unlikely blow from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl. “I was a fan of electric scooters. Then my daughter fell from one and broke her jaw,” read the headline from the paper’s beloved musin’ and thinkins’ writer. Ouch. Cue the reflexive winces from parents, and the smug cries from others that, you know, cars are dangerous too. Zing.
Anyway, that story has inspired Alderman Robert J. Bauman to call on Milwaukeeans to share their own scooter horror stories. Or non-horror stories, as the case may be.
Here’s Bauman’s press release:
Jim Stingl, a well-respected and longtime columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote a recent piece about the serious injuries his adult daughter suffered while riding an electric scooter in Nashville. He stated that this incident has caused him to change his mind about electric scooters after he wrote a piece in the summer of 2018 lauding the scooters and criticizing local elected officials who were concerned about the safety of scooters for pedestrians and riders. He now opposes permitting scooters on Milwaukee streets and sidewalks.
Over the course of this year’s scooter pilot program, my office has received reports of injuries to scooter riders ranging from broken legs to broken arms; however, our information is anecdotal since there is no central clearing house for the reporting of these injuries. Accordingly, I am calling on citizens of Milwaukee (and health care providers) to contact our office about scooter related injuries they may be aware of so we can begin to document these incidents.
This is very important since the Common Council will soon be discussing the results of the scooter pilot program and debating the merits of establishing a regulatory system that would permit scooters on a permanent basis. We need as much data as possible to make an informed decision. Scooter related injury data is a huge piece of information we need.
Want to share your opinion? A scooter survey can be found HERE (English) and HERE (Spanish). Stay safe out there, Milwaukee, and buckle up for the day when these things take a page from Skynet/Legion and kill us all. [via Urban Milwaukee]