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Reader Poll: Should Electric Scooters Be Allowed in Boston / the North End?

Last Friday, the latest in transport-sharing options popped up in Cambridge and Somerville – electric scooters called “Birds”. Similar to dockless bike-sharing, these scooters unlock with an app and can be left anywhere once the rider reaches his or her destination.

The Birds seemed to appear overnight without any notice to public officials. Now, Mayor Walsh is warning the scooter company that if they show up in Boston without any discussion about regulations, they’ll be collected in the tow yard.

While some have criticized Birds for being dangerous and even illegal, others think it could be a convenient way to travel a short distance. What do you think? Should Birds be allowed in Boston and, subsequently, the North End?

Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

13 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Electric Scooters Be Allowed in Boston / the North End?

  1. Is it possible to safely navigate the crowded and narrow streets/lanes of the North End w/ scooters? What of the crowds? residents? vendors? children? strollers? traffic flow? parked vehicles w/ opening doors into course of scooters? Safety counts first, not scooter tourists or a company who leases/rents scooters! Appropriate regulations should oversee scooters. It’s a “no-brainer!”

  2. Are you kidding? NO! Dee, you left out people riding bicycles on sidewalks and zombies walking while staring at a phone.

  3. Like bicycles, Segways and Mopeds, they should be prohibited from sidewalks. The problem, as others have pointed out, is that people don’t follow rules and enforcement is problematic (nonexistent).

  4. Amen to that. Confiscation pending a court appearance would fix that. The real issue is the punishment is so facile that the law is not enforcing. Cops just don’t waste time on cases that ultimately ar dropped.

  5. Actually the sidewalks are broken enough that the little wheels would fall into a crack, launching the rider. This might become entertaining..

  6. …prohibitive on sidewalks; very dangerous on roads; and tricky on bike paths. Fine in suburbs, but not in city.

    1. dangerous on our sidewalks…….did not mean ‘prohibitive’ on sidewalks as I previously commented.

  7. I own an electric scooter. No, I’m not a “hipster; I’m in my 50s and it’s how I get to work. Top speed for the scooter is 15mph; I’ve had bikes zip past me in the bike paths and lanes. But I can navigate better than bikes because I simply brake, step off the scooter, and walk like a pedestrian with it though any narrow/crowded situation. Do I use sidewalks? Only when the roadway is too dangerous. I follow the pace of the walkers, or go around them slowly with caution. When people hear the word “motor” they think fast & dangerous. I would venture to say they are actually safer to pedestrians than bikes as they are smaller and, frankly, can’t go as fast as some of these crazy cyclists. Any mode of transportation is only as safe as the driver.

  8. Oh please enough is enough what’s next motorcycles riding in the bike lane the North End has gone to the dogs. What’s going to happen with the feasts coming up I hope not the same disaster as last year I hope the City is ready.

  9. Is there some reason everyone in the north end is opposed to EVERYTHING? Its 2018, not 1950. Get over it.

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