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Rep. Michlewitz Cautions Against Scooters in the North End

Aaron Michlewitz, State Representative and Chair of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee, is urging Mayor Walsh and Chief of Streets Chris Osgood to consider temporary restrictions on micro-mobility vehicles in the interior of the North End.

Boston City Council recently passed an ordinance regarding micro-mobility vehicles, including scooters like Bird and Lime. The city can now offer licenses to these companies to operate in Boston. Rep. Michlewitz has expressed concerns over rolling out this program in the dense North End community with our narrow streets and crowded sidewalks.

In his letter Rep. Michlewitz writes, “I would suggest these vehicles be restricted to use on the outer rim of the neighborhood on streets such as Commercial, Causeway, North Washington, and Cross Streets only, which would keep the inner North End scooter free.”

He goes on to stress the importance of public safety, and a desire to avoid a re-creation of the Segway tour dilemma of previous years. Read the full letter posted below.

26 Replies to “Rep. Michlewitz Cautions Against Scooters in the North End

  1. Sounds good. I’d like to see the representative take the next step and ban cars from most of the main North End streets, with exceptions for certain delivery hours and side streets. They are far more dangerous than scooters on these tight streets.

      1. Its a fantastic idea for the narrow streets of the North End, which where not designed for cars.

          1. Very confused…I did mean Noah (Not sure how to edit out my erroneous replies). I agree that the idea is absurd!

  2. 🙌 let’s at least start with car free Hanover and Salem on the weekends. It’s nuts to try to squeeze thousands of people onto narrow sidewalks while the lion’s share of the right-of-way goes to Ubers and car storage.

      1. That’s right. Boston’s natural habitat isn’t friendly to scooters. My guess is that they will tend toward bike lanes since they are new and less beat up. Then there will be bicycle on scooter conflicts. The prospect is exciting.

  3. Someone commented that this idea is absurd and I will second that. Everyone will agree that the NE is too congested as it is now and we sure enough don’t need scooters thrown in the mix.There are much more important issues that our politicians should be addressing that affect the residents of the NE.. Scooters aren’t one of them.

  4. I would suggest motor vehicles be restricted to use on the outer rim of the neighborhood on streets such as Commercial, Causeway, North Washington, and Cross Streets only, which would keep the inner North End car free.

    He goes on to stress the importance of public safety.

    But this whole measure isn’t really about safety because if it was, it would address the danger of cars.

  5. What if driving on the smaller north end streets was restricted to only vehicles that have a North End resident parking sticker? Congestion down. Uber and Lyft vehicles idling for fares in handicap spaces eliminated. North End parking spaces guaranteed for only North End parking residents (since enforcement is lacking). Put up cameras that auto-issue tickets to enforce.

  6. There are plenty of threats to pedestrians as well as scooter riders. As for the rider, the tiny wheels can get trapped by uneven sidewalks and bricks, causing falls. Damp weather can easily weaken the tires’ grip. On busy sidewalks, riders have to maneuver around pedestrians, pets, and potholes. There’s also a learning curve. Electric motors can accelerate quickly, and it takes effort to slow down. Keeping a leg ready to brace for a sudden stop requires some practice. Pedestrians would need to be on constant guard. North End is no place for scooters.

  7. As a resident who lives on Salem street I think it’s ridiculous not to allow resident cars/parking on weekends. Weekends is when I go food shopping and run errands, how an I supposed to get home if I can’t drive on Salem street? I think the parking should be for residents only on weekends as well. We have tons of cars that do not belong in North end taking up limited resident parking. I do agree that streets should be Uber/Lyft free. They just stop in the middle of the street and wait for passengers blocking the traffic.

  8. Yay, Aaron. This neighborhood is not a fit for scooters. We have enough traffic problems without them entering into it

  9. Folks, the North End is part of the city. You can’t close yourself off from everyone else, no matter how badly you might want to. If this were really about safety, it’d be calling to take cars off Hanover St and expanding those very narrow and busy sidewalks. This letter is nothing more than a kiss to the Representative’s older constituents who think it’s still the pre-Big Dig North End and wanna drive their Cadillacs around unencumbered.

  10. Not sure if this was already suggested, but maybe Uber/Lyft could be mandated to pick-up/drop-off only on the perimeter streets referenced above, but allowing door-to-door service only during early morning and late night hours.

  11. If I lived on. Salem or. Hanover. Sts I would not want my street shut down. I would want to be able to shop & be able to take my groceries to the door. I think the. City should start thinking of. Residents much more than they do because. Tourism is doing just fine and have already inconvenienced residents far too much. Making money is wonderful but we have gone way beyond that, it is call. Greed and it is always at every residents’ expense. Enough is. Enough

    1. Car free Salem or Hanover would be a benefit to residents as well. Often, I have to walk in the street because the sidewalks are so congested during weekends in warmer months.

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