Letter: Failure to adequately park e-scooters is becoming a ‘public safety issue on many levels’

Photo Pablo D. Castillo Jr.

To the Editor,

Re: “Bird introduces new Google augmented reality tech to improve improper e-scooter parking in the Bronx “

“In a statement to the Bronx Times, DOT spokesperson Vincent Barone said riders have by and large followed parking rules as part of the pilot.” Really?

While I praise the effort to curb improper parking (in people’s driveways, blocking curb cuts, etc.), as a Van Nest resident I must disagree with Mr. Barone’s reported statement. The picture accompanying the Bronx Times article was taken here in Van Nest at a heavily trafficked intersection of Morris Park Avenue and White Plains Road. Hardly a good place to park these scooters. I would spend a major part of each day if I took a picture of each badly parked scooter which is why Mr. Barone’s statement was probably made. People have given up submitting photo after photo to DOT, elected officials, community boards and to the companies themselves without any resolve. People are tired of stepping over scooters left in the middle of sidewalks — standing or knocked over. 

Scooters left at corners fall into the street, hitting parked cars. And the best — parents who use their credit cards so their 14-year-old can ride around the neighborhood for fun “on the sidewalk” or “against traffic in the street.” I see it all the time here in Van Nest and these children are not 18. I myself was hit and knocked aside, not to the ground, while walking into my own porch by an e-bike, not an e-scooter.

For parents having one hand pushing their child’s stroller and the other hand holding onto their youngest; for seniors walking on the sidewalk; for those with disabilities maneuvering on sidewalks and crossing streets; for drivers swerving to avoid bikes going against the flow of traffic and never stopping at red lights, these scooters and bikes have become a public safety issue on many levels. And we all know that the police cannot enforce the law unless someone gets seriously hurt.

So, let me ask this question: When will the bike and scooter companies create an app that prevents riders from traveling on sidewalks, traveling against the direction of traffic and traveling no faster than a person can walk, so that people have a chance to get out of the way before being run over?

Bernadette Ferrara

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