E-scooters is up next. Council turned down standing e-scooters (the rentable ones like Lime and Bird) bc they are unsafe and have a really short shelf life (30 days).

They're now considering whether or not to allow seated ones. Presentation here: www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/Item_5B_E…
Kinda already said this, but here it is with links.

Council turned down standup scooters as part of the micro mobility program (which includes dockless bike share)
That was due to danger and short shelf-life: boulderbeat.news/2020/01/25/tra…
CU also doesn't allow shared e-scooters on campus (they're the state so I think they can do what they want)
Seated scooters (a newer development) may be safer (lower center of gravity, bigger wheels) but there's not really much data on that.
Referenced in notes to council were studies from two seated e-scooter companies

Injury Rate Per Million Trips: 25 injuries per 1 Million trips
Injury Rate Per Million Miles Traveled: 13.4 injuries per 1 Million miles
Injury Rate Per 1,000 Hours: 0.12 injuries per 1,000 hours
Bikes have 8X per-trip injury rate; standing scooters have 26X
Bikes have 2-9X per travel mile injury rate; standing scooters have 9-19X
Bikes have 4X per mile injury rate; standing scooters have 66X
Another co found:
Total Number of Rides: 100,000 +
Total Miles Traveled: 166,300 +
Total Number of Accidents Reported: 3
Accident Rate: .003% of Trips
There have been 0 fatalities from seated scooters (but, again, they’re new)
21 from standing scooters since 2018
4 bike share fatalities since 2010
Regarding sustainability:

Companies claim 2-year lifespan (staff hasn’t confirmed)
Standing scooters = ~30 days on average
Council can: 1.) Allow seated e-scooters only, 2.) Allow all e-scooters, or 3.) Allow no e-scooters

Staff recommending the first option
If council wants to include seated scooters, city will require:
• A fixed or adjustable saddle (seat),
• Front and rear brakes
• Front and rear lights
• Tire diameter of 9” inches or greater
• Ground clearance of six inches or greater
• Anticipated lifespan of two years or longer
• Maximum speed of 20mph
• Initial fleet deployment of 200 vehicles with dynamic based cap
If council OKs, RFP will be issued for company in Q4 and launched in Spring 2021
Back to safety: They have disc brakes, Dave D.K. Kemp says (he's a transportation guy)
Kemp just talked to FoCo today. Their bike share operator is also struggling financially, like B-Cycle. FoCo did an e-scooter pilot in 2019, but that got pulled in March bc of COVID.
FoCo estimates that 70% of e-scooter riders were college students.
Oh, apparently scooters came back to FoCo in August...? They're taking the "let's pick 1-2 companies to allow" route like Boulder is.
So why are we doing this now? Bc the current e-scooter moratorium is expiring. In fact, I think council has to pass this on emergency tonight (which requires 6 votes)
TAB looked at this last night. They voted 4-1 to allow both seated and standing e-scooters. (Pretty sure they went that way last time but council diverged)
Tila Duhaime from TAB saying their public hearing reflected the vote: People want standing AND seated e-scooters.
Our thinking was that we need to shift away from single-occupancy vehicles (cars with 1 person in them) and offer more options for people to get around, Duhaime says.
Especially during COVID, she says, when ppl don't want to be on buses.
"We have doubled down on when we want to reach these (transportation) goals," Duhaime says, "and we can't do it by excluding certain options."
Regarding safety, she says: This is a rapidly evolving industry and yet staff is still relying on info they used in January.

Not sure how much that has changed since 6 of the last 9 months have been a pandemic...
But she's quoting an international transportation forum that says roads would be safer if e-scooters replaced cars and motor vehicles.
It shouldn't be scooters vs. bikes, Duhaime says. These are displacing cars. "The motor vehicle is the most dangerous vehicle out on the road. ... It's a public health emergency all in its own right."
They were new and they exploded in use, she says. That made it look dangerous. People were inexperienced.
19 of 22 scooter deaths involved a motor vehicle, she says. "It's not that these things are unsafe and we need to ban them. We should focus on how to improve the safe use of these things."
Duhaime: Data from other cities with good infrastructure like Boulders' (multi-use paths, bike lanes, etc.) show that scooters can be used safely.
Apparently Wallach has been making some FACES at Duhaime bc she keeps addressing that he's actively disagreeing with her.
I couldn't see him from my vantage point with a presentation on the screen.
Swetlik asks about how long scooters things last.
Duhaime: It's not fair to compare seated scooters (which are new) to standing ones (which are old) Bird says their new standing ones last up to 2 years, she says.
Young asks Duhame to summarize TAB's minority view (1 member)
Duhaime recounting that: This person said we're using a lot of staff's time for an industry that is changing so quickly. He prefers bikes and would have supported banning scooters of any type.
"There was 0 appetite for staff's proposal," Duhaime says (which is to allow seated e-scooters but not standing ones)
Young: Did TAB talk about doing a pilot in east Boulder? Rather than letting them everywhere in the city?
Reminder: The Arapahoe corridor is home to ~30-40K jobs.
Wait... maybe that's 30-40% of Boulder's jobs...? Crap I used to know that!

Anyway, lots of jobs.
Anyway, Kemp says the idea of a pilot there was abandoned bc, you know, remote work. And it didn't give a "fair shot" to scooters to limit where they can go in the city.
Young: Why doesn't CU want to allow them?
Kemp: "Safety, and their paths are pretty congested. They feel this is sort of adding onto existing issues on campus. These scooters can go up to 20 mph."
Young: So if the city allows them, what would keep someone from grabbing a scooter downtown and riding it up on campus?

Geofencing. They only work within a certain area; after that, you can't ride or park them.
Kemp: It could be operated as a human-powered scooter once it crossed into the banned area, and it could be left there, but it would no longer be an e-scooter.
(As someone who's actually ridden one, it also keeps charging you when you're in a banned zone bc you can't stop payment and put it in park mode.)
Public hearing. 3 ppl.
Lisa White asking to allow all e-scooters. Talking about how dangerous cars are: 90K deaths to pollution and collisions each year. Even electric cars have climate impacts (from the tires, asphalt, etc.)

Actually saw a story on that today..
Can't find it. Darn.
White: If you won't allow all types of e-scooters without severe limitation, I'd rather see you not allow any so staff can focus on something else, bc you've done very little on micro mobility.
Andrea Meneghel from Boulder Chamber: "We need to keep meeting the challenges head on through innovative solutions and providing innovative ways" for ppl to get around besides driving.
RTD is struggling; there's less $$ for our local transportation dept, he says. We need creative solutions.
We also welcomed our new transportation director to the meeting tonight.
Back to council. Wallach kicking it off by addressing Duhaime specifically.

I'm not opposed to scooters inherently, he says. I'm opposed to how unproven they are when it comes to safety and sustainability.
Wallach: I would like us to be a leader in transportation but not in creating waste for landfills.
A 2-yr lifespan is "not much of an achievement" he says. And that data — plus safety data so far — is from the companies themselves. We shouldn't trust that.
He wants to continue the scooter moratorium.
Friend: The comparison is critical. The automobile is much worse than everything else.

She supports allowing shared seated and standing e-scooters.
Brockett echoes that and adds: Transit is going down right now. We need additional help for people to get around.
Weaver: These aren't displacing car trips, as the data we saw in January shows. (Also directs one of his comments directly to Friend which is weird..?) They're primarily used on weekends and by younger people.
He could support IF scooters are docked vs. able to be parked wherever. That's been greatly successful with B-Cycle.

Yeah, so successful that they went bankrupt...
He meant successful in keeping them off the sidewalks or from being abandoned in random places, but still. The free-floating nature is kind of the point with these shared fleets.
Weaver would go ahead with letting standing and/or seated e-scooters... but he's waiting to see what others say.
Yates wants to keep the moratorium going.
"I shudder to think of dozens or hundreds of people" riding scooters for the first time, without helmets, Yates says. The majority of fatalities were either new riders or involved alcohol.
Our own university is going to ban them, Yates points out. We're in a pandemic; we have limited resources and staff time. "I just don't know why this is a good idea to experiment with the lives of the people in our community."
"I would like to park this for" at least a year, Yates says, in what I'm sure was a pun-intended situation.
Swetlik: What I haven't heard so far is how much carbon goes into making these scooters, how long their life cycle will be and how many trips they will actually replace.
Says it's like plastic bags vs totable bags. (Scooters being the totable bags) ... which seems like a weird argument given Boulder's plastic bag fee and the fact that totable bags DO replace plastic bags.
Anyway, Swetlik not in favor of allowing them. Show me that they replace car trips, he says.
Young: "We don't have the data."
"We should strive to make data-based decisions," she says.
She makes a pun, too: I suppose a compromise would be to roll this out in a limited area.
Like east of 28th or east of Folsom where it's not as walkable. (And there are fewer rich, engaged homeowners to oppose them, I imagine)
Would support standing and seated e-scooters if the area was limited
Joseph sounds like she's changed her mind since council's last discussion. I was all for it then, she says. I hadn't really considered the challenges.
I'm pretty sure she just said we don't have bike lanes in Boulder...? Or maybe that we don't have scooter-specific lanes, which is actually true.
Weaver supports Young's compromise to allow them but only in a certain area.
Brockett willing to take that deal. "It would be better than nothing."
Council might let staff decide the actual test area.
Yates not about this compromise.
So he has a question: How much will this cost and how much staff time it will take?
Kemp: It's quite a bit of work. We have to do some of the work anyway bc of dockless e-bikes. There's an additional major workload on top of what we have to do already.
"Yes there is work, but there is work today and there was work yesterday. ... I wouldn't say it's overwhelming."
"Let me ask the question another way." Yates says (Until he gets the answer he wants, apparently.)
Yates: What will staff be doing if we don't allow scooters? What would you be working on?
Kemp: There's plenty to do.
Yates: Would some of those things not get done if you do e-scooters?
Kemp: That's tough to say.
Natalie Stiffler weighing in: E-scooters were part of our work plan this year, so it's not additional works. If we don't move forward, we'll work on bike share. "We're not setting anything aside to get this work."
To do* this work
Wallach: I could have supported a limited area if we only allowed seated e-scooters; but we're including standing ones. We KNOW they're unsafe; we KNOW they have a short shelf-life.
Swetlik: If we're going to do this, can we get access to trip data?

"Also I really appreciate tenacity, but industry lobbyists probably shouldn't email me mid-meeting to try and change my mind."
LOL. You can't blame them for trying, I suppose, but yeah. Not cool, bro.
Young: In order to get us to unanimity, if we do a limited area and only seated e-scooters, would the opposed folks be on board? Could we get to a unanimous agreement?
Wallach: I suggested some form of experimentation, so it would be ridiculous for me not to embrace some sort of experimentation moving forward.

So... yeah "in the spirit of cooperation ... I would be supportive. Not necessarily happy, but supportive."
Brockett: I'm not sure that is better than nothing. What we're hearing is there is a v limited number of companies offering seated e-scooters. What if we spend the time and nobody shows up?
Friend: That's what TAB said. Nobody supported that option. 4 ppl wanted to allow all e-scooters and 1 person wanted none. It was a 'do it' or get off the pot.

The expression is shit or get off the pot, Rachel.
OK, so 5-3, what council passed: Allowing seated AND standing scooters in a limited part of town, we get to look at the data and if they start getting dangerous, we'll pull their license.
Swetlik, Yates, Wallach opposed.
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22 Sep
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