Author Topic: Pilot e-scooter program in downtown Jacksonville hits some bumps in the road  (Read 26741 times)

thelakelander

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A Jacksonville police officer's recent comments in an arrest report perpetuate an emerging concern about e-scooters after he chased a violator around downtown.

"It should be noted that failure to operate motorized scooters safely and in accordance with Florida statutes has recently become a rampant and very dangerous problem in the urban core since several businesses have started making electric motorized scooters available to the public for rent," Officer J.R. Peppers wrote.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/04/09/jacksonville-escooter-pilot-program-safety-concerns-police/7058927002/
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JPalmer

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That police officer needs to get a life.

WAJAS

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I'm curious as to why the complaint of a single officer has resulted in a whole article's worth of attention. Is this the broad opinion of the organization?

JaxAvondale

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Let’s try to have reasonable conversations with the people on the scooters. They just need to be reminded of the laws. With that said, there are more scooters on the road at night than cars driving in downtown at night. Therefore, I can understand to some degree why they ride through downtown carefree.

thelakelander

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Probably not used to seeing that much traffic in downtown during the nights and weekends!
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Lunican

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The scooters are definitely popular at night. I wonder how they are performing compared to expectations?

Ken_FSU

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God forbid the youths have a reason to have fun in the CBD and become more engaged with the urban core.

Can't we all just go back to the good-old days pre-scooter when the streets looked like a set from 28 Days Later?

fieldafm

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Yesterday I witnessed a man urinating on a parked vehicle, another individual defecting on an office doorway and a woman screaming out just the 'f' word to families taking their children to the bbq competition at the former Landing site.

This morning, I witnessed a man tear out flowers I had just replanted in planter boxes yesterday, and another man running down Hogan Street completely, stark naked.

But yes, the scooters are the problem.....   ::)

simms3

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One night this past week I left the office around 10 PM.  I was shocked at what I saw, personally, and I doubt I'm alone in thinking what I was thinking when I was seeing what I was seeing.  I'll recap as politely as possible:

- wayyyyy more scooter usage than in the day, I think probably every scooter was taken
- 80% male
- 80% 16-24 years old by my guess
- 100% African American

And as I was driving down Bay to take Riverside to go home, from work, I faced a group on scooters coming the wrong way occupying the left lane on Bay, screaming at me as I passed by in one of the middle lanes.  I'm not sure what they were saying.

I personally think what I saw was a recipe for disaster.

And to tell the cop to get a life - I'm pretty over the progressive anti-cop mentality.  I spent 7 recent years in SF.  Take that attitude and that worldview there.  Been there done that and it's not a good result.
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Zac T

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- 100% African American

I'm just wondering what the race of the riders on any particular day has to do with anything?

simms3

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- 100% African American

I'm just wondering what the race of the riders on any particular day has to do with anything?


IF it was 80% female, 80% 65+, and 100% Asian, you wouldn't be having a hard time with me bringing that up now would you?  I'd be far more astounded if that was the case for many reasons; unfortunately based on everything I've experienced and witnessed in my life, I wasn't too surprised to see what I saw.

I'm just going off of what we all know, groups of predominantly AA males between 16-24 commit a disproportionate amount of crime.  Maybe THESE groups won't, but seeing them roaming around aimlessly and lawlessly on scooters late at night on random weeknights won't be "comforting" to literally any other groups of people (including other African Americans) bc everyone knows crime stats and people aren't idiots.  They won't feel safe walking around alone at night with that going on.  I thought we wanted a vibrant downtown for everyone?

And besides, why is it only young black males riding these things at night?  What's up with that?  Why can't we ask that question?  I suppose we should just ignore everything nowadays.
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simms3

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I'll add: I can't think of a reason really why ANYONE would be needing the scooters at 10 PM on a weeknight in DT Jax.  To see them ALL occupied then, and by a demographic that reasonably raises suspicions and eyebrows from people of all demographics, is kind of shocking.  I can't see anything good coming of it, but I hope it's all harmless.
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Tacachale

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I'll add: I can't think of a reason really why ANYONE would be needing the scooters at 10 PM on a weeknight in DT Jax.  To see them ALL occupied then, and by a demographic that reasonably raises suspicions and eyebrows from people of all demographics, is kind of shocking.  I can't see anything good coming of it, but I hope it's all harmless.

What a series of ridiculous overprivileged white guy takes.
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Ken_FSU

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I'll add: I can't think of a reason really why ANYONE would be needing the scooters at 10 PM on a weeknight in DT Jax.  To see them ALL occupied then, and by a demographic that reasonably raises suspicions and eyebrows from people of all demographics, is kind of shocking.  I can't see anything good coming of it, but I hope it's all harmless.

Honestly curious. Would you have this strong of a negative reaction if it was a bunch of white kids on skateboards? Would that make the area as uninviting to everyone else? Or a bunch of Nocatee/Jax Beach yuppies tipsily cruising around in golf carts?

Just looking at the data from recent studies on scooter share:

- In terms of the gender distribution that you mention, 80% male is right in line with the 75% male ridership that escooter studies have estimated. Females actually have a higher positive sentiment toward scootershare overall than males, but for a variety of reasons (higher risk aversion, more difficult clothing logistics, etc.), they’re less likely to actually ride, particularly in mixed traffic.

- In terms of time of day, studies have also shown that in areas that don’t have dedicated infrastructure and right-of-way for scooters, the leisure riders tend to rent the scooters during off hours when they don’t have to contend with as much mixed traffic. Nothing inherently wrong or surprising with riders coming out at night, after work/school/dinner, away from heavy traffic. It’s no different than the night time bike rides we used to see through downtown (except the pesky demos), or again, what you’d see somewhere like Jax Beach.

- The demographic component also shouldn’t be surprising, either. Again, lots of studies showing that escooters are particularly popular with lower income segments of the population who might not necessarily have the same means for other forms of transportation. I’ve mentioned in this thread a few times how the scooters are bringing new types of people into the urban core, beyond just the middle aged white demo. To me, this is a WONDERFUL thing. Net new downtown visitors with enough disposable income to rent moderately priced scooters can only be beneficial to downtown businesses. Particularly when the city just QUADRUPLED meter rates for restaurant parking.

Can only speak for myself personally, but both day and night, I’ve never seen anything besides people from all walks of life having fun exploring downtown. Some riders could always be more aware of their surroundings, sure, but I’ve had more close calls with Jimmy John’s bicyclers than I’ve had with the youths on their scooters. And to Mike’s point above, not only are there an increasing number of genuinely unsavory people downtown (the drug-addled and disturbed), but there aren’t as many regular, working people to balance them out either during the pandemic. I sure feel safer walking to the parking garage at 10 PM with all the people on the streets than I did pre-scooter when it was just me and the unstables.

I’m not anti-cop, but I’m definitely pro-data and anti-profiling, particularly when there hasn’t been an uptick in crime to back up the insinuation that these kids are up to no good.


Just a couple, but there’s a lot out there:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-05/most-electric-scooter-riders-are-men-here-s-why
https://findingspress.org/article/10777-shedding-nhts-light-on-the-use-of-little-vehicles-in-urban-areas

Lunican

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One night this past week I left the office around 10 PM.  I was shocked at what I saw, personally, and I doubt I'm alone in thinking what I was thinking when I was seeing what I was seeing.  I'll recap as politely as possible:

- wayyyyy more scooter usage than in the day, I think probably every scooter was taken
- 80% male
- 80% 16-24 years old by my guess
- 100% African American

And as I was driving down Bay to take Riverside to go home, from work, I faced a group on scooters coming the wrong way occupying the left lane on Bay, screaming at me as I passed by in one of the middle lanes.  I'm not sure what they were saying.

I personally think what I saw was a recipe for disaster.

And to tell the cop to get a life - I'm pretty over the progressive anti-cop mentality.  I spent 7 recent years in SF.  Take that attitude and that worldview there.  Been there done that and it's not a good result.

Sounds really scary for you. Maybe leave work earlier so you can get home before dark?