MANNY RODRIGUEZ: Scooters are an assault on the rights of pedestrians

Manny Rodriguez delivered these opinions during Public Comment section of the Public Safety Commission’s Monday night meeting:

This was about the scooters. Of course, there they are in the background. This is what you see every day on the sidewalks of West Hollywood. Do not believe these stats in the staff report. They come from the scooter companies, not from an independent non-biased organization. The city has always refused to engage such a firm. Just today on a walk from Melrose and Robertson to Santa Monica and Palm one way only, I reported five scooters abandoned in the middle of the sidewalk.

You saw a picture of that, in an email I sent you. I was also almost run over from behind from a wheeled scooter — basically a motorcycle careening on the sidewalk. This is only a nine-minute walk ,but fortunately I made. I almost didn’t.

Also do not believe this notion that these scooters are being used for any legitimate mobility. This constant talking point is a false narrative. The majority of these bogus scooter trips are recreational only. If you have to believe in something, you can believe in that; do not believe as suggested that in the staff report that the sheriff is enforcing anything to do with scooters — not happening.

In closing, don’t believe the hype. Residents don’t report because they don’t know how and think they’re stuck with this. The pedestrian’s confidence in the walkable environment should never be compromised. Scooters compromise the safety of that environment. The no-sidewalk technology will never be ready for prime time — on purpose, because it defeats the scooter company’s business model of free anywhere, travel and disposability, the on-demand scooter.

The business model allows riders to be unaccountable. We asked for accountability every place else. Why not here?

It is untrue that scooters have no impact on the environment; they waste electricity and with a three-month usable life the disposal of these dead batteries is problematic. It is disingenuous to say that scooters prevent cartridge trips, they do not. They prevent people from walking. It’s really that simple so as a small city we have a chance of doing the right thing. I encourage you to act like the Public Safety Commission and say no to these scooters. And I hope you watch behind me because again, this is what’s happening every day in West Hollywood.

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Ian
Ian
1 day ago

Absolutely agree. It will take a massive injury lawsuit by a pedestrian to teach the children running this city that the safety of citizens trump childish ideas. West Hollywood negligence in a jury trial is a forgone conclusion.
It is too much of an adult idea to create a special lane for motorized scooters and or bikes like other cities.

Last edited 1 day ago by Ian
Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
1 day ago

I can only speak from experience on this topic. I have had to step out into the busy street from the sidewalks with cars speeding by because the scooters are piled up taking over the sidewalk, literally move out of the way when they come barreling down the sidewalk speeding wayyyy faster than a bike as well as while crossing the street in a residential area, they will run me over if I do not GET OUT OF THEIR WAY! Bottom line, they do not have to wear a helmet like a bicyclist has to, they speed and expect the… Read more »

Randy
Randy
6 days ago

Manny, I admire your passion on this subject, but I believe the scooters are here to stay. You frequently make grandiose statements, like people on a “joy ride,” “careening”, etc.. For the repeated videos in your presentation, I could walk outside and take at least a dozen videos of people *not* riding on the sidewalk. And a dozen more, of them responsibly parked. I just went for my lunch walk, and saw about six people on scooters, none of them riding on the sidewalk. And half a dozen scooters, responsibly parked. Saying that people don’t use them to take a… Read more »

Randy
Randy
6 days ago
Reply to  Randy

I’m sorry, but one last thing. The cost of living in this city is atrocious. There are low wage earners who are struggling to live here. Many of them can’t afford to own a car. I have at least a half dozen friends who fall in this category. The scooters give them a viable option for transportation, cheaper than an Uber, and the bus might not be taking them where they need to go. Please don’t tell me that they should just purchase bicycles, as there are many cases where they can’t get home on their bicycle, such as, after… Read more »

RobbyDobbyMark2
RobbyDobbyMark2
8 days ago

If you think scooters are a pedestrian danger, try being visually impaired and traveling the sidewalks of WeHo with scooters blocking or endangering me and my Guide Dog. I’ve been opposed to them from the beginning. They are simply used for joy riding. You cannot carry two bags of groceries home riding a scooter. They are not used as “last mile” transportation. They are used by lazy teenagers going to friends houses. Post teens still ride them because they haven’t fully joined adulthood yet. You don’t see senior citizens riding scooters home from the bus stops. That would be last… Read more »

Arthur
Arthur
9 days ago
Todd
Todd
11 days ago

I agree with everything Manny said, with one exception. The batteries can easily and almost completely be recycled (read about JB Straubel’s Redwood Materials). The scooters are left abandoned, sometimes for days, in residential sidewalks and parkways. If they were left upright, they are easily toppled. Riders rarely have helmets and ride in streets, in sidewalks and block traffic and fly by pedestrians, often nearly knocking them down. I’m sure there are accidents all the time, as well as lawsuits. I question if they are “last leg” transport or just a quick way to get to the weed shop rather… Read more »

alex
alex
12 days ago

Manny is right, but envision this you are walking your dog … these scooter riders have no feeling about being careful for you or your pet … what if you have two dogs or even three … you are at extreme risk. I regularly ask them to ride in the street … they refuse.

S. Kiddeaux
S. Kiddeaux
12 days ago

I love the scooters. Whoever dislikes them should pay attention to their surroundings. Stop looking at your phone and stop having earphones on listening to music. We are in 2022 not 1922. You won’t be hit if you are alert of your surroundings

Low Wattage
Low Wattage
12 days ago
Reply to  S. Kiddeaux

WOW

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
11 days ago
Reply to  S. Kiddeaux

I’m left speechless with the stupidity of what you said! I don’t look at my phone nor do I use earphones while walking and I’ve had scooters pass me many times, with two of those times making physical contact with the rider. They come up on you silently and quickly. Are you suggesting, then, that we walk with a rearview mirror so we know who or what is behind us?

S. Kiddeaux
S. Kiddeaux
9 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

If it helps just don’t walk you should fly

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
8 days ago
Reply to  S. Kiddeaux

If you keep talking I won’t need to say a word.

Mobilization 2.0
Mobilization 2.0
12 days ago

The City is rumored to soon be unveiling a new initiative. The Novel Cutting Edge Concept of FEET AND WALKING. While awaiting educational material on the subject and reports from consultants the city hopes to be up and running with this Mobilization 2.0 concept soon. While public participation is of course welcomed, but we don’t want it to overshadow the pure concept the City envisions.

Shut The H up!
Shut The H up!
13 days ago

Same Ole Blue-hairs, complaining about the same ole thing! Remember when Uber came to town and all the up-roar comments about the end of days are coming. once more the Blue-hairs are at it all again!

Low Wattage
Low Wattage
13 days ago
Reply to  Shut The H up!

That’s the best you can do? You ain’t too bright.

Last edited 13 days ago by Low Wattage
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
12 days ago
Reply to  Low Wattage

Ageism is alive and well in our otherwise woke culture. Much of what passes for civil discourse too often falls into argumentum ad hominem that can simply be dismissed as the province of intellectual laziness.

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
12 days ago
Reply to  Shut The H up!

I bet you’re over the age of 10 and still ride a scooter. I’ll bet you don’t see the irony of that either.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
11 days ago
Reply to  Shut The H up!

You’re making that up! I highly doubt anyone said anything near what you are saying about Uber’s emergence. These scooters are a danger to pedestrians ….. PERIOD!

Silly Dangerous Scheme
Silly Dangerous Scheme
13 days ago

The scooters since their introduction to Weho, have been an unsafe and poorly conceived perk “offered by the city” lacking any insight or concept of possible exponentially negative results. Similar to the failed Weho Pedals scheme, leaving these “cutting edge” silly schemes to staffers that have no concept of life beyond the four corners of their desks or screens, enhanced by equally disconnected consultants basking in their own nonsensical world. Oh but Weho always needs to be the “Cutting Edge Creative City” but in reality is a foolish joke.

We Own Our Sidewalks
We Own Our Sidewalks
13 days ago

Thanks Manny. You are absolutely correct. And while at it, these overreaching encroachments by the bars (oops, I mean restaurants!) taking over in some cases all of the sidewalk space (i.e., Stache Bar) have to be ended as well. They take away valuable (and profitable) parking spaces and leave pedestrians and those with mobility issues to maneuver dangerously on what is left of the public sidewalks. Some establishments such as Stache did not even open their business until after the pandemic and therefore were never negatively impacted by Covid. The nonsense period is over. Pride season is over in Weho.… Read more »

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