No To Scooters - And Response (2)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

When I was a young father, my dad invited everyone in the family to a single city family reunion. We were spread out over the country and he decided San Diego would be a good place for a reunion. My two brothers and my mom all had their bicycles shipped with them to SD. For a week, almost everyone rode everywhere in San Diego while my wife and I were left to babysit everyone else’s kids, doing domestic activities. For me, it was hardly a vacation. On the final day of the reunion my dad asked for suggestions on where the next 5-year reunion should be. My older brother suggested his home city and said it would save Dad a lot of money because they could stay in their own home. My little brother suggested the same thing. My mom, not to be outdone suggested their city.

When I remained quiet my father asked why I was so silent…did I not want to have the next reunion in Chattanooga? I told him no. Why not? I told him that the bicycle was the state hood ornament. They were all riders and I was not. From then on, I was the family’s redneck (as if they had any idea of what one was).

This was 35+ years ago. Now that my home city is foolishly entertaining electric scooters in the city, I’m thinking my idea of the state hood ornament was prime before its time. The idea of having so many unlicensed, uninsured students and adolescents (mentally, not necessarily chronologically) riding on sidewalks, cutting cars in traffic, running into pedestrians, side-swiping vehicles yelling back the ubiquitous “my bad” and never stopping, riding 2- and 3-up, no helmets and failing any measure of responsibility, is difficult to digest.

City Council members, please look at the national statistic and learn from them. Use the God-given wisdom your elected positions assume you possess. Whatever monies the city receives back from this error in judgement will be dwarfed by the lawsuits lodged against the city for allowing such an “attractive nuisance” onto our streets when the vast majority of canvassed adults are actively against.

Council members, make our streets and inhabitants safer. Vote unanimously NO on scooters in Chattanooga. And make this the last time this miserable excuse for special-interest legislation rears its ugly head.

Dave Fihn

* * * 

Thanks, Dave Finn, for your post on the dangers from urban scooters. A quick check online led me to a February article in Business Insider which revealed 1,545 injuries and some deaths have been linked to them since their startup in 2017. Since February there have been more.

A number of localities allowing urban scooters have reversed their earlier decision and now ban them. So that number of injuries and deaths could have been higher if not for the reversals.

I sincerely hope the City Council rejects this plan once and for all. I am a strong supporter of small business but anything else that complicates the traffic situation downtown should be rejected. 

Afternoon traffic is often heavy in certain parts of downtown especially on Friday. Add emergency vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and it’s clear we don’t need more complications.

Ralph Miller

* * * 

I would like to echo the comments of Mr. Fihn and Mr. Miller. My wife and I just returned from a trip to San Diego and the proliferation of e-Scooters was amazing. There had to be at least four different vendors of scooters and they were everywhere downtown. During our second night in the Gaslamp District we observed a young lady laying in the street gutter being tended to by paramedics, a victim of a scooter crash.

As we were leaving town headed to the airport we had a discussion about the scooters with our Lyft driver. He told us the story of a conversation he had with an emergency room doctor on one of his trips. After asking the doctor what injuries occurred the most in the ER he replied, e-scooter crashes were the majority of accidents.

We have enough problems to tackle here in the Scenic City with taxes, sewers, jail overcrowding etc. and the last thing we need to do is overburden our emergency rooms with traumatic brain injuries from accidents to uninsured or under insured riders of e-scooters. 

Mickey Spence


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