I read with great interest the Sept. 11 Open Mic letter, “Finding value in alternative forms of transportation,” written by a representative of a company which presumably supplies, for profit, the e-scooters proliferating around South Florida.
Like most local residents, my family is concerned with the traffic congestion which seemingly gets worse daily, and is supportive of alternative public transportation choices such as trolleys, buses, rail and shared rides.
Scooters, however, present safety issues which are not being effectively addressed by local government.
My law office is in downtown Coral Gables. On a daily basis, I witness the abusive nature of e-scooter users.
They drive on sidewalks at excessive rates of speed, and in many cases, a reckless manner, which creates a clear and present danger to pedestrians. I have witnessed near misses which could easily have resulted in collisions and tragic injuries.
The letter invites people to join a “First Ride Academy” which addresses safety issues for scooter users (e.g.: helmets) — but it takes expensive, time-consuming law enforcement to keep these potentially dangerous machines off the sidewalks.
Additionally, while serving far less than 1 percent of the taxpayers, scooters are left helter-skelter in business and residential neighborhoods, creating a blight to the landscape and detracting from the aesthetics of the environment (especially in a city which prides itself as “beautiful”).
If we are to embrace e-scooters as an on-going “alternate form of transportation,” there needs to be more aggressive enforcement to preserve sidewalks for pedestrians and an absolute requirement that e-scooter companies collect their abandoned scooters daily.