I’m not exactly sure when electronic scooters started polluting the city or its surrounding suburban neighborhoods. And I suspect rural America is next too, if their farms, pastures, and vast natural playgrounds aren’t already overrun with the invasive technology known as electronic scooters. Regardless, nobody’s ever asked me – or presumably the vast majority of Americans – if it’s a good idea to let people leave electronic scooters anywhere they damn well please.
And you know what, I’m not the only one baffled and peeved by the sudden appearance of the “Electronic Scooter Industrial Complex”, or ESIC for short, because you can never pass up on creating another useless acronym destined to be shat* out by the bowels of digital history.
There are thousands of articles about electronic scooters. Full of love, hate, and everything in, you can probably find at least one article that vindicates your perspective. My favorite article, “They said you could leave electric scooters anywhere — then the repo men struck back,” is about a bunch of scooter repo men, and it is every bit as interesting as the awesome retro pixel art adorning the article’s banner image.
I get it. As a human who has watched scooters break out in the city over the last few years, I know that the herd immunity to environmentally friendly methods of transportation is growing weaker. The anti-gassers are strong here. And that’s a good thing. Except for the tiny – monumental – annoyance of scooters littering the streets and sidewalks.
The first time I noticed a haphazardly placed electronic scooter, it was dumped on a sidewalk/concrete median. To the last rider’s credit, at least the scooter was standing upright. Later that day, en route to the zoo, I found at least two or three more scooters (a different brand, of course) parked upright in the grass, next to the sidewalk. I imagine the only complaints came from dogs who had to find a new, marginally grassy place to shit.
During the next year or so scooters made it out to the suburbs. Streetside parking, normally the domain of vehicles, is now being confronted with a different kind of parallel parking. Lazy humans who just drop the scooter in the street. Or if they’re feeling generous, they kind of roll ’em up into the curb.
But things got real when I found scooters dropped on the Metro platform. And later, on my return home, I noticed somebody brought a scooter onto the actual train, which is weird because you can find them just about anywhere.
I’m not ranting or raving – vigorously, at least. Mostly, I’m perplexed at the sudden emergence of scooters and the disruptive implications they’re bringing to neighborhoods, businesses, and commuting. Until I see and endless wave of Boomers cruising on these things, I’ll chalk it up to a fad waiting to fade.