'Birdwatchers' Flock to See Demo of New Scooters
August 2, 2018
Dozens of Culver City residents and other Westsiders flocked to The City's main transportation facility on Jefferson Boulevard this week to learn more about Bird, the rent-a-scooter company that's getting raves from many Culverites but derided by others.
Importantly, City officials also clarified the rules for those who can legally ride the popular scooters and those who cannot.
As previously reported by the Observer, Santa Monica-based Bird Inc. is the first company to participate in Culver's six-month trial period for "scooter sharing." The firm's tiny, electric scooters let a paying customer pick one up and then drop it off somewhere else.
Culver City officials are generally bullish on the birds, noting that they cut-down automobile traffic as well as smog.
Some homeowners and business owners, though, complain that the scooters are often abandoned on their yards or left blocking the entryway to their storefronts.
They also complain that children, some less than 10 years old, can rent the scooters as long as they have their mom or dad's credit card to activate the motorized bike.
The City Council took steps to solve some of the problems:
• All scooter-riders must be 18 or older.
• All must have a valid driver's license.
• Like bicyclists, everyone who rents a scooter must wear a protective helmet.
• Riding on the sidewalk is prohibited.
Despite these new restrictions, some people at the event wondered how the new scooter rules would be enforced.
"I'm sick and tired of these scooters being left in the park," said Ellen, who lives near Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park on Braddock Drive but didn't want to provide her last name.
"I'm glad that the City is finally recognizing these problems, but there's a lot more that needs to be resolved," Ellen said.
"Besides, are we going to have to hire a bunch of 'scooter cops' to keep things in order?"