Micromobility email — sample
From: Kelley, Craig
Sent: 7/14/2019 10:00 PM
Subject: Electric Scooter meeting Monday, 15 July, at 4 PM at City Hall
This Monday, 15 July, at 4 PM (tomorrow), there will be a public hearing at City Hall to talk about shared electric scooters in Cambridge. I have pasted the meeting notice below. If you cannot make the meeting but would like to provide public comment, please email PCrane@Cambridgema.gov.
While understanding the ins-and-outs of shared fleet scooters is important, and Brookline is currently running a pilot with both Lime and Bird, the larger issue we have to figure out is how can emerged and emerging Micromobility platforms of all stripes most successfully co-exist with cyclists, cars, trucks, pedestrians and other forms of Micromobility. My assistant, Mark Gutierrez, and I wrote an op-ed a few months ago about how the Urban Four cities- Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline- need to be much more attentive to how this new type of transportation is going to impact our urban environment regardless of a particular vehicle’s ownership status. I’ve put together a playlist of various Micromobility uses I’ve seen in and out of Cambridge with the general theme that scooters, fleet-owned or personal, are only part of this new transportation world.
In addition to issues such as insurance, rules of the road (and sidewalk), parking, electric charging, enforcement and more, we have to worry about mundane issues like how our zoning might allow shared scooter use in residential districts (they’re a commercial use. We changed our City zoning to allow bike sharing throughout Cambridge for that reason). Figuring this stuff out is not necessarily rocket science, but if we’re not aggressively thinking about it, we’ll be less likely to see these new transportation forms live up to their potential and we’ll be more likely to see increased chaos, and possibly danger, on our public ways.
On a related note, I think we should also cancel the exclusivity clause in our contract with the folks who run our Blue Bike program- having docked bike stations that allow you only to go within those Urban Four cities and not allowing other bike share programs to exist in Cambridge creates a less-than-optimal bike share system. Even should these programs morph to dockless bikes, the inability to cross municipal lines to places like Medford, Somerville or Arlington is a real detriment. I’d love to ride an electric Lime bike from Cambridge to visit my Dad in Newton but our contract won’t allow Lime to operate their bikes in Cambridge. That limitation what should be a transportation system makes no sense to me.
Anyway- if you can’t make this meeting and would like to talk about Micromobility issues, please drop me a note. I think this is super interesting stuff and I’m always eager to learn more about how people are thinking about it.
Thanks a lot.
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Monday, July 15, 2019
The Transportation & Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a pilot program for regulating and permitting shared electric scooters to operate in Cambridge.
THIS HEARING WILL BE TELEVISED