Some people may see this as a nuisance or a safety threat, but the coming ubiquity of scooters should actually be an exciting moment for Los Angeles. The city is about to engage in an experiment to see if regulations can curtail the negatives of scooters (tipped over vehicles, blocked sidewalks, careless riders) and allow the positives (environmentally friendly, fun, car-free travel) to flourish.
Scooters could become an important piece of the urban transportation system. They are a convenient, affordable option for people who want to travel a short distance, including those who need to traverse the “first-mile, last-mile” distance between their homes and jobs and transit stations. More broadly, the popularity of scooters could help increase the number of people advocating for protected lanes and smarter road design — thereby increasing safety and giving people more transportation choices than driving, which in turn would help reduce the tailpipe emissions that foul the air and warm the planet.