Bronx residents are the first New Yorkers to enjoy the benefits of the pilot e-scooter program but at the same time Bronx roads are among the most dangerous for cyclists and scooter riders. E-scooters and e-bikes have been legal in New York City since the beginning of last year but so far there was no e-scooter share program in the city. E-scooters have been a very controversial subject in New York City. While they can be an excellent and sustainable mode of transportation for neighborhoods that are not well served by public transportation, they can be dangerous for users and for pedestrians alike.
After long discussions and negotiations, the city finally agreed to launch a pilot program in the Bronx, and since Tuesday 3000 e-scooters are available to East Bronx residents. The pilot will go on for a year and then, the city will decide to expand it or not.
While the scooter program is a great idea, the city needs to address the lack of protected infrastructures in the Bronx
East Bronx residents do not have Citi Bike and the access to mass transit can be difficult. Therefore a share e-scooter program can help local residents to access public transportation in a faster, cheaper and more sustainable manner. However one of the main problems is safety: the East Bronx has almost no protected bike lanes and bicycle accidents are on the rise. Last year, 7 people died and 761 were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx. The number of bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 53% between 2019 and 2020 and the number of bicycle accident deaths went from 0 to 7 during the same period.
Some people are also drastically opposed to scooters because they pose a risk to pedestrians and clutter the sidewalks.
Anti-scooter movements have encouraged e-scooter vandalism. In Oakland for example, a few years ago, anti-scooter people threw at least 60 of them in Lake Merritt.
Read more in the Gothamist