I’ve ruined many a family holiday through my own oversights. There was the time that I misunderstood “twin bed” – I thought it meant two bedrooms – and found myself top-to-tail with my dad in a European single; and the occasion when we arrived at the airport on the correct day and month – but a year early. However, I take no responsibility for a tainted tour of Lisbon last summer, which was ruined by the city’s fleet of scooters. I spent most of the time tripping over them or complaining about how a jumble of the discarded contraptions had blemished my pictures of the city’s tiled buildings.
My experience is typical of the battle against scooters that cities have been fighting for the better part of two years. That’s why the removal of such vehicles from the streets of Dallas has largely been heralded as a good thing. Although many people rejoiced, others were disappointed. In unwalkable cities such as Dallas, scooters have sometimes offered people the chance to comfortably conquer the proverbial “last mile”. Which begs the question: is there a way in which scooters could actually be good news for a town, if managed correctly?
The solution might be simple: do away with the dockless concept and have defined areas in which they can be parked. This could stop the two-wheeled terrors clogging the path of those with prams and wheelchairs, and prevent more family holidays from being ruined. Some problems remain, though: how to deal with chumps riding them at ridiculous speed? Would a tripwire be too extreme?