Five Thought Provoking Ideas Ahead of the Streetsblog Denver Scooter Debate

What do you think of electric scooters?

Scooter at entrance of Union Station

eventbriteYou’re invited to the Streetsblog Scooter Debate Monday August 12.

Get free tickets here

Do you love an electric boost when zipping around the city’s streets? Are you frustrated with people zooming past too close for comfort? Or are you not sure what to think of scooters?

As Denver considers making its scooter pilot program permanent, check out these five ideas now and stop by our debate Monday night to hear from a panel of mobility and street safety experts — and ask your own questions.

  1. Scooters could help the city meet its goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips from 73 percent today to 50 percent by 2030.
  2. 82 percent: Number of scooter riders city employees observed riding on sidewalks next to streets that did not have bike lanes. The city will likely ban scooters from sidewalks, which could be a hard habit to break.
  3. When cities allow companies like Uber, Lyft and now scooter providers to use public space to chase profits, it sets a precedent that could be hard to control when tech ventures want to use our cities for delivery robots and drones. And when people start relying on their services, what happens when they disappear?
  4. People with disabilities often struggle to get around scooters parked in the middle of the sidewalk or in front of building entrances and wheelchair ramps.
  5. But mobility advocates say scooters aren’t the problem. Our streets are designed to prioritize cars. Denver should transform its streets to make room for people walking, biking and scooting. Scooters, after all, are smaller, slower, safer and more environmentally friendly than cars.

Get free tickets here.


  • TakeFive

    Clarification: Uber, Lyft among others don’t use the roads, rather they use the airwaves which is also part of the public domain. There are however many people out busting their hump often putting in 10-hour days who use apps from Uber/Lylft and others just to pay their rent and buy some food for their kids.

    I understand Denver sees itself has becoming ‘elitist’ and certainly these drivers don’t make near as much money or pay as much in taxes as the tech bros but I’d suggest they’re the ones who deserve dedicated lanes.

    In the Bay there are many drivers who can’t afford a ‘normal’ place and live out of their cars. But they’re not homeless and they do work hard. So what does the city think about that?

    While most don’t associate hailing a rideshare with the notion of stepping foot inside someone’s home, that’s exactly what some passengers are doing.

    In response, city officials have recently announced plans to open the first “safe” parking lot near the Balboa Park BART station, where people can sleep in their cars without fear of repercussions and get access to showers, bathrooms, and social services.

  • Jim Haley

    I just hope that Denver keeps limits in place on the number of dockless rental scooters allowed. I was in the Los Angeles area a couple of weeks ago and in some places like Venice Beach and Santa Monica the number of scooters littering the sidewalks was staggering. In some places, the sidewalks were rendered unusable because of all of the scooters left on them. They need to control that somehow as it was truly an eyesore and nuisance. If it becomes like that in Denver I’ll probably invest some effort into learning how to vandalize those scooters most efficiently.

    • TM

      Vandalize all the cars first, please. They’re doing far, far more harm that scooters ever possibly could. Thanks.

    • Brian Jeffrey

      Denver could have avoided this issue by building off-sidewalk parking corrals. But they didn’t. Now, in a rush to quiet the outrage, they promise to construct 12 of them in the coming month. Not nearly enough and way late reacting, but it is a start.

  • Mile Cargo

    The scooters aren’t the problem – it’s distracted walkers. These distracted walkers have their faces buried in their phones and there is no hope for them anyway. The scooters should learn to use the bike lanes (if present and usually not) but otherwise they should just torque down speeds when around many walkers.

    • Christian Mannhood

      if there is any mode of transportation, excepting buses/trains, that should allow for distraction it is walking.

      the elderly walk slow. the blind without sight. the deaf without sound. and children, who knows what they’ll do next?

    • TM

      This is garbage. Stop treating people walking like they are driving cars. You can be distracted while walking, you can read, look at your phone, talk to people, pay attention to your kids, your dog, you might not be able to walk or walk very fast, not be able to see or hear. All of this is normal and ok. It is the responsibility of people operating vehicles that can kill people to not be distracted. No one else. People walking are exercising their basic human right to go out in public. You do not get to restrict that or harass them for being “distracted.”


The UN secretary general, António Guterres, addresses the closing meeting of the 73rd session of the United Nations general assembly at the UN headquarters on 16 September. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

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