Some residents in southern California who’ve had enough of the electric scooter craze are reportedly resorting to vandalism in an effort to vent their frustrations.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that workers at Santa Monica Beach and in Venice have seen these scooters tossed into the ocean and trash cans. One police officer in Venice said his officers have seen them stacked 10 feet high, but these cases are not being called in.
“If we have to prioritize the allocation of our time and resources, first and foremost we’re going to prioritize the preservation of life,” Lt. Michael Soliman told the paper. “Protection of property comes second.”
Cities like Milwaukee have initially pushed back on Bird and its competitors, LimeBike and Spin, by issuing cease-and-desist orders. But some have ultimately relented and decided to give the scooters a chance.
Bird, which currently operates in about 30 cities, previously removed scooters from Denver and Salt Lake City before resuming operations recently under a pilot program in those locations. Portland, Oregon, is also allowing Bird scooters under a pilot.
But some residents really despise Bird. There is even an Instagram account called Birdgraveyard, which appears to celebrate the scooters’ destruction. It has over 28,000 followers.
“We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,” a Bird spokeswoman told the paper. “Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”
A Bird spokeswoman hopes those who see any vandalism report it.
These electric scooters, which can go up to 15 miles per hour, have proliferated in places across the country in recent months, often without warning to city officials who have grappled with how to regulate them. They are often found left in the middle of sidewalks, which can be an eyesore in a neighborhood.
The scooter companies, however, point to their overall affordability and the fact they reduce car traffic as benefits to the public.
The Bird app shows where they’re available. Riders, who must scan in their driver’s license, unlock one by scanning a barcode for an initial charge of $1. It then costs 15 cents a minute to ride one. Once done, riders take a picture of where they left the scooter to make sure it’s properly parked.
Beverly Hills has reportedly banned scooters for six months.
“If you imagine just walking on the sidewalk and somebody on a scooter at 15 miles an hour hits you, it can be fatal,” Beverly Hills councilmember Lili Bosse said last month after the California city voted to ban the devices for six months, following similar edicts and warnings in places like West Hollywood, Seattle, Saint Paul, Nashville, Boston and Miami.
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