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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News: Last 7 Days

Re: “Mobility and Equity

I have watched the scooter onslaught of Oakland since the morning after the first 500 were unceremoniously dumped on the street. I spent much of the past year and a half recuperating from double knee replacement requiring me to walk slowly and carefully with a hiking stick. Never did I think sidewalks could become more dangerous than they already were from thoughtless speeding bicyclists. Was I wrong!! Im better now and I walk a LOT. I have observed danger to pedestrians (disabled or not) from inexperienced, thoughtless, speeding and/or well under the age of 18 riders on the sidewalks is way worse than from bicycles or skateboards. If scooters are in bike lanes, rare except for commuters, they often speed through red lights endangering pedestrians in crosswalks not to mention their non-helmeted selves at 20 mph. Never have I seen any enforcement by anyone from the scooter companies. The only enforcement is from an occasional pedestrian yelling or muttering This is a sidewalk not a bike lane. Ive been in one other city - Austin Tx - where the scooter riders seemed better behaved. Oakland has not gotten it together in any way shape or form with enforcement or regulation of scooter use. And frankly my expectations in this regard are LOW.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 07/22/2019 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Hillside Residents Focus on the Serious Business of Fire Prevention

Oakland residents can come by the City's climate equity workshops: this Wed, July 24 in District 7, and the City-wide workshop downtown on Wed, July 31. Among the array of City actions for discussion is climate adaptation, including wildfire preparedness and prevention.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/district-7-co…

Posted by djaber on 07/22/2019 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The sidewalk riding prohibition needs to be enforced. Yes. Without burdening the 'low income' riders with steep fines. What is the solution? Compulsory community service, EVEN for the rich kids? Or?

Posted by Rebecca Weinstein on 07/22/2019 at 10:02 AM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The NOT riding on sidewalk needs to be enforced, yes! WITHOUT burdening the 'low income' with high fines and or jail! What is the solution? Compulsory community service? A choice between a super high fine (the rich kids could pay) or a few hours community service? or?

Posted by Rebecca Weinstein on 07/22/2019 at 10:00 AM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

The newbie scooters get better transit justice than the disabled and the disability rights movement got going in the seventies. When will the disabled see just transit options?

I bet most people who are not in wheelchairs don't know how abysmal public transit is for wheelchairs. Sure Alemeda has a program to transport folks in wheelchairs. We can make appointments but these buses can be several hours late. And these disabled-access buses also sometimes phone to say "we aren't coming" and they do this when the wheelchair-bound has a medical appointment. Too bad. The staffing is inadequate so I guess the pay is inadequate.

Oh, and yes, I can use the regular buses. The ramps to get on and off AC transit buses is not close to a good angle for wheelchair riders. Few bus drivers seem to have ever been trained to take into consideration where they park the bus before using that ramp. Where the . . . .

I was out in Oakland today. I just couldn't cope with the pain of all the bumps so I cancelled my plans. Ouch ouch ouch.

Opting to ride in the street is quite unsafe, I know, but I regularly roll in the street because it is the only way to get past the too-damaged-for-me-to-ride-on-sidewalk reality. . .

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 07/21/2019 at 9:35 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

No helmets required on these things in Oakland. Tisk tisk.

I live in Berkeley but I have been at a skill nursing facility for some rehab so I am rolling around in N. Oakland, near its downtown, in my power wheelchair. I see these scooters ridden in sidewalks every day I am out in Oakland.

What rankles me about Oakland's alleged claim, by just one administrator, that Oakland wants equitable transpotation. This surprised me because Oakland sidewalks and ramp curves at corners for wheelchairs are shockingly treacherous for wheelchair bond citizens. There are many blocks, maybe one out of three, that are literally impassable by a wheelchair so I have to go back, often for an entire block, and scan for a place to cross.

It is galling to come upon construction blocking the sidewalk while I see bicyclists on the always smooth and well maintained bike lanes.

Are bikers more important than disabled people? It looks like Oakland thinks so.

The disgraceful condition for wheelchair dependent folks can cause me actual and avoidable pain because sometimes the best option is still full of guts and holes and bumps. Every bump in my chair hurts me but the bikers have smooth lanes?

It is completely unacceptable, and would not cost the city anything (but would cost the construction biz) to more carefully insist that when construction impedes a sidewalk for wheelchair users, it does adequate reparation, even temporary repration, of the sidewalk. And, wake up, it is not enough to put an orange cone on a hole. REquire notices at the end of the blocks so wheelchair users know the sidewalk is untraversible? Require more prompt repairs.

I have gotten to know the sidewalks closest to my rehab place so I know which blocks are not passable but it isn't always easy to find an alternative.

We all like to think we have made great strides in disabled access but sidewalks full of large holes, street corner ramps for wheels that are rutted and full of holes and lumps. . . these things keep many disabled from going out into the world.

I am angry that the east bay seems to take great care to provide safe bike lanes without providing decent access to the disabled.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 07/21/2019 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

In W. Oakland, youth on rented scooters mug people. As a disabled person, I am tired of scooters blocking sidewalks, and having to dodge scooters and cyclists on the sidewalk. At least the sidewalks will be safe during Burning Man, when W. Oakland is hipster free!

Posted by Holly Harwood on 07/18/2019 at 10:20 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

Tell me how these companies are enforcing rules. Seriously, how?

Lyft has it written right on their scooters - so clearly that I, someone who's never even gotten on one can see it - that you need to stay off the sidewalk and yet these people come racing down the sidewalk on scooters with zero regard for people (and dogs walking on them).

They're not going to make any real attempt to keep people off the sidewalk on these things until lawsuits start popping up. (Or, a scooter rider hits the wrong person on the sidewalk and gets their ass whooped - or worse - and the media takes notice.)

Posted by Ashley McCartney on 07/18/2019 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

Prove to us that the companies are actually enforcing the policies that keep pedestrians, the disabled members of the community, and the riders safe. Laws and EULAs and policies have yet to curb the bad behavior of selfish riders who consistently ride the sidewalks, park obstructively, and expect the right of way to be ceded whenever they want it to be. Prove that the companies are making real efforts to deal with this behavior and maybe you'll end up with something other than a dystopian transportation nightmare.

Posted by Pedestrians First on 07/17/2019 at 3:19 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

So Oakland is getting it right because anecdotally the author and some Oakland administrator thinks so (anecdotally).
SF is getting it wrong because the data says so.

Posted by Jack R on 07/17/2019 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Mobility and Equity

"Right" as defined exactly how...

I'm getting bloody tired of having them come at me, against traffic in the lane I'm driving in, weaving across lanes in and out of traffic and my all time favorite, doing all of the above in the dark with no lights.

They make bike riders look almost responsible.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 07/17/2019 at 12:45 PM

Re: “The Warriors Attempt to Reverse Their Legal Losing Streak

I'm down with Council President Kaplan. Trying to stick ALL the residents of Oakland/Alameda County with a $40 million debt for renovations made solely to benefit the Warriors is despicable. Especially since the Warrior owners are filthy rich and they just dumped Oakland/Alameda County like a bad date despite fierce fan loyalty during all those years the Warriors sucked. Very disappointing that Warrior owners are showing the same crass disloyalty recently exhibited by Diva D-Bag Durant.

Posted by Sherri Yeager on 07/16/2019 at 8:30 PM

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