August 10, 2018

The Birds.


ADDED: "Fed-up locals are setting electric scooters on fire, smearing them with poop and burying them at sea" (L.A. Times).
These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public....

Lt. Michael Soliman, who supervises the LAPD Pacific Division’s Venice Beach detail, said he’s aware of some vandalism — his team has seen scooters left in a pile 10 feet high. But because people aren’t reporting such incidents, it’s not something officers are responding to, he said.

“If we have to prioritize the allocation of our time and resources, first and foremost we’re going to prioritize the preservation of life,” Soliman said. “Protection of property comes second.”
So it's open season.

25 comments:

mccullough said...

All those Bird Scooters are named Larry

gilbar said...

isn't it Cool, that if your private company Bribes the Right People; you can use public land: RENT FREE?

I'm sure if a child tried to open a lemonade stand near there; they'd be shut down: No Bribes, see?

Expat(ish) said...

Very clever.

I keep looking at that stuff and thinking: if I were 13 again, I'd have scavenged a ton of motors and batteries for projects.

@gilbar - nice form of public disobedience - when you see one, just pick it up and heave it into the closest dumpster.

-XC

Phil 3:14 said...

I’ve ridden one in San Diego. I like the idea and convenience. Over the find ‘em, ride ‘em and leave ‘em bikes and scooters are an interesting business idea. Lots kinks to work out.

I’ve never seen a collection of Bird scooters like the picture. Was it staged?

wild chicken said...

Can tall people ride these scooters? Seems like a short person thing.

rhhardin said...

Alien birds do have peculiar feathers.

If you number the alphabet 1-26 and put another alphabet after it numbered 27-52, the first letters of that read 1 2 4 8 16 32.

Oddly enough, a degree 4 polynomial fitted to 1 2 4 8 16 predicts the next term is 31. That's climate science.

Rick Turley said...

Having a rough roll out in Nashville. The city had been confiscating them as they found them. Working through a solution. I believe the issues revolve around safety and leaving them scattered all over the place.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

I don’t see this business model ever really working out in most American towns. In high-trust gentry playground-towns in Canada and Europe, maybe. The finders/keepers ethos is too strong in urban America. You’re chumming for catfish here.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

And there’s an almost comic assumption in this business model that the police will be really, really interested in protecting your property. That you’ve scattered everywhere. In Seattle, the only Lime Bikes I noticed in use were being ultilized by homeless people as wheelbarrows. The cops didn’t care, and who’s going to struggle with a homeless person for the possession of some hipster company’s bicycle.

Rick said...

The finders/keepers ethos is too strong in urban America.

I think the problem is the lack of cooperation. If people left the scooters in/near bike racks they wouldn't create obstacles or eyesores. But instead users disregard them and leave the scooters ten feet from building entrances so as they build up they block the entrance. If cities converted a couple of parking spots into collection points the problem could probably be solved. But the neither the cities, the users, or the companies will cooperate so the entire idea is going to die.

gerry said...

Liberals/Progressives screw themselves so much, it's a wonder whatever they have defined as sexual orifices this week hasn't prolapsed.

Magson said...

The Chinese haven't figured out a solution either.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=chinese+bike+graveyards&FORM=HDRSC2

Caligula said...

"I don’t see this business model ever really working out in most American towns."

What makes it work at all is that the scooters are obviously very inexpensive. The business model is to make back the initial low cost before the scooter is stolen or vandalized.

A sit-on electric scooter that could do 30-35 mph would seem far more useful as urban transportation than the Bird scooters, assuming it was (or could be made to be) street-legal. But these would have a significantly higher initial cost, thus rendering the quick-payback business model unusable. That, and they'd surely be more seasonally useful in San Diego than in Milwaukee.

gilbar said...

comic assumption in this business model that the police will be really, really interested in protecting your property. That you’ve scattered everywhere.

the Amazing thing is that they've gotten startup cash.
It sure looks like the Only groups to make any money on this would be:
A) politicians that received bribes (sorry! Campaign 'contributions')
B) the separate company the sells the bikes to the Bird Corp
(which, i assume, will be owned by the people that are promoting this)
oh, and
C) media companies that will be receiving Ad time for this

Char Char Binks said...

SBPDL

readering said...

How does this make money? Didn't everyone get a Segway?

Skippy Tisdale said...

I work in downtown Minneapolis on the Nicollet Mall, which is where most of the scooters are. I don't see why people care; they are harmless. In fact, the folks riding the scooters combined with the folks on Nice Ride bicycles, the skateboardes and a sunny summer day give the mall a kind of Currier and Ives feeling.

Rocketeer said...

Adults are supposed to ride these things around town? It's a freakin' SCOOTER. Men in Shorts on steroids.

Bird'd have to pay ME to be seen in public riding around on one of those ridiculous things.

JohnAnnArbor said...

What if they were more like those rental carts art airports, that give back a deposit if you return it to the rack? If you're clever, you could have a virtual deposit returned when you leave the cart in a proper, designated area.

Teller said...

So far, by my count, every app in the world has unintended consequences.

rsbsail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rsbsail said...

“If we have to prioritize the allocation of our time and resources, first and foremost we’re going to prioritize the preservation of life,” Soliman said. “Protection of property comes second.”

The Venice Police Department has obviously not read "Broken Windows" by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling published in The Atlantic in 1982.

Clyde said...

This obviously must be Trump's fault. All of that free-floating anger and frustration has to be vented somewhere, in this case, on the annoying electric scooters.

HT said...

"So it's open season" - what violent imagery!

Seriously, good for them. If ever we were in the grips of massive short-termism that time is now. I am much less annoyed by these things than I am by the bikes, and especially riding on the sidewalks. Obligatory proviso: yes in most places in DC riding on sidewalks is legal, but even in places where it's not, the oft mentioned 'central business district,' they still do it.

Zach said...

So a perfectly nice public area is now a parking lot for the benefit of a private company?

The VC system that pours money into startups like this is seriously out of whack right now. They pour huge amounts of money into dubious companies in hopes that growth will solve everything. Which means that everybody gets exposed to the teething problems of a company that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it got funded.

Travis VanderZanden has worked at QualComm, Yammer (social network for inter-business communication), Cherry (an on-demand car wash service). He joined Lyft after it acquired Cherry, jumped to Uber, then left Uber after Lyft sued him for violating his confidentiality agreement. Then he founded Bird with a $15 million Series A.

Look at that resume! This is not the resume of someone who has been dreaming about electric scooters since kindergarten. This is a guy who jumps around a lot and is currently at loose ends. It's scooters this time, but it used to be car washes.

Hey, here's a cool idea for a car wash startup! You press a button on an app and leave your car in the middle of Main Street. Then it's put out for competitive bid among roving car wash teams.

It has everything you love about blocking public spaces, plus it brings back the roaming squeegee men that used to make New York so gritty! I'm looking for a $20 million Series A -- you gotta start this kind of thing off at scale.