If scooters win, pedestrians lose

In April, I visited Nashville for two days just before the NFL draft. The city was busy and in festive mood. It was my first experience with e-scooters, and only as a spectator.

They were everywhere by many different manufacturers. Apparently, if you had a smart phone you could pick one up and ride it.

I saw groups of young people riding them, on sidewalk, in traffic lanes and along curb lines riding with traffic. The e-scooters were fast, agile, going anywhere they want and pretty much keeping up with city traffic speeds.

When finished riding, they were usually dumped on the curb line, part on the walk, part on the street, sometimes a half-dozen strewn about.

They owned the sidewalks, unless they were too crowded, then they dodge to the streets. If you are a pedestrian, especially the older variety, you don’t want to get hit by a 10 mph metal-human combo as it could severely injure your legs and mobility.

If coming toward you, they take the right-of-way, and you let them. If coming up from behind, you might get a loud yell to tell you they are on the right or left and expect you to move, and you do.

Or, you might get a stream of riders silently zip closely by you without warning, giving you a moment of fright. Every sidewalk corner with a building obscuring the view becomes another potential collision point with the e-scooters coming from the blind side.

They’ll be some courteous riders, more who don’t give a damn, a few crazy maniacs doing tricks and probably some drunks after dark.

They look impossible to police or hold responsible as they can disappear in a flash. Is this progress? E-scooters 10, Pedestrians 0.