Did the title lure you in? Good! stay! Let’s talk this through.
I once asked my cousin who is 14 what he did during the weekend and he said he went “birding”. Honest to God I thought he meant bird watching. He also laughed out loud when I was humming Drake’s “In My Feelings”
I am a residence of West Los Angeles and a business owner in Santa Monica. I absolutely HATE walking or driving around the neighborhood and seeing this sight:
This is absolute MADNESS! I mean Come on people! How irresponsible can you be? You live in this neighborhood, why trash it like this? This new generation has zero respects for other people and their environment! They are so entitled and think other people should be cleaning up after them while they listen to Drake on Spotify, ride their bird and then leave it whenever they want?
And then I realized… I sound like a bitter old man. Oh damn, already? (I’m 35)
So, I decided to give it a chance. I rode my first Bird scooter about a month ago. I was meeting my wife at the Westfield Century City mall. She was driving there from work and I didn’t want to take my car and drive back with two cars, so I downloaded the app and unlocked the scooter and I was on my way. riding down Santa Monica boulevard in the 6pm rush hour traffic, whizzing past all the cars as they were waiting in traffic was thrilling. I am going be honest, I didn’t wear helmet. Not that I don’t have one. I have been riding my bike in Santa Monica for years and always wear a helmet, but I didn’t want to look uncool.
At some point during the ride I felt like something was missing. That is when I stopped, took out my phones and played “In My Feelings” by Drake. I felt alive. The air was going through my hair, I was listening to a great song and I was making great timing. It didn’t go as fast as a bike would, which is a good thing because I had a chance to explore more. I saw business that I have driven by hundreds of times but never paid any attention to. Honestly it was a great experience. I parked the scooter about a block away from the mall (because the actual mall is a “red zone”) and walked the rest of the way.
Ever since then, If need to go somewhere that is too far to go by foot, but not far enough to go by car, or i̶f̶ when the traffic is insane, I just “Bird” it.
The same 14-year-old cousin tells me he makes a couple of hundred dollars a weekend by charging Birds, so do all of his friends which I thought was a nice way of making money for kids their age.
Then I heard that the Birds when banned in San Francisco and Beverly Hills and that the entire city of Los Angeles is debating on banning them. Yesterday there was a big rally at the Santa Monica City Hall to protest the banning of the electronic scooters from the city.
I feel like most people, like myself, are in the position of seeing the situation from both perspectives. As residence and business owners, we are absolutely appalled by the way our neighborhoods look, the sidewalks blocked and the sheer disregard of others safety by the “Birder Community”. I once saw a Birder strike a person walking out of the post office and knock the wind out of him, both falling on the ground. Luckily, they were both safe, but what if it wasn’t a grown man walking out of the post office? what if it was a smile child?
On the other hand, FUCK THE LA TRAFFIC! Seriously.
Our City needs alternative means of transportation. We have a problem and companies like Bird and (I feel like I have been leaving them out) Lime found a solution to this problem. The City’s answer should not be to BAN the scooters. Do we need more guidelines? Yes. Do we need stronger enforcement of the law? Absolutely. Do we need more regulations? I am not sure about this, I am not too crazy about too many regulations, but I think we the residence, city and the scooter companies need to sit down and come up with a way to keep the scooters around. They are, in my humble option, a necessity and a remedy to our crazy, crazy traffic situation in Los Angeles (and Santa Monica, seriously, try to go to the beach on the weekends, I dare you).
I know Donald Trump is P̶r̶e̶s̶i̶d̶e̶n̶t̶ Precedent now (and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you), but come on, we don’t ban things/people. Except Asbestos.
If you agree with me and think that our city could benefit from a well-regulated Scooter business head over and sign the petition to save Bird in Santa Monica, and stay on top of the news to make sure they don’t pull the rug from under these innovative businesses.
If you don’t agree with me, leave a comment, let me know what you thought of the article, would love to see it from your point of view.