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If You're in Tennessee....

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If You're in Tennessee....

Old 03-13-19, 05:35 AM
  #26  
Paul Barnard
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Originally Posted by tn_roadie View Post
A bill in the legislature - Senate Bill 1107 (Dickerson) and House Bill 1220 (Potts) is being pushed by the scooter companies, Spin, Bird, Lime, etc.

The bill amends current bicycle law to insure that “electric foot scooters” are given the same rights and responsibilities as bicycles and electric bicycles in Tennessee. This includes adding them to Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-175 that includes the Jeff Roth Protection Act requiring automobile drivers to give bicyclists a three foot buffer when passing. It also includes scooters in the statutes on electric bikes in TCA 55-8-301 et seq.

I am urging bicycle riders and advocates to oppose the bill as it is currently written.

1. Scooters are not bicycles and should be placed in their own legal category.
2. The basic bicycle law was first passed in 1955 and amended in 1985 and 2007. The law on electric bikes was passed in 2016.
3. Bicycle statutes are established law and scooters first appeared on Tennessee streets in 2018. The law on bicycles should not be used for a new and unknown technology.
4. We do not want to interfere with the rights of cities to regulate scooters and we do not want them to have the right to regulate bicycles. We are not opposed to electric scooters on our streets.
5. Scooters should not be included in TCA 55-8-171 et seq. which is the basic law on bicycles. They should not be included in TCA 55-8-301 et seq. the chapter defining electric bicycles. E-bikes are just a different type of bicycle, have been used for years and are regulated by federal standards.

The scooter companies have a lot of money and have hired some heavy hitter lobbyists. City governments are concerned about their right to regulate scooters. They will all be in the room when the negotiating starts. I need people in Tennessee to write your state representative and state senator. You can find them here.

Find Your Legislator

The bill is here.

SB 1107 - HB 1220

If you want more information DM me.

The scooter companies are trying this all over the country so you might want to check with your own state legislator.
Help me understand your opposition to the proposed law. What are the potential pitfalls of giving them the same rights and responsibilities as bicyclists?
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Old 03-13-19, 06:17 AM
  #27  
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Bill Text

-mr. bill
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Old 03-13-19, 06:20 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Think about what you are saying. Maybe say it out loud, record it, then listen to it. An electric scooter is just second cousin to a pedal bike, and first cousin to an E-bike. Think of how different a pedal bicycle is from a CAR or TRUCK. Now say this out loud: "They [pedal bicycles] should not in any way be placed into the same classification as a motor vehicle". Yet...many have worked so hard to make sure that pedal bikes are treated the same as motor vehicles even though one is from Venus, the other from Jupiter. Cars and bikes are totally dissimilar. Scooters and bikes are almost the same thing. I am not comprehending your reasoning here.
This.
Never ceases to amaze me how cluelessly selfish and shortsighted people can be.
Just look at the countless MUP threads that consist of cyclists arguing amongst themselves about who can ride/walk/run on them and at what speeds
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Old 03-13-19, 08:35 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
An electric scooter is just second cousin to a pedal bike, and first cousin to an E-bike. ... I am not comprehending your reasoning here.
Do you want to be judged by the behavior of your second cousin?

They're not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with this second cousin, they just want to be considered based on their own merits while the extended family is accorded the same individual treatment.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:55 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Do you want to be judged by the behavior of your second cousin?

They're not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with this second cousin, they just want to be considered based on their own merits while the extended family is accorded the same individual treatment.
You may have missed my point. This is how I meant it to be interpreted:

Bicycles and motor vehicles, especially the 4-wheeled variety, are completely different animals with very unique speed capabilities, size constraints, and operator awareness of sights and sounds around them. Two very different vehicles, the car and the bicycle YET...cyclists have been mandated to follow the same rules of the road as automobiles (of which I completely disagree and generally do not abide).

The electric scooter, the electric bicycle, and the pedal bicycle share almost every comparable quality YET....someone thinks they should be treated based on their scant differences, not their many similarities.

The low displacement gasoline scooters/mopeds are very similar to full sized motorcycles in behavior as well. On low speed roads they are one in the same to my observations. And both are generally required to obtain and display license plates, liability insurance, and be subjected to yearly safety inspections, etc.

Granted there are a few high powered electric bikes/scooters/skateboards out there so perhaps this is where the confusion lies.
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Old 03-16-19, 10:13 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Help me understand your opposition to the proposed law. What are the potential pitfalls of giving them the same rights and responsibilities as bicyclists?
I'm not opposed to the way it treats "electric foot scooters". Their bill amends existing bike law rather than creating a new statute purely for their industry. I am opposed to using bicycle law that's been on the books for more than 50 years and applies to a totally different type of vehicle that have been around for more than 100 years. Scooters have been on the streets here for less than on year. Well funded corporations attempted to use existing law for their own purposes rather than create and pass new statutes that reflect the current political reality.

Cities across the country are struggling to deal with dockless bike share and scooters and it's too early to make state law that might preempt municipal rights to control local streets. The fact they thought it would be easy to shove scooters into bike law shows the political weakness of the cycling community.
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Old 03-16-19, 02:15 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by tn_roadie View Post
I'm not opposed to the way it treats "electric foot scooters". Their bill amends existing bike law rather than creating a new statute purely for their industry. I am opposed to using bicycle law that's been on the books for more than 50 years and applies to a totally different type of vehicle that have been around for more than 100 years. Scooters have been on the streets here for less than on year. Well funded corporations attempted to use existing law for their own purposes rather than create and pass new statutes that reflect the current political reality.

Cities across the country are struggling to deal with dockless bike share and scooters and it's too early to make state law that might preempt municipal rights to control local streets. The fact they thought it would be easy to shove scooters into bike law shows the political weakness of the cycling community.
I might suggest if you are going to try to organize an effort to oppose the proposed law, that you not oppose it on general principle. You'll need to find specific issues within the proposed law and attack that. I am not saying this at all for the sake of being adversarial, but your reply sounds like a long winded "just because." You'll have to give 'em some substance to be effective my friend.
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Old 03-17-19, 11:47 AM
  #33  
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If I'm in Tennessee, I'm going to tour the mountains and Memphis.
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Old 03-17-19, 06:13 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
The level of maintenance on any public electric bike thingy must be intense. I have read a few stories on how they keep them charged and maintained. Can't see how they ever make a profit.
Does Tesla make a profit? Not yet apparently. In the meantime, I think it's fair to say that Tesla makes money! It's CEO is a man so rich that the model rockets he plays with in his spare time can put payloads in earth orbit. One of them reached escape velocity. Even though he is richer than most, the country GIVES him money, because ... ... because that's what we do: give rich people money. You probably have never rented a dockless scooter. Neither have I but I looked into the pricing structure out of curiosity. $1.00 each time you fire one up plus $0.15/min. till you power it down. Moving or not. Clearly the shutdown sequence is not intuitive (intentional?) because I have seen obviously unused scooters with their electronics still active ($$$ ouch). Profit I don't know about, but money is pouring into the coffers of the dockless scooter companies.
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Old 03-18-19, 03:34 AM
  #35  
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As I understand it the law would not change, other than to be expanded to include scooters. So ... the law would work however well it does now, and would work equally well for scooters.

If new law were to be written specifically for scooters ... ti would make perfect sense to do a word-for-word copy of the existing law, which lawmakers know already works, and which has already been parsed by lawyers looking for loopholes .... so what would be the point?

It is almost like saying we need a different law for mountain bikes on the road, road bikes on the road, and different laws for SS and multi-speed bikes. Surely my tricycle is not governed by laws designed for those unsafe two-wheel contraptions, which can tip over so easily? And as for my recumbent ... we need More Laws! That is the answer.

Seems to me the safe operation of a scooter could be described and controlled most adequately under the existing stature, and I see no reason to take up lawmakers' valuable time rewriting and renaming laws which already work. If laws governing low-speed, road-worthy vehicles already exist, use them.

In no way would the use or the laws regarding bicycle operation change. I don't see what the fuss is about. What would improve if lawmakers had to rewrite the laws and substitute "scooter" for "bicycle" in every instance? In what way would the laws fail to function if they were applied to scooters?

No downside to expanding the law to include scooters, no upside to not expanding the law to include scooters ... not a particularly strong case, eh? The real issue here seems to be that some folks feel bicycles would no longer be "special." otherwise, including scooters in the existing law wouldn't change a thing except to give cops the ability to ticket stupid scooter-riders.

IMO.
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Old 03-18-19, 07:22 AM
  #36  
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Looking at the talking points, it strikes me that as long as the bill is amended to give localities the right to further regulate e-scooters but not bikes, there really isn't a concrete problem there. If experience later teaches us that there are reasons that differences in the vehicles make bicycle regs unsuitable for e-scooters, the laws will have to be amended to reflect that but if the alternative to "let's try on bike regs" is "wait until we have enough info to regulate e-scooters and in the meantime do nothing", I'm not seeing that as a close question. Of course they have to get something in place for e-scooters right away.

Where localities definitely need to have control is over the licensing of vendors to use public sidewalks and roadside as storage places for dockless rental vehicles, and also in the use of sidewalks by wheeled vehicles generally. This is true of bicycles as much as it is e-scooters.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:02 PM
  #37  
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Personally I'm not sure it was wise to classify bicycles as legal road vehicles. That was extremely lazy on the part of DOT legislators everywhere. The whole 'vehicular cycling' imbroglio would go away if the complete unsuitability for the average bicycle as a tool for navigating the world of surface streets around the country was acknowledged by law. In Portland, Oregon bicycles are allowed use of sidewalks everywhere and anywhere EXCEPT the congested commercial strips in what most cities refer to as 'Downtown'. It is very handy to have that kind of flexibility. Yield to pedestrians? Of course yield to pedestrians, duh. Personally I think e-scooters should be allowed use of the sidewalk! What, they can't yield to peds? Make public examples of a few scofflaws, the rest will fall in line. In any case I doubt they would be any more offensive than they are already. By far the most annoying aspect of the e-scooters is the fact that once used their operators leave them (intentionally?) blocking pedestrian pathways! Motorists and motor vehicles need to be brought down a couple of pegs, and the use of motor vehicles needs to be sharply curtailed or banned outright in many areas of most cities and towns. It is a FAIL to try and modify the behavior of cyclists, scooterists and pedestrians in order to facilitate the unfettered access of cars and trucks to the roads.

Last edited by Leisesturm; 03-18-19 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 03-19-19, 11:12 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Personally I'm not sure it was wise to classify bicycles as legal road vehicles.
It does seem counter-intuitive to the safety of everyone involved, don't it?


Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
If I'm in Tennessee, I'm going to tour the mountains and Memphis.
Tenn is one of the more beautiful states fo sho.
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Old 03-19-19, 12:57 PM
  #39  
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if bicycles were not classified as legal road vehicles we could only ride them in our driveways.

Not sure i can get behind that idea.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:16 AM
  #40  
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I guess my point is that in some states the unique situation of the bicycle is taken into account. It is not a car. It is allowed on roads but it is expected to defer to 45mph motor traffic. It is allowed on sidewalks but it is expected to defer to pedestrians. In NYC a bicycle is a 'motor vehicle'. You cannot ride 10' on a sidewalk, even if there is no bike lane nearby. In the 80's and early 90's you could ride in the door zone pretty easily. Now, cars (SUV's) are so wide there is no door zone. You ride in the passenger side mirror zone at your peril. Some nuance is needed in the Vehicle Code of many U.S. cities.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:07 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I guess my point is that in some states the unique situation of the bicycle is taken into account. It is not a car. It is allowed on roads but it is expected to defer to 45mph motor traffic. It is allowed on sidewalks but it is expected to defer to pedestrians. In NYC a bicycle is a 'motor vehicle'. You cannot ride 10' on a sidewalk, even if there is no bike lane nearby. In the 80's and early 90's you could ride in the door zone pretty easily. Now, cars (SUV's) are so wide there is no door zone. You ride in the passenger side mirror zone at your peril. Some nuance is needed in the Vehicle Code of many U.S. cities.

If you add bicycles to the mix of a typical Manhattan sidewalk, the political conversation is going to shift very quickly to whether bicycles should be banned from the island. This is a truly awful idea. It wouldn't be a matter of deferring to pedestrians, it's that there is no room at all to allow safe operation at a speed higher than a walking pace. As it is, pedestrians in Manhattan have to work pretty hard to avoid running into each other.

Sidewalk riding may be appropriate and needed in some places, but in others it is clearly not. There's a good reason why the rule varies by locality, and even by neighborhood.
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Old 03-21-19, 06:40 PM
  #42  
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Bicycles were legal road vehicles before cars were. Sidewalks were for pedestrians. In places where sidewalks are actually used by pedestrians, bicycles remain inappropriate for the same reasons they always were. Scooters pose the same issues. In places with little to no pedestrian traffic, it doesn't much matter if these conveyances use the sidewalk but I suspect relatively few riders want to use the sidewalk. It really isn't an appropriate surface for traveling any distance at any sort of speed.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:30 PM
  #43  
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Some misinformation in this post.

Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I guess my point is that in some states the unique situation of the bicycle is taken into account. It is not a car. It is allowed on roads but it is expected to defer to 45mph motor traffic. It is allowed on sidewalks but it is expected to defer to pedestrians. In NYC a bicycle is a 'motor vehicle'. You cannot ride 10' on a sidewalk, even if there is no bike lane nearby. In the 80's and early 90's you could ride in the door zone pretty easily. Now, cars (SUV's) are so wide there is no door zone. You ride in the passenger side mirror zone at your peril. Some nuance is needed in the Vehicle Code of many U.S. cities.
There is no arbitrary speed at which cyclists are required to defer to motor vehicle traffic. This simply isn't so.

There are rules of behavior, none of which require deference. I'm not required to stop or slow down or to move over to let a motorist through.

A bicycle is a vehicle but it isn't a motor vehicle. Bicycles are prohibited from sidewalks in NYC because it isn't safe, not because they are motor vehicles.


-Tim-
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Old 03-26-19, 02:32 PM
  #44  
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Downtown Atlanta loves scooters.

They are all over the place, everyone uses them and there is rarely a problem.

I'm buying an electric scooter for my daughter when she goes to graduate school in Berkely. It will be faster and more convenient than a bike for her.


-Tim-
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Old 03-26-19, 10:05 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Some misinformation in this post.



There is no arbitrary speed at which cyclists are required to defer to motor vehicle traffic. This simply isn't so.

There are rules of behavior, none of which require deference. I'm not required to stop or slow down or to move over to let a motorist through.

A bicycle is a vehicle but it isn't a motor vehicle. Bicycles are prohibited from sidewalks in NYC because it isn't safe, not because they are motor vehicles.


-Tim-
You are splitting hairs and also emphasisizng the obvious. Bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk in Portland, OR. Portland isn't NYC but a comparison with ... Brooklyn or Queens is fair. Bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks in Brooklyn. Why is that? I don't need to be told not to ride on West 23rd St. But I probably could! Who would stop me? As for the rest you've read too much into what I've written. If the deference word upsets you so much, by all means use one you like better. It's the same thing in the end.
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