When people complain about dockless scooters, it’s often because the scooters are parked in the middle of the sidewalk. But a new study from the Mineta Transportation Institute found that scooters rarely block sidewalk access.
Researchers from Mineta and San Jose State University observed 530 scooters in downtown San Jose, California, in June and July 2018. They found that 90 percent of these scooters “did not disrupt pedestrian traffic.” These were mostly parked on the edge of sidewalks or next to street furniture, such as benches, planter boxes, garbage cans, or newspaper racks.
The remaining 10 percent didn’t entirely block foot traffic, either. And fewer than 2 percent of the scooters blocked sidewalk access for people using wheelchairs.
This study did not assess how frequently parked scooters blocked driveway access for cars. This was a criticism of the scooters in San Jose during the time of this survey, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The body of research on dockless scooters is slim, but this study is a hopeful sign that scooters could serve as a long-term, positive addition to our transportation ecosystem.
Photo of a woman riding a scooter in Santa Moncia from Flickr’s Creative Commons.