Keep pedestrians safe. Allow electric vehicles (skateboard) on the road and bike lanes
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TED talk (Lightest Electric Vehicle) - by Sanjay Dastoor
All across America, cities are having to adapt to a new vehicle known as the electric skateboard. An electric board is a popular vehicle used to commute around in cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Here in Charlotte, these ordinances have not changed to adapt to these vehicles. I call these vehicles because at 20-35mph (faster than the average bicycle) these things are not children's toys. I commute to work every day on these. And even pick up a few things from the local Harris Teeter right in the heart of uptown Charlotte. Though officials rarely care about these vehicles on the bike lane or the roads. It is my understanding that this activity is not 100% legal and our ordinances do not currently address them. A vehicle capable of such speeds should not be ridden on the sidewalk putting pedestrians and riders in danger.
- Cannot be used for jumping (ollies) over cracks/gaps/curbs
- Are equipped with a very responsive braking system.
- Are as fast and sometimes faster than bikes.
- Can have accessory ports that allow for lamp kits such as headlights and taillights.
- Are NOT "coasters" as defined by the city ordinances.
- Produce ZERO emissions.
Some of my personal experiences in the sidewalk include:
- Hitting uneven sidewalk and flying off the sidewalk and into the road.
- Hitting uneven sidewalk and my board flying into traffic causing my board to be run over.
- Being at risk of hitting a pedestrian almost every day (I am surprised pedestrians have not jumped into the road to clear a path)
The problem is that pedestrians are NOT looking for signals from a rider while on the sidewalk, like drivers would be if the rider was on the road. And like any vehicle, an electric skateboard or even electric bicycle should be regulated by the speed limit (which does not apply in the sidewalk). Dogs are another issue, they are unpredictable and may or not plunge towards the rider which can cause harm to the rider, the dog, and its attached walker.
These vehicles are GOING to become more and more popular and our ordinances need to be updated to accommodate for them.
For those without built-in tail lights and headlights, Shredlights make some of the most durable headlights and taillights for various boards to keep us riders on the road even in low visibility.
Fun Fact: there are 9,281,500 skateboarders in the US alone (2009 study)
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