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August 08, 2018

Comments

Marcus Rivelr

brain injury stats

Joe

The Guv vetoed a bill that would require adults to wear helmets on scooters. In other news, this blurb about Lime data privacy caught my eye:

South Bend, Indiana is one of those leaders. It asked Lime to share data when operations kicked off in June 2017. At first, Lime provided the information in spreadsheets, but in early 2018 the startup launched a browser-based dashboard where cities could see aggregate statistics for their residents, such as how many of them rented bikes, how many trips they took, and how far and long they rode. Lime also added heat maps that reveal where most rides occur within a city and a tool for downloading data that shows individual trips without identifying the riders.

Some experts question whether companies should share GPS-based information about routes, even if it helps cities make infrastructure decisions. “With dockless bikes, you suddenly have the ability to ride directly to your house and leave the bike there,” says Kate Fillin-Yeh, the strategy director for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). “That opens up a host of new concerns when paired with location services.”

In theory, the fact that people can park dockless bikes outside their exact destinations could make it easier for someone who hacked into the data to decode the anonymous identities that companies assign their users. That hacker then might be able to figure out the biking trips that specific people took. Fillin-Yeh thinks cities should hire independent auditors to make sure bike-share companies are safeguarding riders’ data privacy.
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Of course independent auditors cost money, so the first question should be "who is going to pay for it?"

Joe

You cannot be surprised by this Cnet news piece:

Starting in March, a handful of tech companies dropped thousands of e-scooters across nearly 100 US cities, and injuries have surged. Two people have been killed in electric scooter accidents. And trauma surgeons are reporting daily occurrences in hospitals from San Diego to Denver to Austin. Some of these injuries have been life-threatening; others have left people permanently disabled.

Now electric scooters -- first seen as a fun way to solve the last-mile puzzle -- are leading to deadly situations.

"This is disruptive technology," said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, emergency room medical director at Austin's Dell Seton Medical Center. "But this time the disruption is disrupting forearms, elbows and heads."

https://www.cnet.com/news/electric-scooters-by-bird-and-lime-are-causing-injuries-and-accidents/

Bruce Dickinson

You gotta love the "disrupting forearms...." comment.

Joe, Bruce Dickinson likes where your mind's at with this one: as soon as everyone gets giddy'd up about the latest fad, that's when the unintended consequences start kicking in.

Just as a taste of what all this bike and scooter share could mean for the USA, look at the fiasco in China with the bike and scooter "graveyards"

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/08/china-abandoned-bike-share-graveyards/566576/

Lorne

The City Council will be deciding this coming Monday whether to extend Burlingame’s contract with Limebike for another 6 months. Below is a link to the associated staff report, which includes the results from a recent community survey.

One major complaint among respondents, not surprisingly, is safety related - specifically, folks riding Limebikes without helmets. Indeed, a staggering 75.4% of the respondents admitted that they do NOT wear a helmet when riding a Limebike (see point #4 on page 4)!!

And the way point #7 is worded can be a bit misleading - in that it states that “most Lime riders (69.7%) are adults.” Instead, what that really means is that 69.7% of the SURVEY RESPONDENTS (607 total) were adults. I’ve seen a lot of teens riding Limebikes around town, and I doubt many are signed up for the city's email list-serve and participated in the survey. Most importantly, I can’t recall seeing any kid wearing a helmet when riding a Limebike. And presumably its impossible for Limebike, itself, to know whether a teen is riding one of their bikes, as the teen is most likely using their parents' - not their own- credit card to activate the ride.

I do like the notion of bike sharing in theory, but I don’t know how a city or bike sharing company can realistically address this safety concern - particularly with teens. I don’t think our own city should be facilitating their (or anyone’s, for that matter) ability to ride bikes around Burlingame without wearing a helmet. Public saftey should take top priority.

https://burlingameca.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=6802160&GUID=F6B59567-B9F7-4AA6-A011-85CD3D5512B2

hillsider

These Limebikes will not be getting any safer after sitting outside during the rainy season.

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