Birds– the popular scooter that landed in Newport Beach last weekend– suddenly vanished Tuesday morning.
One citizen commented on social media that she had emailed Councilwoman Diane Dixon, who assured her that “the City, Code Enforcement and the NBPD are on it!”— the next day, the scooters had vanished. I called representatives for Bird to ask what happened, and they said they were going to “work things out with the city”, but declined to elaborate further.
It seems that Diane Dixon was quick to shut down this startup, a talent that she has definitely polished over the years as Councilperson.
Some citizens were shocked at their overnight proliferation. Others were angry about how their users were haphazardly leaving them– especially blocking sidewalks and the boardwalk, either laying down or standing up in the middle of the pathways.
A reminder, however, that the disregard in which these scooters are left has nothing to do with the scooters themselves, naturally, but with the same type of jerks who leave trash on the beach or leave their own bikes in the middle of the paved areas that people use to commute. Oh dear, do I hear a rallying cry of “scooters don’t park badly, people park badly”?
It is our hope that these scooters and this startup both find their way back onto the peninsula for people to use when moving from one end of the peninsula to the other, instead of causing further congestion with cars– and having to lose and re-find parking spots. If the way that the scooters are parked is the problem, then perhaps allowing police to see the last-rider will cause people to be more cautious as to where they park them.
I have a Public Document Request (basically a Freedom of Information Act request) out for the documents involving Bird, and as soon as I get them back, I will– of course– give you an update.
Currently, there is a tentative Study Session item on this scheduled for August 14th. This means if everything goes perfectly, the item will be up for first vote on council on August 28th, with the final vote on Sept 11th of this year, just in time for Summer to end on Sept 22nd.
Our hopes are that Council finds a faster solution than the standard course.