Opinion Opinion L.A.

If drivers don't like cyclists, they're going to hate e-skateboarders

The Times editorial board has written a lot recently about the politics, policies and practicalities of bicyclists and automobiles sharing the road in Los Angeles. Apparently there’s some tension on the streets between motorists and cyclists.  

Well, get ready for the next rumble over who owns the asphalt: e-skateboards.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) has introduced legislation that would allow electric motorized skateboards to share the road. If passed, riders could use bike lanes as long as they follow the same rules as bicycles, UT San Diego reported. They wouldn’t be allowed on sidewalks and roads without bike lanes. 

Electric skateboards were banned from streets in 1977, mainly because the gas-powered models were loud and produced a lot of air pollution for their size. The new boards are powered by rechargeable batteries. They look like long skateboards and can move at speeds up to 18 mph. The boards are for transportation, not tricks.

The boards could fill a small but important niche in transportation -- that is, short trips that are too long for walking but not worth driving. And they certainly might help with the first-mile, last-mile dilemma of public transit, which is getting people to and from transit stations.

But if drivers are miffed about sharing the road with bicyclists -- who have clear rules of the road and safety requirements, such as lights for night riding -- they’re going to hate e-skateboarders, who will have to learn the rules and develop safety measures. California’s streets are only going to get more crowded with alternative forms of transportation. Welcome to Share the Road 2.0.

Must-read headlines from L.A. to CA:

Shriver rejects spending limits in L.A. County supervisor race, Los Angeles Times

Bobby Shriver says he will spend $300,000 of his own money in the campaign to replace Zev Yaroslavsky.

Plight of 2 toddlers puts spotlight on L.A. County family program, Los Angeles Times

The children, 2 and 3, are found on a busy South L.A. street seeking food. Their mother was enrolled in program designed to keep families together.

Make Me Join a Party, Fox & Hounds

The reformers’ cure makes the disease -- partisanship -- worse while creating a new problem -- weaker parties. This has left California with the worst of both worlds: all of the problems of partisanship with few of the compensating virtues of parties. So what if you wanted to curb partisanship? Make independents -- that is, people like me -- choose a party.

Bullet train officials defend project in wake of recent obstacles, unpaid bills, News10

There's something especially striking about the reduced speed at which California's high speed rail dream has seemed to be traveling in recent months. That dream can't accelerate without cash; in fact, the slower it goes, the higher the cost. "Delay costs money," says Dan Richard, chairman of the state's high speed rail authority board. "And I always tell people, 'If you want this project built cheaper, held us build it faster.'"

Officials report positive reviews of LAPD’s on-body cameras, Daily News

Two months into a trial of on-body cameras for Los Angeles Police Department officers, the devices have earned mostly positive feedback, officials said Tuesday. Department officials overseeing the pilot program told the Los Angeles Police Commission, the department’s civilian oversight board, that the roughly 30 officers who volunteered to test the cameras in the field have reported few problems. They are actually embracing the small devices, which have been touted as a way to reduce complaints against the department. The word of mouth has prompted additional officers to request to test the new gadget.

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I got 30 months in prison. Why does Leon Panetta get a pass?

Follow Kerry Cavanaugh on Twitter @kerrycavan and Google+

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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