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Bird Scooters are dangerous, and cities should not enable their unsafe operation

Bird Scooters are dangerous, and cities should not enable their unsafe operation
A helmetless Bird scooter user rides through traffic in Marina del Rey on July 5. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As if pedestrians didn’t face enough safety challenges from vehicles and buckling sidewalks, let’s now add the motorized Bird scooters to the mix.

This Fourth of July was ruined for me and my wife when we used the sidewalks for their purpose: walking. Out of the blue, a Bird rider crashed into me at full speed, sending me flying into the pavement at full force. Although rattled, my wife was luckily spared, but I am now contending with the multiple injuries I suffered.

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Bird, like other apps, is about externalizing costs to support its billion-dollar valuation, so it’s no surprise that there is little recourse. However, the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica are enabling this safety hazard to continue and grow with inadequate regulation and enforcement.

No wonder lawsuit settlements have skyrocketed and mass transit use — which, yes, entails walking — decreases.

Edward McQueeney, Venice

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To the editor: I ride the Metro Expo Line train to Santa Monica and then walk to my destinations, some of which are a mile away from the station. I constantly encounter these parked scooters blocking sidewalks, train station ramps, emergency exits (a lawsuit waiting to happen) and other places.

I refuse to give up my rightful sidewalk space as a pedestrian to people riding scooters where they should not be.

Matthew Hetz, Los Angeles

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