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Opinion

Commentary: Mailbag: Dockless electric scooters are for the birds, a reader writes

It’s my understanding the Glendale City Council will this year consider a pilot program to allow Bird Inc. and/or other scooter companies to place 1,000 dockless electric scooters on the streets of Glendale. Scooter vendors promote these scooters as green and say they will get cars off streets with the idea of less traffic congestion. They also suggest that this is an affordable convenient solution to “last mile” or short ride commutes.

The other side of the story, a gruesome story in many cases, is that these scooters have already proven to be mechanically unreliable. Unsuspecting riders hop on and sadly find out that in some cases scooters are unsteady, brakes are failing and handle bars are snapping, all resulting in potential injuries to riders, in many cases severe.

Other problems occur when some riders don’t know safety rules, or don’t abide by them. When riding they traverse recklessly on sidewalks and in and out of auto traffic. Liability is another factor when someone does get injured. Will the city be held liable if a rider face-plants after hitting a pothole or a crack in pavement?

Is it worth the risk and is there really a need for this type of transportation in Glendale? Are vendors putting profits before safety? At what cost? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.

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Tony Passarella

Glendale

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Re: “Glendale Unified board lashes out at City Council over decision that effectively nixes property transfer,” Dec. 18. Rather than lashing out, the Glendale Unified School District must thank the council for saving them from litigation expenses and liabilities for endangering the lives of the Allan Daily High School students and community. Background: during a 2017 special meeting, the Glendale school board approved a property exchange to sell most of the school’s lots to developer Carmel Partners. The developer proposed building a 198-unit monstrosity (initially, 286-unit) at a place which would, according to city standards, allow a maximum of 80 units. In Councilwoman Paula Devine’s words, it was like putting 20 pounds of potatoes into a 10-pound bag!

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GUSD’s chant of “strong schools — strong community” did not convince the council. The 200-plus student school would lose all its territory (even parking) and would have to endure massive construction for years. The community would lose the open space and would have to endure one more monstrosity with inadequate parking, astronomical rents and environmental problems.

GUSD board members misrepresent the reality: Board president Gregory Krikorian misquotes the proposed number of affordable units (17) as 41 very-low income and board member Shant Sahakian forgets that the community that would have allegedly benefited from GUSD’s deal had repeatedly objected to it. The estimated taxpayer savings questionably quadrupled over the past five years and were unsupported by any bid. And while GUSD intended to benefit the community with a “potential park,” it actually prematurely ordered the cutting down of blooming bushes there and butchered a tree along Wilson Avenue.

Like an underage child asking parents to buy him a sports car “to help the community,” the school board asked the city to approve the developer’s inappropriate project. Like a thoughtful parent, the City Council said “no.”

Anahit Safaryan

Glendale


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