Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Scoot or Not to Scoot

Another day, another feature of D.C. government that curdles my milk.  I just discovered that in D.C., all scooters must be registered and treated as motorcycles--requiring registration, special licensing, and presumably a ban on sidewalk parking.  My friends, this is the worst piece of news about our fair city since the day I learned that Federal Triangle was neither federal nor a triangle.  Outrage!

I'm not an actual scooter owner myself, but I'm strongly supportive of the notion of more people using scooters so they're not taking up extra space in cars, both in the roads and parking spaces.  Scooters also give the town a more whimsical, European vibe, as one expects to see young women in flowing scarves and sundresses and young men in slacks and loafers zipping along on their way to the cafe to grouse about the decline of the Eurozone.  (I assume this is all that Europeans do, now that they got tired of major wars).  Motorcycles, on the other hand, cannot be parked on sidewalks, and they require a certain badassery that most D.C. residents just will never have. 

But making scooterers go through all the downsides of motorcycle ownership (registration, parking rules, road testing) without the cool parts (biker jackets, that "just out of a bar brawl" look) destroys the scooter incentives.  Then where are we?  Just a city full of car drivers, clogging our streets and having the worst traffic in the country.  (I know sometimes we're beaten out on those rankings, but I've driven in rush hour traffic in the L.A. area and marvelled at how much better that was than the D.C. area.  We have a horrible combination of dumbassery and aggressiveness and poor road planning that makes it a special bit of hell)

Fortunately, it looks like some change is on the way.  Bring on the scooter revolution, people!

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