Oh, OKC, you’re finally coming into the 21st century and you’re going to fight it tooth and nail. A couple of weeks ago, the scooter sharing company Bird dropped off 40 scooters in Oklahoma City; no permit, one day advance notice, here ya go. Needless to say, OKC freaked out. Citizens embraced them; the city council mashed their panties into an even bigger wad and wondered where their piece of the pie was hiding.
The first thing that came to my mind was the Family Guy episode where Peter wouldn’t stop singing the song Surfin’ Bird. I know, totally unrelated. But that damn song just won’t leave my head.
Lots of controversy has surrounded this company and their business practices. Apparently, they just drop off a bunch of scooters and deal with the aftermath. But this concept is brilliant. The scooters have proven very popular. If the city completely removed them, there would be a serious millenial riot if they were removed.
Personally, I don’t care. I find it entertaining to watch people attempt to ride these things and to be honest, I’m sick that I didn’t think of this idea first!
When I was a kid, scooters were kind of nonexistent. You either rode your bike, skateboard, or you hoofed it. As an adult, I still love the skateboard and I ride a friend’s longboard every chance I get.
I can still hold my own on roller skates and I ride a bike that is worth more than my car.
But holy shit that scooter looks fun!
This is a simple process. Download the Bird app (click the icon below for iOS) and follow the instructions.
Once you have the app, it’s pretty self explanatory. Open the app, find a scooter, scan the code, speed down the hill on 2nd St in Deep Deuce, crash, obtain a wicked scar on your knee/hand/shoulder/face, and embellish the story to all your friends so you don’t sound like a total fool.
Last Sunday my friend Mary and I watched a lot of drunks attempt to ride these scooters at The Pump. While they looked like they were having fun, we witnessed some hair-raising crashes.
No matter what you think of these things, sharing programs like this are the new normal and immensely successful in other cities. OKC wanted to be a Big League City, well, this is part of that concept.
Berlin, Germany even goes further and has scooter sharing programs with actual motorized scooters. Think Vespa!
As downtown areas become more and more cluttered and congested, scooters, bikes, and such are a perfect way to navigate the maze. Waiting for a city to build a public transportation infrastructure is just not feasible when transportation like this can come in overnight and provide a viable, clean alternative.
Of course, someone has to be an asshole!
One of the chief complaints, at least coming out of San Francisco and Dallas, is that people just dump these things on the sidewalk and walk away creating a hazard. So why do the cities blame the company and not the person? People are assholes. People are stupid. That’s why Donald Trump is president! Bird didn’t dump the scooters and say, “Hey, just toss it on the ground when you’re done, because….fuck everyone else.”
Of course nothing will be perfect. There are assholes driving cars, riding bikes, riding motorcycles, and yes, there are assholes even walking down the street. So don’t blame the provider.
In the future
After spending nine days in Berlin last year, I’ve really come to see this type of transportation as the future of city dwellers. Berlin’s public transportation is just unreal. In fact, it’s so unreal that getting around by bicycle was actually easier than using public transportation!
As a cyclist, I’m all in. I want drivers to understand how to work with cyclists and scooters. I want us to coexist, reduce carbon emissions, de-clutter our street, develop battle scars, and live happily ever after.
In the immortal words of the most famous PCP user in the world, Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?“
As a parting gift, please watch the video below. When you are still singing this stupid song tomorrow morning, raise your middle finger to me and thank me for the memory!