Metro Flips Scooter Riders the Bird
BY JUSTIN OWEN
We recently wrote about Metro Nashville’s overreaction to the new scooter craze hitting our city. After demanding that the Bird scooter company cease operations until the city could come up with a regulatory framework, those proposed regulations are now here. And they’re as preposterous as you might imagine.
In order to continue operating in the city and providing an efficient, affordable alternative for those seeking to go a couple of miles around town, Bird must now:
- Pay the city $500, plus another $120 tax per scooter.
- To reduce scooter congestion, allow for a maximum of 250 scooters in the next three months, and expand to just 1,000 scooters over the next six months.
- Offer riders a crash course in how to ride a scooter and make them wear a helmet.
- Ensure scooter equality by spreading the scooters across the city via “promise zones,” rather than allow that pesky economic phenomenon called supply and demand determine where scooters are needed and thus made available.
- Staff a 24-hour customer service line for safety concerns and complaints.
- Provide the city with access to information and data about its riders.
Given that it is far more dangerous—to Nashvillians’ freedom at least—to be a Metro Council member than it is to ride a scooter, I propose some regulations on serving in our city’s esteemed legislative body. I propose that going forward, all Council members must:
- To reduce bad idea congestion, support a reduction in the size of the nation’s third-largest Council from 40 to a more manageable 12 members.
- Provide all personal spending data so that we can intrude into their lives like they are trying to do into the customers of practically any company trying to help solve Nashville’s growing pains such as Bird, Airbnb, Uber, etc.
- Take a crash course in how markets work without the need for government busybodies running every facet of our lives.
- In the event that training doesn’t stick, pay a $120 tax every time they file new legislation.
- Be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address complaints about ordinances they pass.
- Establish “promise zones” where overbearing ordinances don’t apply, so that we at least have some pockets of sanity and freedom where we aren’t overtaxed and overregulated.
And literally as I was writing this, news broke that city officials are now confiscating any scooters that are parked on city sidewalks and not on public property. Too bad city leaders aren’t rapidly responding to our gaping budget hole, failing schools, and spikes in crime with the same rapid ferocity that they have the scooter scourge.