This weekend, I went to Chicago with my mom to celebrate my grandma’s 95th birthday. During this trip, my mom complained about some Lime scooters that had been parked in her neighborhood. Repeatedly.
Basically, someone parked 5 Lime scooters on the little strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, in front of the first house on the way in to her neighborhood when you turn in from the main road. Like this:
She wasn’t aware of the dockless e-scooter concept, and thought the Lime company had decided to make this a pickup point for the scooters, and all sorts of ne’er-do-wells would now be driving into her neighborhood to pick up scooters and cause mischief.
Also, in our particular suburb of DC, that little strip of grass between the sidewalk and street is technically both part of the property of the house it’s in front of, and is public right-of-way. So she was all on about how these scooters shouldn’t be parked in the public right-of-way and that’s illegal.
My brother lives in the city, and doesn’t have a car, but uses Car2Go frequently enough that my mom knows what it is. I explained to her these scooters work exactly the same. The app knows where the scooters are, someone probably just parked them there when they were done riding them, and someone else would eventually come pick them up and park them somewhere else.
I thought that explanation was good enough for her, but the next day she texted me:
The scooters weren’t parked legally. They’re in public right of way on private property. On private property in PROW they can’t be parked in a way that damages landscaping.
Oh heavens no, not the LANDSCAPING!!!
Some context: my mom is 65 years old, but she’s friggin glued to her phone all the time. She googles the shit out of shit incessantly. But she’s also...not very good at using a phone and googling shit.
Case in point: before our flight back to DC, my mom and I were waiting for my sister to come out of the bathroom at O’Hare, and considering eating at that Tortas Frontera restaurant, which was directly across the hall from the bathroom we were waiting for my sister to emerge from.
We were staring right at this restaurant, but the menu board was a little too small to read from across the hall. My mom, instead of walking over to look at the menu, insisted on looking it up online, but couldn’t actually get to the menu. I found it immediately and texted her a link. Then my sister showed up and we all walked over to the damn restaurant.
Anyway, after my mom texted me about the illegality of parking Lime scooters on private/public right-of-ways, I decided to google “lime scooter parked illegally.” The first result was this explainer with a link to a form to report illegally parked scooters. I sent it to her. She didn’t respond.
But I just know that she filled the shit out of that form. You can bank on it.