When life gives you limes, don’t ride them in the middle of the street

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Humor columnist Katie Tripp pens a plea to all scooterers on Grounds.

Emma Klein | Cavalier Daily

To the U.Va. Populace,

I would like to address a crisis that has been plaguing our University, nay, our country as a whole. It is the rise of the electric scooter, better known as the Lime and the Bird — but the Birds for some reason are far less irritating, so I won’t be talking about them.

The first time I saw an electric scooter was, like, two years ago, and it was just some guy zipping up McCormick with a giant battery/engine (?) taped to what looked like a mid-2000s Razor scooter. You know, the one you had when you were nine years old, and when it hit your ankle you experienced all nine levels of hell simultaneously. He also had on just about every type of protective padding one can wear, just to complete your mental picture.

Then, suddenly, these black and green electric scooters were everywhere — riding on the downtown mall, stopped outside Nau-Gibson, parked in the very clear “DO NOT PARK, YOU WILL BE TOWED” sign outside my apartment. (Spoiler alert: they were not towed. ‘Twas a sad day.) One was even parked inside a New Cabell girls’ bathroom, or so I’ve been told.

And then, the problem escalated. These daredevil scooterers gained some confidence and began to ride the vehicular equivalent of a stick-bug up and down some major roads at a whopping 15 miles per hour. The thing is they could definitely ride on the side of the road since they’re so narrow, but they insist on being just over enough that an attempt to pass them on the Corner would lead to a squished stick bug. It’s almost as irritating as when you’re stopped at a pedestrian crossing and the pedestrians continuously run to the crossing to be able to cross in front of you. It’s like, you could have just walked like a normal person and kept your heart rate steady, and I could’ve gotten to class on time. But alas.

Now, the scooter fad has spread. These new charge-per-ride electric scooters have taken over not just Charlottesville but our nation as a whole. News articles from outlets like CNN, the Washington Post, and CBS have published pieces on the effects of Lime scooters and Birds from San Francisco to Miami. Many of these effects, you’ve guessed it, are hospital visits.

These issues aren’t only problematic for car drivers attempting to drive behind what is the speed equivalent of a 90-year-old snake that is texting while driving, but also for the scooterers themselves. Let’s not forget that the Lime company itself recently released a statement saying that its scooters have a technological glitch that causes sudden uncontrollable breaking when they’re ridden downhill at top speed. It’s almost like they said, “What is the worst possible thing we could make these scooters do?” It also sounds like something college students with ample access to large hills would do. Have you ever wondered how many electric scooter-related injuries University Hospital and Student Health have treated? I have. If anyone has that information, hit me up. 

So to my community, this is my plea — if you must ride your stick bugs to get to class on time, to watch the game at Boylan or for a late night Croads run, I implore that you not do so in the middle of the street because you are so tiny and unprotected, and I have about as much faith in you as a squirrel in the middle of the road. 

Sincerely, 

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Katie Tripp is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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