Slate’s April Glaser writes:
Just in October, cleanup crews fished out of the lake more than 60 electric scooters, made by Bird and its competitor Lime as well as lesser-known comers like Skip and Wind, according to James Robinson, executive director of the Lake Merritt Institute. Robinson recently met with representatives from Lime and Bird as well as Oakland’s Department of Transportation to address what he’s calling a “crisis” for the lake.
It’s not just Oakland. The tipping of scooters in all sorts of habitats is a growing problem across the US – and the companies don’t seem to have any meaningful way of stopping it – other than removing the temptation and assisting with clean up. From April’s piece:
“We have our local ops team patrolling [Lake Merritt] for scooters on a daily basis,” Lime spokeswoman Mary Caroline Pruitt wrote in an email, adding that the company acts immediately if it receives a report of a scooter in Lake Merritt. Lime is also planning to implement a “no parking zone” around the lake to prevent passersby from throwing the scooters in the water—meaning the scooters won’t be able to end their rental session in the lake’s immediate vicinity.
And if you wonder how they get them out, the New York Times’ Jack Nicas posted this:
Just spotted John fishing scooters out of Lake Merritt with a grappling hook. He got 12 today; Bird pays a small fee for each. pic.twitter.com/ew1W5MInZz
— Jack Nicas (@jacknicas) December 10, 2018