I've long wondered why more Americans in big cities don't use scooters to get around like people do here in Japan and other countries. Now, as the New York Times reported last weekend, they're finally starting to:
Scooters have long hummed around the edges of New York life as either a faddish enthusiasm or a means of transport best suited to the city's small army of couriers and food deliverers. But they have never gained traction here as a tool of mass transit the way they have in European and Asian cities.The Times notes, however, that lack of parking is a big problem. Apparently, some people end up parking on the sidewalk, removing their license plates (attached with velcro) so they don't get a ticket.
...Retailers and manufacturers say that the number of people buying scooters is increasing, and that a confluence of events, including high gas prices, rising public transportation costs and the re-entry of foreign scooter manufacturers into the American market, are causing more New Yorkers to consider two wheels.
Parking's always been tight in New York. Surely part of the answer could be to encourage the use of small scooters instead of massive cars and SUV's.