Welcome to the World on Two Wheels
People who bike and people who ride e-scooters experience a lot of the same joys and challenges. Parking considerately, riding in the bike lane or the street, and communicating with people driving cars are a few ways to have a great riding experience.
Arlington County launched the e-scooter and dockless bike pilot program last year, and I’m delighted to see people rolling along in bike lanes and kicking up hills. It’s also been fun chatting with people using the e-scooters like folks in full suits and heels, someone carrying groceries, and groups of friends out on an adventure. The smiles tell me that we now share an open secret—the world on two wheels is definitely better.
Three Tips for Riding E-Scooters Stress Free
1. Parking at Your Destination is Rad
By now, you’ve realized the bliss of riding directly to your destination and being able to park effortlessly. You’ve even got one up on people who bike, because you don’t need to lock to anything. But, there are places where it’s best to park your e-scooter, and bike racks are a good place to start. E-scooters should be parked away from the pedestrian right of way and vehicle traffic and near existing bike racks or on the edge of a sidewalk. Arlington County even has designated parking corrals to help you place your e-scooters in convenient places for others to pick up and ride. Click here for a map.
2. The Safest Place to Ride is in a Bike Lane, Not a Sidewalk
Riding an e-scooter on a sidewalk increases the number of conflict points you encounter while riding. Drivers aren’t looking for people moving quickly on the sidewalk, so driveways and crosswalks become danger points for quick-moving wheeled conveyances like e-scooters and bikes. Sidewalks are also dedicated space for our friends walking, running, and using wheelchairs or other devices.
3. Drivers Want to Know What You’re Doing
When I first started riding, hand signals seemed uncomfortable and awkward, but they’re really helpful and worth the practice. Most people driving see you, but signaling your intention to turn by using a hand signal helps drivers know what to expect. They’ll often give you room to do so like they would for a car driver making a turn.
Traveling the same direction as traffic is also key, for a similar reason. People driving are not looking for fast moving vehicles going the opposite direction of traffic. Riding with traffic, and in a straight line, helps you be predictable and more visible to people driving.
Regulations for E-scooters
On November 16, 2019, the Arlington County Board adopted regulations for e-scooters and other shared micro-mobility devices that will allow their use on sidewalks (with limitations), trails, and bike lanes, unless specifically signed or marked otherwise. Click here for information.