BikeArlington and WalkArlington Try E-Scooters
Arlington has lots of new devices for getting around, such as dockless bikes and e-scooters. BikeArlington and WalkArlington staff took the e-scooters for a spin and here's we learned.
New ways of getting around Arlington—dockless bikes and e-scooters—arrived in October 2018, as a part of a pilot project now governed by an ordinance.
BikeArlington and WalkArlington often hear from the community about e-scooters, so we took them for a spin one afternoon to share our experiences.
Find a Ride
We began our search for e-scooters in Rosslyn, which ended up being fairly easy since a few were parked outside of the office. We grabbed our helmets, opened the app, and in a few taps we were ready to ride.
Tip: Use the company-specific apps to locate an e-scooter and ride. All riders must be at least 18 years old to ride and have a valid driver’s license.
After riding for a brief moment in a protected bike lane through Rosslyn (so fun!), we encountered some construction and had to shift to the regular lane of traffic. We used our hand signals to make the transition, but discovered that shock absorbers on the e-scooters aren’t as absorbent compared to most bikes.
Tip: Bend your knees for a comfortable, easy ride.
Similar to biking or walking across a street, it’s important for e-scooter riders to signal their intention to other road users.
Tip: It feels different to signal on an e-scooter than it does from a bike, so give it a few practice rounds.
Typically, e-scooters max out at 15 mph. For most bike riders, you’re likely used to or comfortable riding at a similar speed. For walkers, even if you are a fast walker, an e-scooter will get you there much faster.
Where to Ride
During our adventure, we rode on a street with a protected bike lane, in mixed traffic on a four-lane street, and on a quiet neighborhood street. Riding on the neighborhood street felt most comfortable as slower moving traffic meant more time to react on an e-scooter. Being in the protected bike lane also felt great because it was dedicated space for people riding.
Other Things We Noticed
The throttle gave us the juice we needed to ride up Rosslyn’s big hills. The best part is no sweat was shed during this experiment.
Dockless e-scooters are really appealing as a door-to-door option that can take a rider directly to where they need to go. Since they don’t have designated docks like Capital Bikeshare, it only takes three extra seconds to park them in a place away from other foot traffic and vehicles.
Tip: Park your e-scooter out of the way of anyone walking, getting off of a bus, or entering a building. Arlington even has dedicated dockless parking spaces near busy hubs.
Ready to Ride?
Want to learn more about riding e-scooters? Check out Arlington County’s website for more information on the program and safety tips. We learned a lot more than we expected, just by testing in real time and hopping on a nearby e-scooter.
Photo Credit: Erin Potter
This blog was updated in January 2020 to reflect new Shared Micro-Mobility Device guidance.