The wave of shared electric scooters cramming sidewalks, blocking entryways and slamming into pedestrians has unleashed explosive scooter hate among usually peace-loving Californians.
The hapless electric gadgets are being torched, jammed into toilets, tossed off balconies, hurled into garbage and decorated with dog poop — and it’s being memorialized on social media, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Lt. Michael Soliman, who supervises the Los Angeles Police Department’s Venice Beach area, told the newspaper that his crew has seen trashed scooters in a 10-foot-high pile. But he said people aren’t reporting the vandalism, and his team prioritizes protecting people over protecting scooters.
The buzzing Bird and Lime scooters hit LA streets about a year ago, and their welcome has worn out. Bird is headquartered in Venice Beach, which has capped the number of scooters allowed in the area, and Beverly Hills has banned them for six months.
Cleveland ordered Bird to remove all of its scooters from sidewalks and parks for safety reasons last week less than 24 hours after the company started operations in the city. Denver impounded hundreds of scooters because they lacked required permits.
The scooter people aren’t happy about it.
“We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,” Bird spokeswoman Mackenzie Long said in a statement to the LA Times. “Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”