Category Archives: transportation

How safe are e-scooters?

Last week, Council members Mosqueda and O’Brien staged a rally for to promote introducing electric scooters to Seattle. They even invited leading scooter-share companies Bird and Lime to sit at the committee table in Council Chambers and give a nearly uninterrupted sales pitch — with no hard questions following.

Mayor Durkan has been much more pessimistic on the idea, frequently citing the number of mayors who have told her to resist e-scooters as long as possible because of the injury rate.

Before Seattle gets into the e-scooter game, shouldn’t we know something about how safe they are? Let’s dive in and look at the stats.

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SDOT’s Vision Zero update: no recent progress, but hope for the future.

This afternoon, SDOT gave the City Council an update on the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative to achieve zero annual traffic fatalities. The bad news is that there has been little progress in the last several years. The good news is that SDOT has some new ideas for how to change that.

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Chamber of Commerce files for summary judgment in challenge to Seattle’s Uber union ordinance

Last month I wrote about the status of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to engage in collective bargaining. Briefly:

  • Last year the city tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that it had “state-action immunity.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and sent the case back down for further proceedings .
  • In December, the City Council amended its ordinance so that it no longer authorizes collective bargaining over compensation, which was very likely to be found to be illegal price-fixing among competitors..
  • In response, the Chamber of Commerce said that despite the change, it still believes the ordinance violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • ┬áThe Chamber of Commerce indicated last month that it will move for summary judgment, skipping a trial. This is only allowed if there are no relevant facts in dispute.
  • The city responded that it believes there are still relevant facts to be discovered, and will oppose the Chamber’s motion on those grounds.
  • The court set a schedule for both sides to file legal briefs, starting with the Chamber of Commerce.

Last Friday, the Chamber started the ball rolling by filing its brief. Here’s what it says.

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