Lime Lessons

“What do you think of the Lime scooters in Dunedin?” two people asked me during my recent foray to Banks Peninsula.

“Yeah they’re fun! They get people out of cars. But I’d like people to go slower on the footpaths when pedestrians are around,” I replied.

I’m a keen commuter cyclist and these conversations got me pondering on the parallels between pedestrians and Lime scooters and between cyclists and cars. People get upset, understandably, with the lime scooterist who whizzes past pedestrians at 20km/hr, yet more than a few cars drive by cyclists at greater speed and within an arms length. When it’s done in anger, we call it bikelash.

Most of us believe that pedestrians have the right to use footpaths that were their domain before Lime Scooters came along. But cyclists also used roads before cars rose to dominance.

Studies show that a pedestrian (or cyclist for that matter), will have a good 90% chance of survival if hit by a car travelling at 30km/hour but less than 50% chance of staying alive if struck at the speed of 45km/hour.

I’m thinking of the positives of a city of slower cars! More kids walking and cycling to school, getting fresh air and developing independence. More adults leaving the car a home to reduce CO2 emissions, pollution and noise.

The parallels between cyclists and cars, and between pedestrians and Lime Scooters – are essentially the same. They’re about respecting the rights of others to use and share a space.

Change takes time. It prompts some resistance! There are false starts, small steps and imperfect initiatives. Let’s keep having the conversations and grow the impetus to slow down!