SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A big, “open streets” event in San Jose Sunday is welcoming people on foot, on bicycles, skates and boards, but not electric scooters.
Viva CalleSJ is meant to encourage people to connect with their community as they traverse along First Street and Monterey Road which are closed for the event.
It’s the mother of all block parties where neighbors can roam the streets, on foot, bike, skates – whatever – as long as it does not have a motor.
San Jose is making a public request to keep the electric scooters at home, which leaves e-scooters in an awkward position.
The city still does not have a formal policy to govern their use, and so for now, the city is not banning the e-scooters. But they are are asking nicely.
“Please avoid using a motorized scooter or any motorized vehicle along the route until we better vet the policy,” said Ed Solis, Recreational Superintendent for the city’s Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Dept. “And it’s something that we hope to embrace in the future.”
So to all the e-scooter riders in San Jose, this weekend is your big chance. Do not screw it up!
The e-scooters can easily hit speeds of 15 mph. Although the city has no crash data on the e-scooters, the fear is that there will be accidents along the route.
Speaking of the route, every year it is upwards of six-to-seven miles long, with 100,000 people attending.
The city knows enforcing the request to keep e-scooters away will be difficult, and will make good use of whatever data they do collect.
“Say a handful of people come out on e-scooters anyway, and there are no accidents. That’s kind of a benchmark, right? We kind of know, ‘Hey I saw a few, there didn’t seem to be any disruptions,’” said Solis. “But conversely, if there are a handful of people and we do see accidents with children or other adults or even other e-scooter users, then we’re going to have a good idea that they’re probably going a little too fast and they probably aren’t safe.”
One e-scooter user says he feels the pressure of being a good ambassador.
“This kind of like your chance to prove to the world that they’re safe, and you gotta behave, what do you think of that?” said Pedi Attari. “If you’re gonna take this out, and they’re against it, prove to them wrong, prove them wrong that we can actually use this as a safe way to get around.”