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Portland Transportation Bureau Retracts Tweet Calling Electric Scooters “Toys” for “Tech Bros”

Photo: Lime Bike

Portland transportation officials were red-faced this week after an unnamed staffer disparaged e-scooters as "toys" for lazy "tech bros" just as the city's pilot scooter program went live.

The unidentified official took to the Portland Bureau of Transportation's Twitter account after a resident complained the city should be doing more to promote scooters to help achieve climate goals.

Or maybe they’re toys that tech bros leave lazily strewn about, blocking corner ramps needed for people with disabilities. Also, people need to know the helmet laws for scooters are different than for bicycles. We’ll see how it goes during this pilot period!

— Portland Bureau of Transportation (@PBOTinfo) July 26, 2018

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The agency, which began its program with e-scooters from Skip, Limebike and Bird this week, quickly apologized for the Tweet, sayingit "does not represent the views of our bureau."

"We’re excited to welcome scooters as a new transportation option into our city and to see what we can learn from this pilot," the account added.

But as many aggravated Twitter users pointed out yesterday in response to PBOT, cars are killing people by the hundreds across the U.S. with no backlash. Cities do have to be on alert for parking problems that could create accessibility challenges in cities. But the safety concerns, compared to traveling through densely populated cities in cars and trucks, seem minor.

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