Portraits and Scooters | Urban Living

Portraits and Scooters

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The Salt Lake City Council has been busy lately with the important and odd tasks of running a city. First, there's the ever-important portrait that seems to be mandated for every mayor since the 1800s. These works hang in the City and County Building and can be seen during regular hours. There's actually a line budget item for this mayoral memorial and artists can charge $30-35,000. The mayor picks the painter. My guess is that this year the cost will be higher due to the fact the mayor's hair is longer than any of her predecessors'. Once the portrait is completed, it will be interesting to see if Mayor-elect Erin Mendenhall keeps it outside her office or hangs it elsewhere.

Those damned scooters—with their pros and cons—agar are being debated. Lime Scooter's website claims that the devices are "zero-cost to your city, campus or business." They are located in Salt Lake City, but Draper, Farmington, Ogden, Sandy and West Valley City. But wait! They also are fixtures in Austria, Brazil, Greece, Mexico and South Korea. Germany and Massachusetts have the most Lime scooters and, of course, who knows how many other brands are now dotting the globe.

I have to fess up and say my wife and I owned scooters for a few years to get around the nine miles of Burning Man, and we loved driving them like bats out of hell when we got back to the city. We drove on sidewalks mostly because there were/are few bike lanes downtown that feel safe. They are inexpensive and cost effective to run and don't take up parking. And they are a low polluting type of transportation. Oh, and they are fun as hell to ride. Now that everyone has access to them downtown, it's not so much fun for folks who don't ride because a few jerks make it scary for people to simply walk out of their office for lunch. My bank manager gave up riding e-scooters because he lost his balance.

Our city council, like so many other local government overseers, is trying to figure out how to control the e-scooter chaos and are asking for your input at slc.gov on topics like: Where should they be parked when they aren't being ridden?; Should there be a speed limit on e-bikes?; How many scooters and scooter companies should be allowed in the city?; How do we enforce e-bike speed limits and punish lawbreakers? Many say that the rules should be the same for bike and e-scooter riders.

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