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LOS ANGELES (CBS Local) – Dockless scooters may be a free way to get around California, but many locals are allegedly choosing to destroy the shareable vehicles instead.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, people in several cities are so fed up with the free scooters being left piled up on sidewalks that they’re being burned, crushed, and even thrown into the Pacific Ocean.
“They throw them everywhere: in the ocean, in the sand, in the trash can,” Venice Beach maintenance worker Robert Johnson Bey told reporters. “Sunday, I was finding kickstands everywhere.”
The problem stems from electric scooter companies like Bird, Lime, and Spin reaching deals with dozens of cities to provide a free form of public transportation that has no central location or docking space where users can drop them off. The scooters are therefore left wherever the user leaves it, until another person comes along to hop on.
The clutter has allegedly prompted some to dispose of the scooters in a more permanent way and developed a social media following as well. Instagram accounts like birdgraveyard have already collected over 29,000 followers.
“We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,” Bird spokeswoman Mackenzie Longtold said in a statement. “Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”
Despite local governments warning against vandalism of public property, several California cities are also taking action to remove the cluster of scooters dropped on city streets.
Venice, which is also the Bird headquarters, has capped the number of scooters on city streets. Beverly Hills ordered that the dockless scooters be banned for six months. Los Angeles lawmakers have also started a push to have the scooters outlawed within the city.
Meanwhile, California authorities are urging residents not to take matters into their own hands. Destruction of public property over $400 is considered a felony.