Clutter and Compliance: Scooter Parking Interventions and Perceptions
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Description: Shared scooter programs often generate complaints about improper parking as a hazard to pedestrians and as unappealing clutter on sidewalks, yet previous research has found relatively low rates of misparking. What do people think constitutes misparking, and how much misparking do they think occurs? Can interventions further reduce misparking? We conducted field experiments in Washington DC and Auckland, New Zealand. We find evidence for the efficacy of three interventions. The introduction of in-app message reminders and the implementation of sidewalk decals both lowered rates of misparking. The largest improvement in misparking was brought about by the introduction of lock-to, thanks to a large shift from parking in the furniture zone to bike racks. In addition, we assess perceptions of scooter misparking with an intercept survey in the same cities and polls of transportation professionals at four conferences. Both the public and transportation professionals overestimate misparking of scooters and underestimate misparking of bicycles and cars. We find that respondents equate parking compliance with pedestrian accessibility and tidiness. Our results suggest that intuitive parking solutions that align with rider and non-rider understandings of orderly parking, such as bike racks or on-street parking corrals, improve rider compliance and may reduce public dissatisfaction with shared scooter parking.