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Vigilante scratching out QR codes on badly parked rental scooters

Scratched-out codes prevent access to riders
Vigilante scratching out QR codes on illegally parked scooters around Denver
Posted at 7:03 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 21:03:13-04

DENVER — DENVER — Call it vigilante parking enforcement — someone is fed up with scooter users dumping their rides in the middle of the sidewalk.

As a result, that vigilante is taking matters into their own hands by blacking out QR codes on those wonky parked scooters so you can’t ride.

They are also slapping a note on those scooters which reads in part, "…all vehicles must be parked in a manner that does not impede pedestrian clear paths." It goes on to say, "This scooter was illegally parked, resulting in the QR code being obscured … some people suck and … are not considerate."

Clearly, it’s not an official citation, but it is generating some buzz.

“I think it’s kind of nuts, but it is annoying when people park them all off-angle or right in the way of the sidewalk,” said Jay Wilson. “I guess some people have to let their frustration out somehow.”

"As a jogger, especially at night if it’s not well lit and [people] just dump their scooters in the middle of the sidewalk, it can be a hazard,” said Kim Scott. “We feel like our biggest risk of injury, honestly, is getting hit by one of the scooters. If you dump it in someone’s pretty flower garden or in the middle of the sidewalk, maybe you should get a ticket.”

Photos posted on Reddit are getting hundreds of comments, including one that reads, "This strategy doesn’t punish the person who parked the scooter and is therefore completely ineffective."

“Totally agree,” said Wilson. “If the QR code is blacked out – I would not be happy about that. Especially if I had already stopped at the bar.”

Denver city code is crystal clear with the do’s and don’ts of scooter parking. Under the do’s, scooters should be parked upright and always maintain five feet of clearance on sidewalks. As for don’ts, the city says don’t block sidewalks, curbs or entryways.

“I don’t ditch it in the sidewalk,” Wilson said.

Lyft responded by saying, “This issue is affecting all shared scooter operators in Denver. While this behavior has not been widespread, we are actively working to address it. We encourage all riders to park according to local rules and regulations and to keep all sidewalks clear for pedestrian traffic.”

Lime issued a statement, saying, "Vandalizing property is a crime and only harms those who rely on these vehicles every day as an affordable, convenient way to get around. Lime takes vandalism seriously and will pursue appropriate legal action against those that damage or vandalize our property."

This story was originally published by Russell Haythorn of KMGH in Denver, Colorado.