Unsustainable: CSUC Campus cops ditching Diggler electric scooters

Chico State University Police Officers Bill Kolb, Bryce Davison and Community Service Officer John DeGroot (from left) are seen on electric scooters on Oct. 14, 2009 in Chico. Three electric scooters will be up for auction in March.(Ty Barbour/Staff File Photo)

From the Chico Enterprise Record

This is another one of those “brilliant” sustainable ideas by the sustainability cabal at Chico State University (inspired by Dr. Mark Stemen) gone horribly wrong.

Looking at the photo, you just have to laugh. Cops on electric scooters? Maybe on April 1st.

You just have to laugh, then be angry about the waste in taxpayer money ($2499 each plus shipping) for this farce. At least I don’t see the lights and siren kit ($550) on these silly things.

Unplugged: Chico State University Police getting rid of electric scooters

CHICO — Twenty-nine months ago, they seemed like an idea whose time had come.

Chico State University was building on a major sustainability campaign, and going green with electric patrol scooters seemed like a way the University Police Department could support the effort in a very visible way.

In October 2009, the department acquired three new police scooters from Diggler, a Petaluma-based company, with the intention of using them to augment campus foot and vehicle patrols, and for parking enforcement.

Their economy, with an operating cost of about one cent per mile, couldn’t be challenged, and was a big selling point.

Something seemed out of place from the start, however. As officers jumped on the stand-up scooters for their first trial runs, they looked, and seemed to feel, less official and more vulnerable than on a bicycle or even on foot.

Starting Saturday, the three scooters will be up for online bid at Bid.Cal.com. Not only have they discontinued the use of them, they are getting rid of them and in a hurry.

Full Story at ChicoER.com  Unplugged: Chico State University Police getting rid of electric scooters

I’m reminded of this:

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Adam Gallon
March 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Someone tell them about a recent invention called a Bicycle. Costs 0¢/mile to run and may even make fat Yank coppers lose some weight.
Probably go faster than those scooters and are more stable.

Jenn Oates
March 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Oh, heck, guffaw.

Ed Fry
March 14, 2012 12:14 pm

So they ditched human powered bicycles in favour of electric powered scooters with toxic batteries and did so on the basis of it being “green”.
One word comes to mind: morons.

March 14, 2012 12:20 pm

Scooters and guns…
When I was in school, the debate was over arming the police. For a time, the campus police had cars…but no guns. I think I would prefer armed cops on mopeds, but that is just me…and from the picture…it doesn’t look like they are parked in front of Dunkin Doughnuts…

Mac the Knife
March 14, 2012 12:28 pm

“At least I don’t see lights and siren on these silly things.”
I’m sure they had a ‘thumb actuated bell’ on them. Their merry ‘ting -a -ling-a -ling’ is so commanding and authoritative!

Justa Joe
March 14, 2012 12:29 pm

Poor Chris Cherry (Civil and Environmental Engineering assistant prof at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville) will be mortified.

March 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Sustainability is another green slogan-word. Nothing in our universe is sustainable.

kbray in california
March 14, 2012 12:31 pm

This is what they should have bought…

March 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Step out of the car…wait a minute while I lean my scooter….hey! Come back here!

March 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Let me guess…the company won a bunch of environmental awards and lots of pols had their photos taken during plant tours!

March 14, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Adam Gallon
> Someone tell them about a recent invention called a Bicycle
From the linked article:

Officers who had been riding bicycles tried them out, but opted to go back to bikes

Andrew Parker
March 14, 2012 12:43 pm

The University of Utah is selling (sold?) two all-electric “trucks” it had bought for groundskeeping. Apparently, when you actually load the bed with stuff, you greatly reduce the range, and you can’t go uphill, which are distinct disadvantages for a large campus built on a hillside.
What is the battery range of a Volt carrying 5 adults and luggage — in San Francisco?

March 14, 2012 12:43 pm

Sorry, but Chris Cherry is a professor? Of what, exactly? Electrocyclestatisticalengineering? Ah, um, duh! And the reporter….oh man. Wow.

Frank K.
March 14, 2012 12:47 pm

p gosselin says:
March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm
“Let me guess – the company won a bunch of environmental awards and lots of pols had their photos taken during plant tours!”
No…actually the company made money selling the scooters to CSUC and stuck the taxpayers of California with the bill. That’s how Green utopias work – you have fun while wasting other people’s money. It works really well until the money runs out…

March 14, 2012 12:49 pm

“What is the battery range of a Volt carrying 5 adults and luggage — in San Francisco?”
Depends on how many of the passengers are pedaling.

March 14, 2012 12:50 pm

kbray in California
If they drove that thing they woud lose all credibility! (although it looks fun)
I have a folding electric bike which I charge up via a small solar panel going into a battery and an invertor. Works well. Much faster than a straightforward bike and helps me get up the steep Devon hills, but I’m not sure speed or hills are an issue on the Chico campus.

March 14, 2012 12:54 pm

“Depends on how many of the passengers are pedaling.”

March 14, 2012 12:54 pm

I suspect that the rest of the story is that someone somewhere had a “great idea” and executed it without asking those who were tasked to implement it. Nobody likes a paradigm shift shoved down their throats from on high.
I agree that cops on stand-up scooters is a silly concept; and the thought of riding a stand-up scooter at 30mph scares me. But some forms of personal electric vehicles can be quite practical aside from any “sustainability” issues. I really enjoy and benefit from the use of my Ridekick power trailer (full disclosure: I work for Ridekick and helped to design it) with a direct operating cost of about 1/4 cent per mile. It (in combination with my bike) is my 3-season commuting machine.

John Trigge
March 14, 2012 12:57 pm

Justa Joe says:
March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm
Thank (a) god that I am not in ‘Professor’ Chris Cherry’s Civil & Environment Engineering class – 14 ‘ah’s in the first minute of the video you posted. Let’s hope his electric bike initiative actually worked, although the criteria for ‘worked’ may be different if you put touch-feely green ‘environmental’ considerations ahead of practicality and cost-effectiveness.

Fred Allen
March 14, 2012 12:59 pm

I wonder how many times they’ve taken these electric scooters out only to have the battery run flat somewhere, subsequently walked back and then taken out the truck to pick the scooters up.

March 14, 2012 1:13 pm

ok, ethanol drive?, biofuel drive and what was the other street sign? these people are nuts.

March 14, 2012 1:16 pm

Better for routine patrols would be the industrial tricycles. Step in (no high bar), sit, and pedal. They don’t need to go fast, and parking, or running after someone, does not require a kickstand.
If they want something electric, try a Segway. All the cool Mall Cops have them.

March 14, 2012 1:17 pm

I alway prefered Fred Flintstones car…

March 14, 2012 1:19 pm

rum says:
March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

ok, ethanol drive?, biofuel drive and what was the other street sign? these people are nuts.

You’re thinking of Best Intentions Road. You know where it leads to.

March 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Nice interview with Prof Cherry’s beard.

C. M.
March 14, 2012 1:28 pm

Our community college bought their security police a fleet of Segways. They were too embarrassed to use them and so they left them in a shed to rot.

March 14, 2012 1:31 pm
Dave Wendt
March 14, 2012 1:31 pm

One of the more difficult aspects in training law enforcement officers is teaching them to control volatile or potentially volatile situations by projecting a commanding psychological presence. Officers who acquire this ability can often diffuse confrontational incidents without resorting to physical or violent interventions. Rolling up to a potential dustup, which on a college campus will often involve individuals in varying states of intoxication, on one of these toys which has doofus written all over it, would seem likely to make controlling the scene by nonviolent methods extremely problematic. Watching just a few episodes of “Cops” will demonstrate that there has been a dramatic and general decline in the social restraints against offering violent resistance to law enforcement even among people who would not normally be considered part of the criminal class. In the present environment the police need to preserve every advantage they have. Making them look like something out of a “Monty Python” sketch would seem to be the the exact opposite of helpful.

March 14, 2012 1:33 pm

It was either the Atlanta or Orland airport some years ago where I first saw cops (or maybe airport security) on Segways. They looked reasonable professional, efficient and effective, at least, in an indoor environment. Those scooters look childish. I suppose Chico couldn’t afford Segways.

Gail Combs
March 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Yeah Right.
My brother-in-law lost a leg thanks to a gas powered moped being hit by a car and my husband gave up using a bike after he was left for dead after being hit by a car.
NO THANKS! doesn’t come close.
A thought ~ Perhaps this is another method for the Malthusians to cull the human herd.

Ed, 'Mr.' Jones
March 14, 2012 1:43 pm

I think The Heavy, Oat-fed, Replaceable, Street Engine . . . AKA HORSE, is a more sustainable, Ecologically Friendly, Community Enriching alternative that adds Biodiversity to the Farm-Animal Free oppression of the Campus Gulag . . .
There, did I use enough PC buzzwords?
Oh wait, they’re animals – we must not exploit them – we must simply leave them be until they die.

March 14, 2012 1:49 pm

Two words: Harley Davidson.

Ed, 'Mr.' Jones
March 14, 2012 1:51 pm

Dave Wendt says:
March 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm
“Watching just a few episodes of “Cops” will demonstrate that there has been a dramatic and general decline in the social restraints against offering violent resistance to law enforcement even among people who would not normally be considered part of the criminal class.”
The predictable outcome of “Brutalizing” every application of ‘physical persuasion’ even when warranted, as a response to the vastly fewer instances where it was unwarranted.

Greg Goodknight
March 14, 2012 1:51 pm

CalState Chico needs a new name.
I suggest CSU Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo or Gummo.

March 14, 2012 1:52 pm

The concept of “energy density” is difficult for some to grasp.

Dave Wendt
March 14, 2012 1:54 pm

Andrew Parker says:
March 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm
What is the battery range of a Volt carrying 5 adults and luggage — in San Francisco?
The IC motor would probably kick in on most long upgrades and on downgrades the added weight would probably enhance the regenerative braking gains, so the battery range would likely be quite variable. Overall mileage would almost certainly be less, but the same would be true no matter what type of powerplant was being utilized. It would take a very finely designed experimental methodology to determine the actual c/b ratio for various powerplant choices.

March 14, 2012 2:02 pm

Poor police officers, caught in the middle of the CAGW religious farce.
It could only look worse if they were wearing propeller beanies.

March 14, 2012 2:08 pm

What is this world coming to….
…when even the cops opt out of the Darwin lottery

March 14, 2012 2:08 pm

I’m reminded of this:
I can totally picture Lt. Jim Dangle riding one of these. In his shortpants.

March 14, 2012 2:09 pm

This is the first I’ve heard of Diggler scooters. Not a company set up by one Dirk Diggler by any chance?

March 14, 2012 2:09 pm

Send these bikes to Afghanistan immediately, and make the troops use them. By showing a low carbon footprint lifestyle to the Taliban, we can turn them into tree-hugging pacifists.

Martin Brumby
March 14, 2012 2:21 pm

p gosselin says: March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm
Let me give Pierre’s great website a plug with this gem:-
Der Spiegel is of course a lefty / greenie publication like the Grauniad (but more honest, I think).
When they start publishing criticisms of the enviro-mentalists it is a bit like the Catholic Herald slagging off the Pope!

March 14, 2012 2:27 pm

Totalitarianism. Anyone who thinks the ad is funny is an idiot.
Oh wait, you didn’t perhaps think that they were… joking, were you? Ha ha! Now THAT’S funny!

Jason H
March 14, 2012 2:31 pm

No wonder there haven’t been any good California highway police chases on the news lately.

March 14, 2012 2:35 pm

I see some mention of fuel costs from 1/4 of a cent to 1 cent a mile, but I suspect it does not include the cost of replacing the batteries when they wear out. I know few people who have invested in electrically powered transport apparatuses, and in all the cases i know have had to purchase replacement batteries a cost which not only makes the supposed save on fuel disappear into thin air, but assuming that the new set of batteries have a lifetime similar to the the one just discarded, the final transport cost is usually closer to 50 c/mile, which again equates to paying something like 12 to 15 $ for a gallon of gasoline, if the the family car is used in stead.

Reply to  Björn
March 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Good point, Bjorn. Notice I said “direct operating cost”. Battery and vehicle amortization costs should be factored into any cost/benefit evaluation of an EV. Some cheap units do not have adequate battery management systems and thus overdrain or overcharge the batteries resulting in costly premature failure. But consider that electric golf carts and mobility scooters have been in service for decades, so a reasonable cost/benefit scenario must be achievable if care is exercised in design.
Someone mentioned energy density. No disputing that fossil fuels (and nukes) rule that category!

Alexander K
March 14, 2012 3:00 pm

Anthony, you have well and truly made your point about the sheer fatuity, silliness and illogicality of out-of-control greenmentalists by publishing this article.
If this cautionary tale from your local college campus was a film script it would have been rejected for being unbelievable!

March 14, 2012 3:02 pm

Enviros are rarely economists. And for the most part are clueless inter-meddlers.

March 14, 2012 3:03 pm

unicycles would be even more green than those two wheeled monstrosities with an oily chain you call bicycles.

Fred Allen
March 14, 2012 3:10 pm

No cup holder and nowhere within arms’ reach to store the donuts. What were the administrators thinking?

March 14, 2012 3:21 pm

@ Curiousgeorge
Two more words.
Honda Fireblade.

Silver Ralph
March 14, 2012 3:24 pm

Amsterdam Schiphol airport police use the Segeway scooter. These actually seem quite good for this task, as they are quite fast and manouvreable (with all the crowds at an airport).
The only thing I do wonder, is how long the batteries last. Can they last an entire shift, or does each police officer need two scooters??

David, UK
March 14, 2012 3:31 pm

One word that comes to mind when I see those scooter riders – or even bicycle riders – wearing those pathetic little polystyrene helmets (and pardon my French): wanker!

March 14, 2012 3:41 pm

Umm…..aren’t bicycles greener?
Many police use bicycles because they give quick access to paths and other areas that cars cannot get to. Often used in dense cities, as easy to go down alleys and not delayed by traffic jams as much.
If they want motorized, wouldn’t a Vespa-like “scooter” be better (many on the market today).
But police can be dumb. The spokesperson for Saanich BC police was telling a reporter that their new electric car didn’t have the costs of oil changes etc. Reporter wasn’t knowledgeable enough to ask about battery replacement.
(They’ll only use it for administrative work, I suppose it helps keep do-gooder politicians off their back.)

March 14, 2012 3:48 pm

Did anybody sentient participate in the choice of these ridiculous looking toys? Putting bunny ears on the helmets and cotton bunny tails on the cops’ butts would have been more dignified, Don’t mean to be catty, but it seems with every visit to the US your “thin blue line” seems to be getting, uh, thicker and thicker. What’s with your cops and their expanding wastelines? These guys here look like they can barely stand on the silly scooters and might be better off tooling around in electric wheelchairs with Krispy Kreme dispensers strapped to the handlebars. Oh, and do they sew their own pants? I’d rather go in underwear than wear those pantaloons.

CW - code monkey with a wrench
March 14, 2012 3:50 pm

There’s a 13-year-old kid inside my head, whose pulse quickened just a bit when he saw those scooters and wondered just how much air they could catch off a makeshift plywood ramp.
“kbray in california says:
March 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm
This is what they should have bought…”
Holy smokes! What’s that thing called and where can I get one?

March 14, 2012 3:54 pm

Wait a minute … does that officer’s name tag say “Blart”?

March 14, 2012 3:56 pm

I suspect these scooters are less nimble than you’d think. With small diameter wheels and a wide platform, there’s a distinct possibility of the platform striking the ground during a sharp turn. The result could be a disaster.
If there were any investigative journalists still extant, I’d send one to the campus with a box of donuts to swap for a little input from an anonymous officer as to what the real story is, here.

March 14, 2012 4:00 pm

Perhaps they should ride unicorns.

cui bono
March 14, 2012 4:00 pm

The US is sooo far behind the Brits when it comes to useful imaginative alternative vehicles to preserve the gravitas of cops……….

Retired Engineer
March 14, 2012 4:00 pm

AnonyMoose says:
“If they want something electric, try a Segway. All the cool Mall Cops have them.”
Segway works great on smooth, uniform surfaces. Hit a bump or pothole and down you go. This from a Segway rider at a trade show some years back. The show floor was fully carpeted.
I like the Harley. Made in the U.S. (well, partly) and has serious mojo. Projecting authority can reduce the need to actually use it. And you ain’t gonna outrun one.

March 14, 2012 4:01 pm

Just imagine those running on algae!, I mean under the boots…to facilitate sliding

Steve E
March 14, 2012 4:10 pm

How would things have gone for George Costanza if Chico State Five-O was there?…

son of mulder
March 14, 2012 4:12 pm

Born to be wild. What they really need is a wind turbine and a photovoltaic sail. One for Josh methinks.

March 14, 2012 4:16 pm

But does a bicycle really have a smaller carbon footprint. First you have to grow the soybeans, fertilize, them, harvest, transport them, make the tofu, ship it, and on and on.
On the plus side I see the possibility of defusing a volatile situation even without propeller beanies. Who wants to fight while Monty Python is on.
Down side: I don’t see where the shotgun goes.
Finally, Dirk Diggler cannot be involved since it has been determined that the vehicles do not have kick stands.

March 14, 2012 4:20 pm

That Sinclair looks pretty high tech compared to what it was apparently intended to replace:

The Sinclair and the Peel look like they came out of the Dr. Who episodes of their times!

Tim Minchin
March 14, 2012 4:25 pm

Any police riding one of these should also be forced to wear the same shorts as the lead cop in Reno 911 – it seems fitting

March 14, 2012 4:26 pm

I thought this was the world’s smallest car. Guess I was wrong.

Reply to  Smokey
March 14, 2012 4:45 pm

The metaphors abound!

Reply to  Smokey
March 14, 2012 4:50 pm

On the other end of the spectrum…

-Don (NOT Hiddioso)

March 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Green policies went from science fiction to science ridicule.

March 14, 2012 4:29 pm

Does Obummer and the DNC know they are supporting ‘deniers’ having Obummer election adds on this blog site????

Tom J
March 14, 2012 4:31 pm

Operating cost of about a penny per mile, eh? Once they take the depreciation hit on those turkeys me thinks they’re gonna have paid a wee bit more than a penny per mile. And, I mean, c’mon $2500 for those sandbox toys. At least they could’ve had some class and bought Segways for 5k a pop. Then they wouldn’t’ve looked like total jokes and at least they coulee used them on the sidewalks. Oh well, this is chump change compared to the billion here, billion there, billion almost everywhere that Obama spends on this nonsense.

Ulrich Elkmann
March 14, 2012 4:59 pm

Kindergarten cops.
For a green university.

March 14, 2012 5:04 pm

“Looking at the photo, you just have to laugh. Cops on electric scooters?”
I guess they figured they could catch Golf Carts.

March 14, 2012 5:11 pm

The missed a trick one of these
Robocop ED 209

It is after all fully electric and therefore ‘green , and requires no doughnut breaks . And sure as hell kept the campus under ‘full control, as for parking violations , lets just say they would have only have done it once .

Mac the Knife
March 14, 2012 5:13 pm

Smokey says:
March 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm
Damn, Smokey – That’s Good! Real Good!!!

March 14, 2012 5:20 pm

How about using bio-fuels? The cops eat a sandwich and do the patrol on foot.
Did anyone think of that?
I guess you need a degree in Operations Research to come up with such a counter-intuitive idea…

March 14, 2012 5:26 pm

In similar vein here in Castlemaine, Australia we have a local council who’s worship of Gaia transcends all else, including it’s core municipal responsibilities. A few years back the Mount Alexander Shire Council purchased a Blade electric car (the electric lemon) so that the Mayor could show the Green flag around the district. They presumably didn’t realise that, even when new, the Blade barely had adequate range to complete the round trip to the nearest substantial city Bendigo, about 25 miles away.
The Council also purchased four push bikes for Green transport between the Town Hall, and the Council offices about one mile away.
These Green embarrassments now sit forlornly discarded away from public gaze, as yet another example the Council’s waste of ratepayers funds.

kbray in california
March 14, 2012 5:40 pm

CW – code monkey with a wrench says:
March 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm
FYI for CW:
The guy making those is Matt Shumaker in Illinois.
That one is a custom 20,000 watts.
His email is shumaker(at)owc(dot)net
Double click on the video title for more discussion.
Other models or conversions are on the market.
Try: http://www.FFRtrikes.com/
or http://www.ecospeed.com/index.html
I am not connected to any of them, but I find them interesting…
Happy Hunting. Search “tadpole electric”.

Physics Major
March 14, 2012 5:43 pm

Laughter is the best medicine.

March 14, 2012 5:44 pm

At least on a bike you consume calories. Leaves more space for donuts! Sorry for the stereotype but too good an opportunity to miss. 😉

Chuck Nolan
March 14, 2012 6:54 pm

DaveF says:
March 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm
This is the first I’ve heard of Diggler scooters. Not a company set up by one Dirk Diggler by any chance?
So Dave, what have you heard about Dirk?

Justa Joe
March 14, 2012 7:07 pm

Don says:
March 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm
On the other end of the spectrum…
Is there some police force trying to equip there force with 72′ Buick deuce & a quarters? I don’t remember that even in 72′. Although they would be more serviceable than those scooters.

March 14, 2012 8:48 pm

Can I make up a new word?
“Eco-masturbation” Or has it already been done?

March 15, 2012 2:50 am

Chuck Nolan 6:54pm:
Hallo Chuck – I remember a (UK) Channel 4 documentary about American pornographic films (naturally I didn’t know what ‘pornographic’ meant until then) which dwelt on the rather well-endowed Dirk. Made me feel quite inadequate. I wondered if he retired and went into inventing things, like these scooters, that also made their riders look, er, inadequate. Best wishes, Dave.

Aynsley Kellow
March 15, 2012 4:41 am

This folly has reminded me of a wonderful example of sustainability I saw outside my house late last year, close to the end of the school year. Unfortunately, the camera battery was flat, so I couldn’t capture it visually.
In Tasmania we have replaced school zone signs with solar powered LED illuminated signs that light up when needed to post the temporary (40kph) speed zone before and after school. I must admit that I like them, and have reason to do so: my only traffic ticket in 25 years was for doing 55kph in what I though was a 60kph zone. I failed to notice the School Zone sign, located outside line of sight (I discovered later) which stated the lower limit that applied ‘on school days’ and until 9.30am (30mins after schools start – presumably because they operated on the precautionary principle!). I didn’t have a school age child, so I had no idea when the school term finished. (As it happens, private schools have different holidays to state schools). Had I noticed the sign, I would have to have checked the time to see whether it applied (the speed camera told me it was 9.26), worked out whether school was in, and then checked the speedometer to find I was not 5kph under the limit, but 15 kph over.
So let me state up front, I think the new signs are a good idea. They are visible when they apply.
I cam home late last year as the local school was a week off breaking up for the summer holidays, and there was a portable petrol generator running at the base of the sign, with a cable running up to the solar unit and battery. On the post was a printed sign explaining that the sun had not delivered sufficient energy to charge the battery! Admittedly, it’s a leafy street and we are in La Nina, so it’s been cloudy – but I thought it was a wonderful photo opportunity missed. Perhaps I need a solar powered camera.

Frank K.
March 15, 2012 5:25 am

This news item seems relevant:
Exodus: California Tax Revenue Plunges by 22%
“Derisively referred to as Taxifornia by the independent Pacific Research Institute, California wins the booby prize for the highest personal income taxes in the nation and higher sales tax rates than all but four other states. Though Californians benefit from Proposition 13 restrictions on how much their property tax can increase in one year, the state still has the worst state tax burden in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Chico State wastes taxpayer money on scooters…

March 15, 2012 6:56 am

This may not have been an appropriate application for the vehicles – although I think the ‘image problem’ says more about the problems with the attitude to police in the US than anything else – why shouldn’t (campus!) cops look helpful and approachable? – but I’m a big fan of this kind of transportation device. I’d like to live in a city in which this kind of lightweight personal transportation – microcars like the Peel P50, small mopeds/scooters and so-on – had dedicated, physically separated lanes and so was safe to use.
A large proportion of the energy we use for personal road transport is used to haul around big metal cages to keep us safe if we crash – but in urban environments, they’re complete overkill as protection if you crash into a stationary object at 15-20MPH, and the only purpose is to protect you from the big heavy traffic with which you may be sharing the road. Get rid of the risk from heavy vehicles and have a purely urban, ultra-lightweight ‘car’ with a top speed of 20-30MPH and you can also do away with the vast majority of the crash protection structures, vastly simplify suspension, and then the car’s so light that you can use a tiny 100cc engine or some such.
In an environment where the largest thing I’m competing for road-space with is a microcar as described, then I’d happily ride a powered scooter for commuting and so-on. Extend the Boris Bikes network out to the suburbs and replace them with these scooters – which will sit charging at their docks most of the time in any case – and you’d have an entirely new, low-investment, high-throughput public transport system for London.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 15, 2012 7:32 am

Quoted by Frank K. on March 15, 2012 at 5:25 am:
“Derisively referred to as Taxifornia by the independent Pacific Research Institute, California wins the booby prize for the highest personal income taxes in the nation and higher sales tax rates than all but four other states.”
To note it, this is not Peter Gleick’s Pacific Institute, which evidently is neither great at doing research nor is it all that independent. From their home page, the “About Us” block:

The Pacific Institute celebrates 25 years of advancing environmental protection, economic development, and social equity with science-based solutions that lead to social and political change.

Social equity? Homes have equity, but societies?
By a serendipitous accident, as Google has decided I like Instant Results despite the dial-up connection, “social equi” found as the first result ‘How to use social media to make money; building social equity’. Indeed, as demonstrated, ‘advancing social equity’ while controlling social media with lots of PR campaigning has been shown to make lots of money for those doing so.
Gleick and Taxifornia, truly they deserve each other.

Ben of Houston
March 15, 2012 10:03 am

One thing I like about Texas. Our downtown cops use horses, and have much more intimidating hats.

Ed, 'Mr.' Jones
March 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Diggler? as in Dirk Diggler? Too darn funny!

March 15, 2012 5:26 pm

I think they misspelled “risible”.
Chico State University was building on a major sustainability campaign, and going green with electric patrol scooters seemed like a way the University Police Department could support the effort in a very visible way.

March 15, 2012 9:22 pm

@Curiousgeorge: at 1:49 pm
You think emblazing the scooters with the two words “Harley Davidson” will help?
Come to think of it, troublemakers will be ROTFL so the cops can do without tazers.

March 16, 2012 1:24 am

Does Chico (and the Man) State have an engineering department? If so, why not have the students design and build some electric rigs for use on campus?

Doug Proctor
March 16, 2012 10:01 am

It’s the design AND the concept. A bike and his rider are tied together. Run into a curb and you are still in some control, and you don’t necessarily leave the bike. Standing on a scooter has no stick-with-it-ness. You have huge, sudden flexibility and agility with a bike, leaning over, jumping a curb etc. None with the electric.
Hybrid electric bikes would be too heavy.
It’s not the electric-is-stupid. It is just an application that isn’t appropriate.
That is the Green problem: theory reigns, not facts.

March 16, 2012 7:09 pm

johnnyrvf says:
March 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm
@ Curiousgeorge
Two more words.
Honda Fireblade.
Both of you guys are totally wrong. These guys are campus cops, not Main Street cops. In DC they have motorcycle patrols on 400cc Honda Rebels. They put gadawful loud pipes on them so they sound like real motor bikes. But they have the strengths of their design. A strong (for its size), durable, efficient engine. Low maintenance. Nimble and easy to master. For a campus, I’d think a good thumper enduro would be a better choice. Perhaps a BMW Funduro. Or, might I suggest the KTM Duke? Now THAT has “presence”!

March 17, 2012 12:03 pm

That Trek police bicycle someone pointed to doesn’t look like much special.
It’s rear carrier is small and flimsy, and its kickstand is poorly designed in its attachment to the frame (I have one, unfortunately).
Appears to have front shocks, which is good, but both poor type of handlebars (need erect to observe more) and poor seat configuration for their riding.
Police would have to add much to the bicycle.
Hopefully its frame and basic mechanisms are solid and properly matched, to justify the price. (For example, a Montague folding bicycle that supposedly was used by military paratroopers does not have correct matching of derailleur and sprockets, so shifting is not consistent. You don’t need the chain coming off when you are chasing bad people or rushing in or out of enemy territory.)

March 17, 2012 12:05 pm

Now that I’ve read more, I see they already had bicycles. Sounds like a Keystone Kampus management wise, the police were OK. The glorifed skateboard scooters look like a tech gimmick in search of a problem.
Some commenters herein apparently need a self-powered conveyance. The only police who might need such would be those patrolling a very large campus – we are by definition talking of able-bodied persons, who have to be able to wrestle a suspect to the ground, not medically challenged individuals.
Spring is struggling to emerge on the wet coast, so soon I’ll see more police on bicycles in my neighbourhood near water and walkways. (IIRC they are used in some downtown areas, though in Victoria BC I’d anticipate foot patrol is more practical due alleys and modest size of area. Hmm, don’t history books show police doing foot patrols? Slow but they see and hear more, including by chatting with store people about what they’ve seen. Do I correctly recall that Vancouver BC police went back to foot patrols in some areas such as business districts of Commercial Drive?)

March 17, 2012 9:40 pm

i picked up a used diggler for about 35 bucks. you can pick them up from ski resorts after the end of the summer season.
they rent them out for downhill runs. they are incredibly stable and nimble, much easier on a downhill then a bike, and pretty quick.
as far as build, they are full 4130, have a skid plate that eats rocks and are almost indestructible.
i know mammoth has them, and here in colorado, several ski resorts have them.
of course, they aren’t electric.
campus cops worrying about looking tough? like anybody had respect for a campus cop to begin with.
they have benefits. unlike a bike, you don’t have to straddle it, so if you are chasing someone, you can practically run right off the platform. you don’t have to worry about someone stealing the seat while you are fueling up on coffee and donuts, and you don’t have to worry about doing an endo when you are popping a curb trying to impress the chicks.
which reminds me, schwinn used to make a bmx tire called the dirt diggler.

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