Mikie Friedman, on why she avoids scooters

You’re a very long time resident; when did you come to our metropolis?

I got here to West Hollywood in 1979 from Chicago. We had a very brutal winter, and I wished to get away from snow and ice as a result of I assumed life is just too quick to dwell half a yr in icy chilly climate after which wrestle to exist the opposite half of the yr. I used to be the primary girl bartender on the famed pump room in Chicago. After struggling to seek out work in West Hollywood, I lastly discovered bartending and restaurant administration work with Hamburger Hamlet and in a stunning French restaurant referred to as Entourage.

How did you turn out to be disabled?

In 1994, one month after my fiftieth birthday, I used to be recognized with most cancers, a myxoid Condro sarcoma. As a result of it had gone on for therefore lengthy incorrectly recognized, the docs had no selection, however to amputate my dominant arm and shoulder. As I may now not work within the restaurant business, I wanted to discover a new approach to earn a dwelling. Fortunately, I had a level in speech and theater with a minor in English literature, so with a number of schooling programs, I used to be capable of get my instructing credential and I taught ESL to grownup immigrants for 17 years.

I used to be pressured into retirement when this system led to 2012. Six months later, as an incidental discovering when on the lookout for a kidney stone, a radiologist found that I had a big tumor in my proper lung. The sarcoma had traveled to my lung, and so forth July 27, 1994, half of my proper lung was eliminated.

In 2017 I utilized to be on the West Hollywood disabilities advisory board. This can be a board I proudly served on till a number of months in the past.

How have the scooters impacted you while you stroll within the metropolis?

I had observed on a number of events that scooters had been infiltrating our metropolis and taking up our sidewalks. They had been blocking my road, Clark Road, which is on the very steep hill, and the one approach to get round them, was for me to stroll out into the road. That is tough and harmful as a result of having one arm, my steadiness may be very poor. I’m additionally 78 years outdated.

The straw that broke the camels again for me was after I was strolling down Sundown Boulevard and a younger man got here whizzing by on his scooter along with his canine on a leash, and he yelled, “get the hell out of my means.”

I knew one thing needed to be finished, but it surely was tough to get town to do something. They weren’t imposing the regulation that said it was unlawful to trip scooters on the sidewalk. And so they had been additionally not citing individuals for simply abandoning them in the course of the sidewalk quite than placing them in a secure docking place.

Being on an advisory board in our metropolis means the whole lot must be agendized and run by way of employees and it takes a really very long time to get something finished…if in any respect.

However, in the future, in an e mail correspondence with town council, and with our (at the moment,) mayor, professional tempore, Sepi Shyne, I voiced my worry of the risks of scooter using. The mayor professional tempore, who’s now our mayor, dismissed my issues, and answered, “effectively, some individuals like them, and a few individuals don’t, and neither facet is incorrect” I discovered it to be a false equivalency and angrily I equated her remark to a remark that Donald Trump made relating to tiki torch, bearing Nazis. He mentioned, “there are good individuals on either side.”

Sepi instructed me I used to be disrespectful and that she wouldn’t tolerate my disrespect, and so in protest, I resigned from the board.

So what are you doing now to do away with the scooters?

I now notice that I get extra finished outdoors of the confines of an advisory board. As a non-public citizen, I began a petition by way of change.org to ban harmful scooters in West Hollywood, and up to now 362 individuals have signed it. However we actually want much more signatures.

The sheriffs division cited no incidents of scooters or E bike issues in December 2022 or January 2023. These are false statistics as a result of neither the sheriffs division, nor town are imposing any legal guidelines relating to scooters and e- bikes in any respect.

The sheriffs division, in all honesty, has been shrunk, and although they’re making an attempt to do their job, our metropolis Council will not be making it simpler for them. In the meantime, persons are getting injured. Even the previous mayor’s personal sister, Debbie Meister, was run down.by a scooter rider who ran a pink gentle. She wound up at Cedar Sinai in surgical procedure with damaged bones. Not listening to all of the damaging enter on scooters from the assorted boards and commissions, the council determined to increase the 18-month pilot program one other six months.

In June this yr, they’ll resolve whether or not or to not make the scooter program, which they name “the dockless mobility program” everlasting.

My petition is to attempt to persuade them, not solely to finish this system, however to ban scooters from our sidewalks. These scooters are a hazard to individuals dwelling with disabilities, seniors, individuals with younger kids with animals and with most able-bodied pedestrians as effectively.