I’m Like, Nashville Scooters and Van Pooling

mondayWe were seated for lunch on Saturday and although I try to tune out talking around me, my annoyance meter detected the conversation at the table next to us as the word “like” was used repeatedly.  I don’t recall specifics but it was constantly “Yeah, and like” or “I’m like…”  Now I know there are worst words that could be repeated and profanity that would have made it worse but the constant use of the word “like” was – like – driving me crazy as if someone was running their fingernails down a chalkboard.  This isn’t the first time that I have heard the overly-incessant use of “like”.  I really don’t know where this is coming from.  Maybe it’s a throwback from the Valley Girl era or some deep dark place somewhere which also produces the words “uh” and “umm” which are – like – unwitting choices in my own conversations.   I guess actual dialogue is difficult when we aren’t texting or using emoticons.  It’s a pretty complicated task in this age of social media to actually have an intelligible conversation.

Nashville Mayor David Briley is on a mission to force electric scooter companies to clean up their act.  He was even on CNN talking about it.  I’m not a fan of Briley but I applaud his threat to ban scooters if they don’t make them safer and manageable.  Unless you have been a pedestrian or motorist in downtown Nashville, you can’t fully understand the frustration over the scooters whizzing by.  They are everywhere like pesky gnats buzzing around your head.  They litter the sidewalks when not in use and riders are not using them safely.  Scooter companies have made some attempts to address the issues but there is so much they can do.  I saw one scooter with a tag attached to remind riders of how to safely use the scooters (yeah, that will fix it), another had a free safety class and another requires riders to scan in their driver’s license to confirm they are legally old enough to ride the scooter.  The ONLY thing that will enforce the rules is to enforce the rules.  I know the police department is struggling with other things and wouldn’t have the resources to do it but maybe something can be done to have a day or two where there is a operation to crackdown on violations.

Since moving to another area, I have started taking a van pool to/from work during the week.  Over the years I have taken forms of transportation such as the bus in Tampa and the train when I first moved to Nashville.  The van pool isn’t the worst form of transportation I have taken.  I have had to adjust my work schedule to take advantage of it which gets me to work wayyy too early.  I get here about 37 minutes before the start of my work day.  When I questioned why we had to leave so early I got the explanation about how much worse traffic gets the later you leave and the window of opportunity.  Okay, I get that but it’s still stinking early.  The train was, by far, my favorite but in Nashville the train route only runs on the eastside.  Dumb.  Nashville NEEDS more trains.  Of course, I like the freedom of having my own car and spending time with my wife, but the traffic and parking rates downtown make it a bad idea.  So, I’m riding the van – for now.  On most days I tell myself that this won’t be forever.  Since riding the van, I have the opportunity of observing the driving habits of other drivers.  What amazes me is how many other drivers on the road are using their smart phones while driving.  I saw one driver using Facetime while driving.  Come on people!  Can’t we put the phones down?  No one is that good of a driver that they can safely drive and text.  Maybe they need to dive into the van pool.

I’m like going to try to avoid the scooters and take the van home this afternoon.



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