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Scooterville, Snohomish County

March 30, 2008

It would seem quite logical for scooters to be growing in numbers in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill. However, it’s a bit of a surprise to see them in, say, Everett.

Scooter store

A scooter store in Everett, Wash. (Orin O'Neill photos)

Everett is about half an hour north of Seattle, a former mill town that has seen its fortunes rise as the price of housing in King County has skyrocketed. It has a quaint downtown that is much busier now that Comcast Arena (formerly the Everett Events Center) is attracting sporting events, concerts and other activities that bring people downtown. It’s northern terminus of Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter train.

Of course, most of the city limits is occupied by strip-mall suburban sprawl, the main drags seven lanes wide (three traffic lanes in each direction, plus a center left-turn lane). The new job has me negotiating these asphalt oceans daily, though a couple decades ago Everett was home.

As I was waiting at a red light, my attention was caught by a scooter in the adjacent lane. This one was in the parking lot at one of my stops.

An Everett scooter

A red LX 150 was coming out of the Puget Park Center, and the license plate holder wasn’t from Vespa Seattle. There have been several scooters in traffic on those main drags, looking even more like mice in the elephant herd than would be the case on Spokane Street near the Port of Seattle. While there are bicycle lanes on these roads, I certainly wouldn’t feel safe pedaling on Evergreen Way or Everett Mall Way.

Vino 125 in Everett

This Vino 125 illustrates the 2nd-best thing about scooter ownership, namely the ease of parking. The location is near the rear entrance of an office building a few blocks south of downtown Everett.

Everett is not the kind of place where people buy stuff to show off, at least not yet. More scooters in Everett means more people are doing the math and discovering two wheels and 150cc’s can be a reasonable transportation alternative. Favicon

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5 Comments
  1. March 30, 2008 6:30 pm

    The yellow one looks comfy. Happy to hear there are more scooters on the roads up your way. The cost of gas is causing people, who would never have considered a scooter, to seriously think about it.

  2. March 31, 2008 4:16 am

    I’m seeing more scooters here in Central Pennsylvania. And more often with riders that I would expect to see in a pickup truck rather than on a little scooter. I have spoken to a few and they all cite gas prices for their scooter and use them primarily for errand running and not for recreational riding.

    Parking isn’t really a problem around here but I do like that I can park right in front of things usually. And I take advantage of all those little painted areas in parking lots that look as if they were designed for a scooter….

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  3. March 31, 2008 5:50 pm

    Like in your area the price of gas is climbing to $4/gl and the scooters were out in force here in Richmond last week. At every turn there seemed to be someone buzzing by, flashing a hello and smiling. But today, it is more like Seattle weather and everyone is back inside drinking coffee.

  4. April 1, 2008 6:42 am

    I find I walk less around town because parking is much easier with two wheels. When I am in Key West to recreate I have to deliberately force myself to park further away to enjoy the streets on foot. When chasing chores easy parking is an enormous help, and the city has lots of motorcycle spots.

  5. April 9, 2008 11:21 am

    Talked to the owner of the Vino today. She lives in the building (I guess it’s apartments on the upper floors) and told me, “my life is on Colby (Avenue),” which is the next block over, so a scooter works really well for her. One of the occasional ventures off Colby was to the local Trader Joe’s; she was quite proud of being able to carry eight bottles of wine, without a topcase. Well, the scooter is called a “Vino”… 😉

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