Dear Urban Diplomat: Can I yell at people in mobility scooters if they deserve it?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I find myself in a game of sidewalk chicken with a mobility scooter operator at least once a month, probably because so many of them drive the things so recklessly. When is it okay to chastise someone for speeding in a motorized wheelchair? Is there any scenario—and any way to handle it—that doesn’t make me look like a schoolyard bully?
—Troublescooting, Queen West
The simplest solution is to step aside and accept that scooters gonna scoot. But sparing a kamikaze wheelchair driver the dressing-down you’d give an able-bodied pedestrian is itself a form of discrimination. Assuming he’s treating the sidewalk like his personal Autobahn—and not just understandably struggling to navigate rush hour in something the size of a loveseat—he deserves to hear about it. Calmly and politely asking him to slow down is fair play, even if it prompts a few strangers to throw you some shade.
Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at firstname.lastname@example.org