Coverage of city’s plan for scooters was downright weird

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

For those who are old enough to remember the original Twilight Zone on television, they will remember the opening of the show for one of its seasons began like this: “You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

The show would feature odd tales, with surprising twists and narratives.

But while the original show ended its run in 1965, there are still odd stories, with twists and narratives that come out of nowhere.

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Now enter the proposed plan by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to partner with a Texas-based company to bring electric scooters to downtown Vicksburg.

When Mayor George Flaggs Jr. mentioned the potential partnership that would bring yet another amenity to downtown Vicksburg, he mentioned the benefits of scooters downtown, the work the city had already done in preparing an ordinance regulating their use to streets only and how they would be used in only a certain area of the city.

He talked about how this partnership had worked in other cities and how he was optimistic about seeing a fleet of blue scooters being enjoyed by residents and visitors alike in Vicksburg’s core business district.

Now, enter the Twilight Zone.

While we reported the facts as they were presented at the city board meeting, there were media outlets based in Jackson who turned to speculation. They interviewed accidental injury attorneys who spoke of the city’s unreasonable acceptance of liability and wondered why a municipal government would add such risky, “death rockets” to their downtown area.

As a part of the media, we were thrilled a Jackson-based television station would be interested in something going on in Vicksburg. We have plenty of stories to tell and, based on the day-to-day news in Jackson these days, we are sure they are thrilled to step out of their city limits and try to report on something positive. Except, they failed; miserably.

The city of Vicksburg is not accepting any liability. They are not putting residents at risk and to those who believe the scooters will be the end of civility in downtown Vicksburg, just wait.

Vicksburg is neither the first city, nor the last, to partner with similar companies for programs such as this. While the final details of the partnership and the proposed ordinance are being worked out, we can only sit, wait and hope that yet another feature to downtown Vicksburg becomes a reality.

The twists and turns of this story is a perfect example of what happens when you enter the Twilight Zone.