As a clash over scooters highlights inequality and a housing crisis, the city feuds over who’s at fault and how to fix things

The cold war between San Francisco and the tech industry erupted into open hostilities again this month, when the overnight arrival of hundreds of motorized scooters across the city’s streetscape reignited tensions between the techies and the tech-nots.

The dockless electric scooters, which were distributed around San Francisco by three competing startups just as the city was preparing to pass legislation to regulate them, have become the latest symbol of competing visions for city living. To critics of the tech industry, they represent everything that is wrong with the “move fast and break things” ethos. To tech evangelists, they are further proof that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

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