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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Electric Scooters Return to the Streets of Cleveland This Summer

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2019 at 1:14 PM

  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
After a quick stint last August, electric scooters are making a return trip to the streets of Cleveland this summer.

Monday night, city council unanimously approved a new ordinance that will regulate the return of e-scooter rentals. This time around, however, they'll be distributed in select areas across the city based on past success rates of bicycle rentals as part of a pilot program.

“[T]he cities that are doing well, the cities with neighborhoods that thrive … are cities that are embracing new modes of transportation technology,”
Councilman Kerry McCormack said during a City Council hearing Monday.

According to Matt Gray, Mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of sustainability, sites will include Ohio City, University Circle, the Euclid Corridor and downtown.

The legislation arrives nine months after Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson ordered the Bird Scooter Company to remove the 100 electric scooters that had popped up just days before across the city, following permit problems and safety concerns.

A year later, the pilot program is designed to test "new regulations on businesses" that rent electric scooters and bikes, requiring vendors to pay the city a small fee for rentals. The new legislation also represents an attempt to counteract the safety hazards of these mobility devices, requiring riders of electric bikes and scooters to be at least 18 years old to rent.

In addition, riders will be not be allowed on streets with car speed limits of more than 35 mph. Whether on a street or sidewalk, scooters will be prohibited from travelling faster than 15 mph. Riders will also be required to park electric scooters and bikes in upright positions.

The ordinance goes into effect following the mayor's approval. From there, the city has 30 days to submit guidelines for the legislation.

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