The Scooter Ban Is Coming

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order today barring the city from accepting new permit applications from scooter companies, pending an August 5 council meeting where more permanent actions is expected.

The order comes a week after a CobbLinc bus ran over and killed 37-year-old William Alexander in Midtown, while he was on a scooter leaving the Atlanta United game.

(It also comes eight months after a GeorgiaPol writer stupidly broke his stupid arm on a stupid Bird scooter, but I digress. Loudly. Often.)

Recent studies in Portland and Austin show that use of the popular dockless e-scooters results in an emergency room trip about once every 4,000 rides. Officials have been concerned about mounting public health care costs, as well as public complaints about scooter use on sidewalks.

While the Atlanta City Council requested injury data from Grady Hospital, the information has not been regularly delivered, city councilpeople say.

Bottom’s order “will remain in effect through the August 5, 2019 meeting of the Atlanta City Council, at which time it is anticipated that the Council will introduce an ordinance repealing the authorization of the Commissioner of the Department of City Planning or his designee(s) to accept shareable dockless mobility device permit applications and to issue shareable dockless mobility device permits.”

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Charlie
Charlie

Scooters are a menace. They’re not compatible with pedestrians on a sidewalk nor vehicles on a street. They’re dangerous to the riders. And based on the number of them littered blocking sidewalks and wheelchair dips it appears their premier customers are among the most self-absorbed in our society. Good riddance if a full ban comes to pass.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I also don’t get how you can permit anything where large awkward metal objects are haphazardly strewn on public rights of way/sidewalks. Docking stations may detract from usefulness and profit, but they appear ncssry.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Totally agree. Hope other metro cities follow.

edatlanta
edatlanta

Is a 1-in-4000-rides injury rate worse than cars? I’m in favor of just about any alternative forms of transportation but I’m not sure having companies litter their product without warning and telling municipalities “you deal with it” is a solution either.

Charlie
Charlie

Presuming three car trips per day (to work, from work, one other) that would imply that the average person would be injured by a car every three years. If this were the case, every auto manufacturer would long be out of business due to product liability lawsuits.

buzzbrockway
buzzbrockway

Don’t ban scooters! Sure there are problems and every loss of life is horrible, but this is not unlike the introduction of cars on streets where previously only horses and horse drawn carriages travelled. We need smart traffic engineers and city planners to figure out how to safely integrate scooters into our streets. They can help mobility in many places across Atlanta. Here’s an article about how Detroit dealt with the problems cars brought to that city: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan-history/2015/04/26/auto-traffic-history-detroit/26312107/ And this stat didn’t lead to a ban, it led to solutions: “As early as 1908, auto accidents in Detroit were recognized… Read more »

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

Of course the GT alumnus is going to advocate for an approach that lines the pockets of big traffic engineer.

Meanwhile, I, a disinterested lawyer, will advocate for devising a complex regulatory framework to address the issue.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

That works great for enforcement. They’ll just stop enforcing. Problem solved.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Carriages and cars have the same visible bulk. Scooters, not so much. I don’t think it is a good idea to make them stay in the streets, yet many cannot responsibly use them on sidewalks. Bicycle rules are established, but not necessarily enforced for riders. Bad cyclists weave in and out on sidewalks and traffic. Should all wheeled options have equal safety and use laws? There should be a balance. Should scooters be banned from random abandonment in the right of way endangering pedestrians and daredevil bicycists? Resounding YES! I think scooters could be useful in a more controlled environment,… Read more »

Gregs
Gregs

This isn’t a problem any government can or should solve. Ban scooters everywhere until the industry gets in a room and figures out how to safely incorporate them into the existing urban landscape. Maybe urban centers will have to enact legislation and reconfigure infrastructure but to drop this litter off with no notice and say to cities “figure it out” is “CRAP”. If you want to introduce a new product into the market to solve a problem don’t do it the way the scooter companies have done. This has been a problem on the west coast for years but its… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

This is the way I felt about Uber. There was basically no regulation. People said “But uber has their own standards”, but those standards don’t apply to anyone else who drops into that market. And someone WILL use relaxed standards to gain an advantage. It’s capitalism after all.

Taxis probably needed a little “disruption”, but not to this extreme.

Gregs
Gregs

I can’t figure out why the TV lawyers haven’t sued the Trump out of these companies over their business practices.

One call….that’s all!

chefdavid
chefdavid

This looks like it would be fun to ride a scooter on. Probably need to go ahead and add another change order to make it scooter friendly. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/07/26/atlanta-is-blowing-all-its-safety-money-on-a-flashy-pedestrian-bridge/

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

It would be fun, just don’t try it post-game. The article points out the absurdities and $$$ waste of this bridge. The worst aspect is pedestrians must cross a street just to get on the starting ramp island. This is such an egregiously bad design from standpoint of pedestrian flow to/from parking lots or the MARTA station.