Metropolis Council is contemplating new restrictions on bicycles and scooters together with an expensive licensing price on rental firms to function in Scottsdale.
Council adopted a slew of latest laws on bikes and scooters in late 2018 in response to resident issues prompted by the exploding reputation of electrical units rented out by firms like Chook and Spin.
That reputation fell off of a cliff in 2020 after the pandemic struck however metropolis officers anticipate extra scooters to return to the streets sooner or later.
Scottsdale Transportation Director Mark Melnychenko stated all scooter firms voluntarily ceased operations when the pandemic started.
Chook resumed operations with a small fleet in Could and Spin ramped up once more in November.
Melnychenko stated metropolis employees has met with three different firms which are eager about working in Scottsdale.
“I consider when issues get again, we have to have these ordinances in place,” Mayor David Ortega stated.
Information suggests the scooters posed a nominal public well being threat early on and the unique guidelines handed in 2018 had been a response to a spread of resident issues, together with their menace to public security and the tendency of riders to depart unused units strewn throughout sidewalks and different public rights of method.
Shortly after the unique laws went into place, Tina Sheppard, trauma program director at Scottsdale Osborn Medical Heart, informed the Progress that scooters had resulted in 22 journeys to the hospital’s trauma unit over a five-month interval.
Sheppard stated trauma activations connote accidents too extreme to be handled within the emergency room.
Nonetheless, Melnychenko famous at a Jan. 19 Council assembly that scooter-related incidents are primarily relegated to downtown and accounted for simply 0.5 % of all emergency calls in Scottsdale between December 2018 and December 2019.
General, scooters resulted in 138 emergency conditions over that time period and 246 complete citations, most of which had been for parking violations.
Metropolis employees offered Council final week amendments to present laws and in addition requested it to contemplate adopting a licensing requirement for any rental firm that wishes to function in Scottsdale.
Employees instructed firms be required to have insurance coverage and pay a licensing price of between $10,000 and $100,000, relying on what number of units they deploy.
Employees additionally sought different amendments, together with prohibitions on using bikes or scooters on sidewalks within the Transportation Security Zone, an space that covers most of downtown Scottsdale between 68th Road and Osborn, Miller and Camelback roads.
Employees additionally proposed a ban on rental scooters or bikes within the zone between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Different proposed modifications included requiring units to be parked in bicycle racks or different authorised areas and parental permission for riders 16 and underneath. Employees additionally really useful new relocation and impound charges on firms for units left in unapproved areas.
Although some suggestions had been supported, some council members discovered others too restrictive.
Councilwoman Solange Whitehead stated she couldn’t assist an outright ban on bikes on sidewalks within the Transportation Security Zone, citing issues that the rule would endanger kids who dwell within the affected space.
“I feel our police have higher issues to do than to be pulling over 10-year-olds on bicycles which are on empty sidewalks,” she stated.
Whitehead requested employees to specify that solely e-bikes and e-scooters be banned on downtown sidewalks and specify problematic sidewalks as an alternative of adopting an outright ban.
“I feel that what I desire to see is employees determine particular sidewalks which are issues and never over legislate right here; there’s widespread sense,” she stated.
The trade additionally appeared to be principally supportive of the proposed guidelines – with one exception.
Morgan Roth, a consultant for the Chook scooter rental firm requested Council to forego the requirement that scooters be parked in bike racks or different authorised areas all through the town.
He stated a citywide parking requirement was not possible as a result of many of the metropolis doesn’t have the identical parking infrastructure as downtown Scottsdale.
Melnychenko stated there are at present 553 metropolis bike racks in downtown Scottsdale.
Ortega instructed the licensing requirement solely permit for operation in a delegated space like downtown Scottsdale, which already has the parking infrastructure in place.
Metropolis Supervisor Jim Thompson stated the town would examine the answer however famous scooters are additionally utilized in different areas, together with close to massive employers in northern Scottsdale.
Thompson stated the town may additionally ask the rental firms to offer parking infrastructure in areas of the town that don’t at present have it.
The Metropolis Council didn’t vote on adopting any of the brand new guidelines. As a substitute asking employees to carry again the proposals again at a later, unspecified date with instructed modifications.