People Questioning whether E-Scooters Disrupt Atlanta’s Vision for the Beltline
ATLANTA, GA – According to an online news report at ajc.com, the Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance approving the use of e-scooters on Beltline routes. Seven months afterwards, countless Lime, Lyft, Bolt and Bird e-scooters barrel down the paths.*
The Atlanta Beltline is an area that contains trails and parks that is meant for people to enjoy and escape from the noise, traffic and other aspects of city life. It is a prime destination for cyclists, walkers and joggers and is targeted to connect different communities together.
“The whole point should be walking, getting your exercise, and the scooter riders aren’t really doing that,” said a local resident. She frequents the trail to go to and from stores that are located close to the trails. This resident indicates that she has had some close encounters with e-scooter riders who speed. She was also nearly struck by one from behind as she jogged along the trail.
Local officials note that it is difficult to strike a balance between all of the factors that comprise of the corridor’s mission. “We have to be very protective of the Beltline pedestrian corridor, that’s very important. And its future transit service,” noted Tim Keane, the planning commissioner for the City of Atlanta. “But we’ve got people getting around on scooters for transportation and that is one of the focuses of the Beltline.”
The main issue that those in the community have with the e-scooter use on the trails is that the trails started out with a ban on the use of motorized vehicles and now the city is allowing e-scooters, which to many, compromises the purpose of the Beltline.
In response to community concerns, Tim Keane responded by stating that “[w]e have to be very protective of the Beltline pedestrian corridor, that’s very important. And its future transit service. But we’ve got people getting around on scooters for transportation and that is one of the focuses of the Beltline.”
Earlier this summer, the city, as well as the Beltline officials, began to impose an 8 mph speed limit on the Eastside Trail after people complained about scooter speed and how they were parked. The Beltline developed designated scooter parking areas along two major trails. This has dramatically reduced the number of complaints regarding e-scoot use on the trails.
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