Atlanta Plans Regulations for Electric Scooters
ATLANTA, GA. – The City of Atlanta, Georgia, plans to start regulating electric scooters, according to an online news report from 11alive.com. One county in Georgia has already taken steps to ban the scooters because of safety issues.*
Officials in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, say scooters from the company Bird showed up in cities and on the University of Georgia campus “without any notice.” The vehicles have raised safety questions and have become a nuisance for many students and residents. Incidents with Bird scooters prompted the Athens-Clarke County Commission to place a temporary ban on electric scooters in the county. Bird will have to come pick up all of its scooters under the ban.
“We recognize this is an excellent alternative form of transportation,” said County Commissioner Jerry NeSmith. “We’re not against it. We just have public safety and equity issues.”
Atlanta officials feel the same way about the rate with which the scooters have descended on the city, but they aren’t ready to go as far as banning them. Scooter company Lime says more than 300,000 people have taken rides on its scooters in Atlanta in the past six months. Particularly with short-distance rides to Georgia Tech, Midtown, and MARTA stations, the scooters have a real use in the city.
But officials agree there need to be rules. Emergency departments are filling with people injured in scooter accidents, and the vehicles are littered all over the city. Atlanta City Council members have decided to set regulations on parking, speed limits, and other safety guidelines for the vehicles inside the city. The city wants scooter companies to share data collected about the number of scooters in the city and how they are being ridden.
Atlanta officials also want to address equity, like Athens-Clarke County, because it seems like only affluent neighborhoods have access to the vehicles right now. Atlanta might look into limiting the number of scooters that can be in the city at one time.
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