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Salt Lake City Council looks to regulate scooters and GREENBikes

Electric scooters in a city available for rent. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY- Many people in Salt Lake City have been voicing concerns for well over a year about the safety of electric scooters, and a new ordinance may address their complaints.

Transportation Division Director Jon Larsen presented a proposed ordinance to a City Council working group on Tuesday that would regulate¬†“Dockless Shared Micro-Mobility” devices, most notably the popular e-scooters and GREENBikes that are used most often downtown.

He told the council about the complaints he’s heard from residents about the scooters in particular.

“Concerns and complaints about scooters blocking sidewalks, bus stops, ADA ramps, building entrances,” Larsen said.

And then there’s the people who speed and ride on the sidewalk.

“I’ve had several octogenarians mention to me…if you break a hip, you’re done,” Larsen said.

The ordinance would ban people from using e-scooters and GreenBikes from the sidewalks. It would also prohibit people from leaving the devices on TRAX or Frontrunner platforms or within 15 feet of building entrances.

The scooters also could not block ADA ramp access to buildings.

The city is also looking at restricting where the scooters and bicycles could be docked and whether to put speed limits in certain areas.

One area of the ordinance that needs to be sorted out is how to enforce the rules. Larsen, like many members of the city council, were hesitant to divert police resources to scooter-duty.

“[The current rules have] put the police in a pretty tough position…I want to figure out how to structure things to set them up for success,” Larsen says.

Some enforcement ideas discussed at Tuesday’s meeting would be citizens reporting violations through an app or charging scooter companies if their riders went over the speed limit.

The city is also surveying residents about the ordinance, which you can access here until December 4th