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Digital Subscriptions > Cities Today > March 2019 > Cities reveal their coping strategies for e-scooters

Cities reveal their coping strategies for e-scooters

Electric scooters are one of the biggest talking points in urban mobility, but a lack of dialogue between cities and scooter rental firms has seen thousands of vehicles ordered off the streets globally. Adam Pitt finds out which cities are adapting best to one of mobility’s fastest growing modes
Photo: Glen Beltz
Eulois Cleckley, Executive Director at Denver Department of Public Works
Photo: Department of Public Works, Denver

Denver in Colorado has gone from seizing scooters on its streets and fining their providers, Lyft and Bird, to undertaking a full pilot with five scooter companies including the two companies it had originally fined

The recent crackdown on scooters has been fuelled by concerns over public safety. For some it has also been a reaction to an industry that has tended to think it better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

First generation scooters provided by Bird, Lime, and Lyft have often just appeared overnight, with city leaders literally waking up to riders weaving through cars and pedestrians at speeds of up to 25 km/h.

Like recreational drones, the increasing popularity of scooters has led to questions about their legality and classification, which public spaces they should be allowed in, and who should enforce which laws. Cities have been unsure how to react with some taking swift action to stop scooter operators using their streets while others see them as a useful and green micromobility option for their residents.

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