By Philip Haldiman
Peoria city officials are working on a draft ordinance that will address the emergent e-scooter mode of transportation.
The ordinance will be similar to traffic control laws regarding bikes, except will focus on e-scooters.
It will likely cover staging areas, speeds and appropriate places for riding scooters, such as sidewalks, streets, bike lanes, as well as areas of town permissible to ride or areas not permitted.
Council is expected to consider the draft ordinance in the fall.
Public Works Director Kevin Burke said e-scooter technology is here and can serve as an important mode of transportation, but it also needs to be regulated.
Discussion of a possible e-scooter ordinance is the present day version of incorporating bicycles into the transportation code, he said.
“Peoria, like most of its municipal counterparts across the Valley and U.S. also recognize that unregulated e-scooters can create hazards for riders, pedestrians and motorists. Likewise, the staging, storage or disposition of scooters can have a detrimental impact on accessibility and aesthetics, thus, warranting management,” Mr. Burke said.
About a year ago, Santa Monica-based tech start-up Bird took out a business license in Peoria and launched an on-demand rental service for the vehicles and almost overnight the technology descended upon the city with little to no regulation.
The invasion left residents excited over the new technology as an alternative form of transportation as well as concerned about safety, scooters blocking sidewalks and being left on private property, as well as creating blight throughout the city.
Peoria staff met with Bird and worked out a 120-day pilot program and a 90-day operating agreement approved by city council, Dec. 4.
However the plans ended when a proposed temporary contract with the electric scooter company could not be finalized in a way that would protect the city and its taxpayers, officials said.
City spokeswoman Kristina Perez said the new law will apply to all scooter companies and likely private scooters, such as personally owned scooters, and is intended to regulate within the parameters allowed by the state statute passed earlier this year.
Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, email@example.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.