Hi Strong Towns friends!
Hoping for some advice regarding people riding e-scooters on the sidewalk. Our town, Fairfield, CT, is doing a pilot e-scooter program in partnership with Bird scooters (May to October/November). While the overall reception has been positive so far, the Town has received a few complaints about younger people riding e-scooters on the sidewalks and endangering pedestrians. I suggested perhaps people didn't feel safe riding on the busy streets along side cars going 30+ mph, further demonstration of our need to calm traffic and build safe and comfortable infrastructure for micromobility and bicycles. However, some of the witnesses said what they observed happened on quieter side streets and appeared to be more like young adults horsing around and being reckless.
I'm wondering if any other communities out there dealt with this issue regarding e-scooters and if, so, how did you address it? Is there a way to program the e-scooters to stop if they go up on the sidewalk, just as they are programmed to stop if the driver tries to take the scooter outside a designated radius?
The police department is supportive of this program, which is a huge positive, and the town board of selectpeople are open to giving it a chance, but I'm worried that if they continue to receive complaints, they will either shut it down or choose not to continue/grow it in the future.
Any advice you have would be most appreciated.