Scooters skipping Loop and Near North Side for now
Loop North News

TRANSPORTATION & TRAFFIC

25-Jun-19 – There will be no imminent invasion of electric scooters in and north of the Loop.

During a four-month test period that started on June 15, ten companies selected by the city will each operate up to 250 scooters in a 50 square mile zone west of the Loop. They have been told not to operate in the Loop and Near North Side. Halsted Street is as close as scooters in the test program will get.

The scooter speed limit is 15 miles per hour, according to Chicago Department of Transportation. Scooters cannot be ridden on sidewalks, must be parked wherever it is legal to park bicycles, can be operated only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., and must be removed from the public way each night.

The West Coast has had scooters since 2018 and photos and videos posted online show scooters discarded on sidewalks, waterways, and blocking wheelchair ramps.

Kevin O’Malley

“Vendors will be held to the highest standards of accountability in how effectively they manage impacts on the public right of way and how they promote the safety of both scooter riders and other people who are in the right of way,” said Kevin O’Malley (left), CDOT’s Managing Deputy Commissioner.

Permits for the test program have been issued to Bird, Bolt, Gruv, Jump, Lime, Lyft, Sherpa, Spin, VeoRide, and Wheels.

Scooters not welcome in Streeterville

Streeterville Organization of Active Residents says the case for electric scooters is “interesting,” but they are opposed to e-scooters in their neighborhood for safety reasons.

The advocacy group says traffic is the second biggest concern for its members – after safety and security – and after reviewing publications, speaking with representatives of CDOT and one of the e-scooter companies, the new way of getting around “is not without concerns and reservations.”

(Right) A VeoRide scooter that is, according to a recent Twitter post by the Chicago-based company, “parked appropriately and being fine.”

VeoRide

SOAR says “entrepreneurial experimentation” must be balanced with regulations for safety and the health and welfare of the public, and while SOAR supports electric mobility in general, “Streeterville’s diverse population and uses must be protected.”

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 25-Jun-19 5:01 AM

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