Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego finally made a proposal to better regulate scooters in the city of San Diego following complaints from locals. The scooter issues in San Diego had begun to create something of a problem, particularly due to the lack of restrictions. Now, dockless scooters will have speed laws and ridership data sharing regulations throughout the city.
Rental scooters are a common pedestrian favorite for transportation around the city, but at 15 mph as a max speed, they can be quite the hazard when not properly moderated. The scooters were becoming a bit of an issue on city sidewalks, a fact which was breached by city councilmembers as of late.
The Call for Better Scooter Management
San Diego’s Mercy Hospital shared the city councilmember sentiments last year when the largely unmoderated scooters began causing some public health issues. Injuries caused by the vehicles have been growing in number and the hospital decided to start tracking them in September in the hopes that it might jog city officials into action on the matter.
San Diego has been slow to implement any laws or restrictions around the scooters, much slower than other California cities, which put regulations in place early to avoid collisions and injuries. It appears that the call for better scooter management came because of the suddenly popularity of these dockless recreational vehicles, which were used few and far between in the past.
The Newest Restrictions
The laws which are being put to the vote regarding the scooters include speed limits of 8-miles per hour, no matter how fast the scooter can physically go. This is particularly important along boardwalks, such as those on La Jolla, Pacific and Mission beaches where pedestrians have made complaints. Other areas which may face similar limits include Balboa Park, Liberty Station NTC Park, Mission Bat Park, San Diego Convention Center, and more.
Some are calling for even more structure including restricting the scooters from public sidewalks where they have been traveling thus far. Unfortunately, due to San Diego’s slow move into the bike-friendly future, bike lanes are still only a dream in many parts of the city, making it impossible for bikers and scooter users to travel safely along the side of the road and forcing them up onto the sidewalks. While the people of San Diego want bikers to be safe, this transfer onto the sidewalks is making it dangerous for walkers and joggers who have a legal right to the walkways.
Implementing bike lanes could solve much of the hype and issue surrounding the scooters, although a speed law will also make a difference and shouldn’t be abandoned should the call for bike lanes be heard.
Whether this latest proposal will be agreed to is yet to be seen, but the movement has sparked citywide support, especially among pedestrians. With mounting protests, hospital injury records, and unhappy sidewalk users making themselves heard, the city may have no choice but to take action against the scooters and their users in some other form should the proposal fall through. Only time will tell.