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Bloomington City Council Vote On Scooter Ordinance Pushed To July 31

Scooter riders travel down the B-line trail.

The council plans to revisit the ordinance at their July 31 regular session hearing. (WTIU/WFIU News)

Bloomington City Council members will wait until the end of July to consider adopting a newly revised motorized scooter ordinance.

This comes after weeks of discussion and a series of postponed votes on the hotly debated regulations. But, council members say they still need more time.

The proposed ordinance sets new guidelines for scooter operation throughout the city and also comes with more than ten amendments.

Among the amendments, a proposal to keep sidewalks clear of parked scooters remains a topic of discussion as the council continues to seek alternative parking options out of the pedestrian right-of-way.

City Attorney Mike Rouker says Bloomington is prepared to crack down on scooter companies who aren’t compliant with the city’s standards.

“If you want to operate your business in our right of way, we are going to require that you keep our right of way clear," Rouker says. "And we are going to be extremely thorough about enforcing that. We have to be. We have no other choice.”

Rouker says the city is looking to contract with an outside company called Sweep, which would cost the city $140,000 dollars annually to monitor the scooters. This would include active patrolling and impoundment.

Alex Freeman is the General Manager with scooter company Lime in Indiana. He says employing an outside contractor could threaten scooter companies in the city.

“Their business model is relying on people misbehaving and their incentives are therefore not aligned with the success of a mobility program, because their business depends on people doing the wrong thing,” Freeman says. 

Council President Dave Rollo says he hopes the council will reconsider his amendment banning scooters from operating on sidewalks entirely which failed by a 3-6 vote.

The council voted to further deliberate on the ordinance and postpone a final vote until a July 31 regular session hearing.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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