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Proposal For Permanent Scooter Regulations Goes Before Bloomington City Council

Two electric scooters on the streets in Bloomington.

An online public scooter survey conducted in March yielded nearly 2,000 responses from local residents. (Tyler Lake, WTIU/WFIU News)

The Bloomington City Council is considering a proposal that would establish permanent regulations for electric scooter use.

During a hearing Wednesday night, the council reviewed the ordinance which outlines rules for licensing, operation and enforcement for any motorized scooter company that is deployed in Bloomington.

READ MORE: Scooter Survey Results

The city currently operates on an interim agreement between scooter companies Bird and Lime which was adopted last November.

A public scooter survey conducted in March yielded nearly 2,000 responses from residents and helped guide the development of the ordinance. Eight-two percent of survey respondents said a scooter ordinance should require riders to follow all traffic laws.

The proposed ordinance requires that the scooter companies obtain an operating license from the Board of Public Works. The board will also cap the number of scooters eligible to be deployed based on the number of active licenses. 

The new regulations would also prohibit riders from riding faster than 15 miles per hour, passing a pedestrian within three feet, or obstructing sidewalks or parking spaces while parking.

Users in violation could face a $20 fine for illegal scooter use and a maximum of $60 for illegal scooter parking. 

The public will have a chance to give feedback on the proposed ordinance during an April 10 council hearing.

OPERATION

When operating in the public right of way, a rider must:

- Yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian

- When passing a pedestrian, must pass at-least three feet away or dismount

- Not operate a scooter within an area of special event

- Scooters would also go offline between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

PARKING

- Riders may only park on a sidewalk if in an upright position, leaving a clear path to pedestrians (54 inches wide)

- Unless designated by a painted box, riders may not park on the street or in alleys

- Rider may not park on public property unless granted permission by the entity that has jurisdiction over that property

- Scooter companies must require scooter users to take a picture depicting the location of their parked scooter at the end of their ride

EQUIPMENT

- Must be equipped with bell or horn

- Must be equipped with front and rear lights and adequate brakes

- Helmet use is optional but encouraged. Per the ordinance, helmets would be made available at a local location which is to be determined by the Board of Public Works.

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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