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Vote On Bloomington's Permanent Scooter Ordinance Delayed Again

Members of the City Council listen to petitioners.

The council will continue to deliberate and revisit the proposal at a May 15 hearing. (Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

The Bloomington City Council will wait another two weeks before taking a final vote a long-debated electric scooter ordinance.

The council debated a number of amendments to the ordinance Wednesday night but chose to postpone the vote to give themselves more time to deliberate.  

READ MORE: Council Debates Proposed Scooter Regulations

The council did vote in favor of some amendments, including expanding zones downtown where scooter users cannot operate and extending rental hours overnight.

Another hotly debated amendment proposes banning scooter parking on city sidewalks.

But City Attorney, Mike Rouker says the city would need to then provide hundreds of on street parking corrals for scooters in order to be in compliance with state statute.

House Bill 1649 requires a municipality to provide proximate alternative parking in any location where the municipality has banned sidewalk parking. 

"I don’t want to think about the extreme amount of licensing fees to we would have to charge to make this not be a tax payer subsidized initiative, I don’t know that it would even be worthwhile for any scooter companies to stick around," Rouker says.

The amendment’s sponsor Councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith says she supports keeping parked scooters off of city sidewalks to protect disabled pedestrians, even if that means challenging state regulations.

"I do not mind, because this is standing up for people’s civil rights, and that’s the way I view this," says Piedmont-Smith.

Another controversial amendment which would have banned users from riding on city sidewalks, failed by a 3-6 vote.

Councilmember Dorothy Granger says she plans to withdraw her amendment which proposes a cap on the number of shared-use scooters that can be deployed in the city.

The council will also hold off on a proposed amendment to designate a Bloomington Police Department officer to enforce the city’s new rules.

The council is scheduled to vote on the legislation May 15.

A Closer Look: Bloomington's Dismount Zones

The ordinance's amended language expands dismount zones for both scooter riders and bicyclists throughout the city. Once adopted, the ordinance prohibits use on sidewalks in the following areas:

Fourth Street from Indiana Avenue to the B-Line Trail

Kirkwood Avenue from Indiana Avenue to the B-Line Trail

Sixth Street from Indiana Avenue to the B-Line Trail

Indiana Avenue from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

Dunn Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

Grant Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

Lincoln Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

Washington Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

Walnut Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

College Avenue from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

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