By Cecilia Chan, GSN Managing Editor
Town Council is set to tackle how to handle electric scooters that have popped up all over Gilbert.
Staff is expected to present options at the Jan. 22 study session.
“I’m very much wanting a temporary ban of these scooters,” Vice Mayor Eddie Cook said. “I think other council members want to do the same thing.”
Councilwoman Brigette Peterson said she hasn’t heard of the options yet to deal with the on-demand scooters.
“A temporary ban intrigues me,” she said. “It will give us time to figure out how Gilbert specifically would handle these different kinds of mobility. It will be interesting to see what options are possible.”
Some Mesa City Council members also have proposed an outright ban of scooters in their city.
There’s a number of electric scooter companies flooding communities across the country with their dockless scooters, but Bird, out of California, is one that is currently known to operate in Gilbert.
“There’s no doubt we are in favor of any business coming to Gilbert and setting up shop, but they’ve done things I don’t appreciate,” Cook said.
For instance, the company – without alerting the town – dumped its scooters in the public rights-of-way such as sidewalks, causing a nuisance, according to Cook.
“We’ve heard of accidents involving residents,” he added. “One accident is one too many.
“What I’ve noticed because they’ve done this, is it has taken up a lot of staff time and we have a lot of projects going on and it’s kind of a distraction,” he said.
He said the town is busy with working on its three parks, public parking garage and the 202 interchange.
The only thing on the town’s books dealing with electric scooters is a code that allows for their operation on public streets with posted speeds less than 25 mph.
Scottsdale recently adopted an ordinance regulating electric scooters, which include no parking the devices on public sidewalks and making it illegal for devices to remain at the same location on public property for more than 72 consecutive hours.
Recognizing the influx of these scooters and other modes for travel such as self-driving cars in town, officials recently released a poll asking the public to comment on the future of transportation in Gilbert.
The online poll, which ended Sunday, asked for the public’s opinion on electric scooters, dockless ride-share bicycles, autonomous vehicles and charging stations for electric vehicles. It also asked which of those modes of transportation they would use.
A group of residents was slated to protest Tempe City Council last Thursday because its regulations had no teeth.
“It’s not right to say that that Tempe is going to have regulations. The proposal has no regulations regarding safety – no speed limits, no places they can’t go, no insurance requirements. Nothing. It’s all about money,” said Brian Gratton, a member of Save Our Sidewalks, a group of residents fed up with the scooters.