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Council Member Mary Cheh “introduced legislation to create new rules for electronic scooter/bike operators”

From CM Cheh’s twitter thread last night:

“Today, I introduced legislation to create new rules for electronic scooter/bike operators, users, and @DDOTDC. The first tweets on the bill focused on one particular provision, while the legislation is actually a rather broad bill with many components. (This is a long thread)

Electric scooters and bicycles produce multiple benefits for the District: reducing congestion and our carbon footprint, plus they’re fun for users. However, with these benefits have come significant challenges.

This technology is relatively new and we don’t have a safe electric scooter culture–users often weave around pedestrians at high speeds, don’t follow safety rules, ride while inebriated, and discard scooters in pedestrian walkways, private driveways, & handicap accessible ramps.

I’d like to share the main components of the bill that I hope will address some of those problems. First, the bill will require DDOT to clearly mark (with signage and/or ground markings) the boundaries of the Central Business District.

It is not fair to tell riders not to be on the sidewalk in the CBD without letting them know exactly where that boundary is. The bill will also require scooter operators to provide DDOT with their fleet, trip, and complaint data.

An important equity piece of the bill will be to require at least 10% of scooter/bike fleets be available in each Ward by 6 am every morning for resident access across the entire District.

The bill also, importantly, increases the current speed limit of 10 mph to 15 mph for scooters while on the street to allow scooter riders to better navigate and maneuver with traffic. On the sidewalk, that speed limit will be set lower at 6 mph.

The bill also establishes a pilot to create electric scooter exclusive parking locations. The speed limit for E-bikes will be raised to 20 mph while on the street.

A 24-hour toll-free phone number will be created for users and residents in order to report rider issues, speeding, and illegally parked scooters. Operators will also need to move their equipment within 3 hours of receiving complaints of obstruction or illegal parking.

And yes, the bill proposes to ban scooter use between 10pm and 4am in an effort to increase safety and reduce the risk of inebriated use. Based on today’s feedback, I expect to receive a lot of testimony on that particular provision.

There is more listed in the bill than I was able to cover here, and it is important to remember that an introduction is just the beginning of the conversation for what the final bill will be, most bills change (and improve) after the hearing process. (end)”


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