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LA could join the scooter ban wagon while city sorts out rules

FILE: Young women ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018.
FILE: Young women ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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The city of Los Angeles could be the latest to ban Bird scooters, at least temporarily. The dockless devices have multiplied on city streets and so have the complaints, prompting city officials to take action.

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz this week took a cue from cities like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood that have banned the scooters. Koretz proposed doing the same in L.A. until rules are in place, and he got support from other council members like Mitch Englander.

"You know this is a disruptive technology and disrupt is certainly what it’s doing to a lot of communities," Englander said.

But not everyone agrees. Councilman Mike Bonin says the devices are offering an important new way for people to get around and banning the devices is unnecessary.

"There are many, many laws already on the books that address many of the issues we’re hearing about," said Bonin.

For instance, the state prohibits riding motorized vehicles on sidewalks and sanitation workers can remove anything blocking public access.

Bonin said his council Transportation Committee has already approved regulations that could go into effect in as little as a couple of weeks, should the full council approve.

Councilman David Ryu, who originally proposed regulating dockless devices last year, also pushed the council to move forward with the regulations instead of a ban:

 

A representative for Bird scooters said in an emailed statement the company was actively working with the city to craft regulations:

"We understand the issues raised by the council member who put forth the proposal, and we will continue to work closely with policy makers to address safety concerns as the permitting structure is developed."