If 2018 was the Year of the Scooter, then 2019 might be the Year of Scooter Regulations.
The Atlanta City Council kicked off the new year by passing the new mandate that dictates how and where you can ride and park scooters and other dockless mobility devices.
The private mobility companies have a to-do list to remain in compliance as well. In addition to permit applications and operational fees, Bird, Lime, Uber and Lyft will bear the responsibility of developing creative and effective outreach programs to inform users about the scooter rules and regulations, such as staying off city sidewalks.
Shareable scooters and bikes have been a boon for many, providing a fun and convenient option for short trips. And yet, the proliferation of the dockless devices (and unsafe usage by some) has caused frustration for people on Midtown’s sidewalks in the past nine months.
A Midtown resident discovered this Bird scooter unceremoniously discarded last December when tensions around the unregulated devices were high. With the dockless device mandate now in effect, the focus has shifted to educating users on how to park and ride scooters safely without endangering pedestrians on sidewalks. | Photo submission to Midtown Alliance
The Midtown Guide to Using a Shared Scooter or Bike Like a Pro
The Rules for Riding
- No riding on sidewalks.
- Yield to pedestrians. Scooters are allowed on shared use pathways in Piedmont Park and along the BeltLine. Like cars and bikes, you must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
- The rules are not just for scooters. Remember, the regulations cover all “dockless mobility devices.”
The Rules for Parking
- Leave five feet for pedestrians. Park your scooters in the furniture zone. Don’t ever park in a street, bike lane, shared-use pathway, parking space or loading zone.
- Always park the scooters upright. Also, don’t block visibility or access to fire hydrants, benches, crosswalk buttons, manhole covers, or ADA ramps.
- Leave a healthy distance. No parking within eight feet of a bus stop or within five feet of a bike share station. That means you can’t park your Jump bike (dockless) at a Relay Bike dock.
The Unspoken Rules
- Wear a helmet.
- Only one rider at a time.
- Keep it under 15 mph. The scooters themselves are limited to 15 mph speeds. But if you catch a stiff breeze while going downhill, you may find yourself traveling at an unsafe speed.
Visit the City of Atlanta website for more information about shareable device regulations in Atlanta, including contact info for the dockless mobility companies.