Council Approves Trial Scooter Regulations

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

Downtown has become the 'Wild West' due to the introduction of those dockless electric scooters, and today City Council moved to bring some law to the 'Wild West,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The new regulations which were approved this morning, will be in place for a six month trial period.

The ruled urge scooters to use bike lanes.  If there is no bike lane available, scooters can use the street, if the speed limit on the street in less than 35 miles an hour, or they can use the sidewalk.If using the sidewalk, scooter operators have to 'in all cases' yield to pedestrians, going so far to require scooters to remain two feet away from all sidewalk pedestrians. 

The person operating the scooter has to be 16 years old, and riders are encouraged to wear a helmet.  State law prohibits the city from mandating helmets.

Scooters will be banned from Alamo Plaza, the Riverwalk, and Main Plaza and La Villita.

The scooters will also be banned in city parks, or on the city's hiking and walking trails.

There are also regulations barring the scooters to be left within eight feet of a bus stop or a loading zone,  in building entryways and driveways, and within four feet of parking meters, and other facilities that require 'pedestrian access.'

All scooters also have to be equipped with a bell or horn, and if they are going to be used after dark, they have to have a headlight.

The companies that operate the scooters will also have to register with the city and pay a $500 fee, plus an annual $10 permit fee per scooter.

The companies will also have to have a manager resident in San Antonio to manage operations and to field complaints from the city and from riders.

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