Regulating Scooters in Cities

Bird electric scooter parked outside of College of Law building

January 30, 2019 from 4:10-5:30 p.m.

College of Law, 85 Park Place, Room 346

Walking around GSU campus any day of the week, you are bound to see countless parked electric scooters and numerous people riding scooters.  In fact, according to Bird, the largest scooter company, Atlanta ranks number two for scooter users, behind San Diego.

Considering that 40% of car trips are less than 2 miles, scooters provide an excellent option for traveling short distances, and even help promote public transit ridership, providing the answer to how to get from the transit stop to your destination.

However, cities across the country cite many problems with electric scooters:  scooters dropped haphazardly on sidewalks blocking access; scooters darting across roads and whipping by pedestrians on sidewalks; upticks in ER visits; and scooters even being dumped in lakes and rivers.

Although the number of scooter related injuries have not been formally tracked in Atlanta, Grady Memorial Hospital estimates that it sees 20-30 injuries per month, and Piedmont Atlanta estimates 40 injuries.  Injuries range from head injuries to facial lacerations to broken wrists and shoulder separations, among others.

Cities across the country have been taking action in regulating scooters.  Some cities have banned them completely until there are regulations in place, such as Boston, Seattle, Birmingham and even Athens-Clarke County in Georgia.

Earlier this month and in advance of the Super Bowl, the City of Atlanta made a first step in regulating scooters.  Join the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth and the Center for Law, Health and Society on Wednesday, January 30th for an Urban Fellows lecture by Jonathan Futrell (LLM ’18), City of Atlanta attorney, as he discusses the new ordinance, what factors were considered in drafting it, and how it will be enforced.  This program is open to all faculty and students across GSU.

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Johnston at kjohnston3@gsu.edu or Stacie Kershner at skershner@gsu.edu.

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