FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Electric motorized scooters are rolling into town this summer.
In April, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 1015, which created the Electric Motorized Scooter Act.
It authorizes the distribution of electric motorized scooters and scooter-share programs throughout the state.
Before the law goes into effect July 24, city officials drafted an ordinance proposal for local regulation.
“There has been interest from both Lime and Bird, and VeoRide,” says Peter Nierengarten, Environmental and Sustainability Director for the City of Fayetteville. “Rules state you can’t block a sidewalk, you can’t block access to a building, you can’t impede ADA access. Can’t block trails.”
In September 2018, Fayetteville introduced the first bike-share program in Northwest Arkansas. Vandalism has been a challenge with VeoRide, but extra security will hopefully cut down on it for E-scooters.
“We’re trying to put some video cameras up in places to try and do better monitoring on problem areas,” Nierengarten said. “Scooters can be ridden basically wherever a bike can be ridden. In a bike lane, a trail, a street.”
The proposed ordinance allows for up to 1,000 E-scooters in the city. Each E-scooter is limited to a speed of 15 miles per hour.
“I like the fact that you can quickly pay for it, and jump on and get to where you’re going,” says Fayetteville visitor Garrett Endicott.
Others agreed. “It’s a good idea, especially for a college town where everyone is walking around anyways, might as well have something they can get transport — and not just a bus system,” Derek Rihkonen added.
E-scooter operators would be able to implement no-ride and slow-ride zones to govern down the speed of how fast a scooter can operate in certain areas.
“As much as we can encourage those types of technology solutions that help people have access to different choices, so they can get out of their cars — we’re supportive of that, but we want to make sure we have the proper rules in place,” Nierengarten said.
The ordinance will go before the Fayetteville City Council on Tuesday.