It's now yet clear how Columbus police will enforce new regulations on eletronic scooters and bicycles that City Council is expected to approve this coming Monday.
Police aren’t ticketing riders yet and a ban on bicycles on sidewalks is rarely enforced. Assistant Columbus Safety Director Cathy Collins notes the proposed legislation would add scooters to those existing laws, but enforcement likely will be lenient early on.
Collins made her comments Tuesday at a public hearing on the proposed legislation. Frank Williams of the Department of Public Safety says the proposal places a 20 mph speed limit on scooters, bans them from freeways, bans them from parking that blocks pedestrians, and requires riders to wear a helmet.
The measure also codifies last week's emergency order banning the devices from sidewalks, from roads with a speed limit higher than 35 mph. The city previously created rules requiring the operating companies to purchase permits and provide real-time usage data. 14 people spoke Tuesday, and most were supportive. Alternative transportation advocates said more dedicated infrastructure is needed. Those include a spokesperson for the group Yay Bikes, and former Columbus Transportation and Pedestrian Commission member Mark Conte.
Doug Arseneault of the Central Ohio Transit Authority said the agency supports the legislation but would like to see dedicated parking for the devices.
The scooters appeared suddenly over the summer, and the city has been working on new rules ever since.