Councilman considers changes for electronic scooter safety

There's a new way to get around downtown Lexington! Lime is launching electric scooters. (WKYT)
There's a new way to get around downtown Lexington! Lime is launching electric scooters. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 8, 2019 at 10:40 PM EST
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City council members are looking at ways to change electronic scooter laws just weeks after Lime and Spin launched in Lexington.

Currently, the rules call for all e-scooters to be ridden on the street in bike lanes, but after two major scooter and car crashes, one being fatal, Councilman Josh McCurn wants to take the city's 400 pair of wheels and allow the scooters access to sidewalks outside of the downtown district.

As it stands, e-scooters are considered non-motorized vehicles, so they're treated like cars, but McCurn wants e-scooters to be treated more like bikes and allow them to be ridden on sidewalks, which people are illegally doing now.

David Sermersheim lives and works downtown and said he supports the proposed change and doesn't think it would cause much disruption.

"You have people walking around, you can have a scooter driving around," he said.

McCurn said the change would affect streets like Manchester and Chevy Chase, not Main or Vine Streets.

Some are questioning if the sidewalks are wide and smooth enough to accommodate foot and scooter traffic.

"The sidewalks are more bumpy, I think you have a more likely chance of losing control," said Nestor Tuduri, who uses e-scooters regularly.

But McCurn said he doesn't foresee issues with foot and pedestrian traffic.

"We don't see a lot of people walking on sidewalks but we do see a lot of traffic," he said.

He admitted that especially in older parts of Lexington, sidewalks are more narrow and less likely to be updated, but, he said he sees this as an opportunity for positive transportation change.

"We are more of a driving-friendly city and we are working our way to becoming more of a bike-friendly city," McCurn said.

He said he will propose a discussion on this amendment at Tuesday's city council meeting.

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