DENVER — A Denver City Council committee will consider a rule change Tuesday that would switch where rentable electric scooters are allowed to ride.
According to a city ordinance, these scooters are considered toy vehicles right now, so they are supposed to stay on the sidewalks only.
“Safety is our number one priority,” said Denver Public Works spokesperson Heather Burke. “Since the pilot program has begun, we've heard from a lot of people concerned about people riding scooters on the sidewalk.”
Many of these scooters can go up to 15 mph, which some residents say is too fast to be in the same area as pedestrians.
Denver Public Works has proposed a rule change to try to solve this problem.
Here’s how the proposed change would work:
- E-scooters would be required to ride in bike lanes when they are available
- If bike lanes are not available, e-scooters are allowed in the street, but only if the speed limit is 30 mph or less
- If the speed limit is above 30 mph and there is no bike lane, e-scooters can ride on the sidewalk at 6 mph or slower
States like California already allow these scooters to ride in the bike lanes. A class action lawsuit out of Los Angeles is still moving though the court system after several people were injured by the scooters.
A city council committee will hear the proposal on Tuesday. If it passes, it will head to the full city council for a vote.
It the city council decides to approve the new rules, the changes could go into effect as early as January.