Stay in the Loop

Council Member Working To Reduce Scooter Hazards

Shared scooters and bikes have become popular ways to get around downtown Minneapolis without having to drive a car and look for a parking place.

But with more users ignoring the rules about where they can ride and park, Minneapolis city council member Michael Rainville has been gathering feedback to try and reduce the hazards they create.

“Scooters are here to stay, they’re very useful,” said Rainville. “But they also have to benefit everybody.”

One of the biggest issues is the tripping hazard caused by scooters being left in the middle of a sidewalk or driveway.

“I was very touched by a woman who talked about tripping over a parked scooter at the Farmers Market,” Rainville said. “She lost a tooth, she actually had to have a finger amputated because of the fall and was responsible for $12,000 in medical bills.”

The city is nearing the end of its contract with two companies that provide scooters. In the next contract, Rainville would like the companies to provide more racks, to make the parking situation more orderly.

Volunteers with the North Loop Neighborhood Association have also joined council member Rainville in trying to encourage users to stick to the bike lanes and not ride on the sidewalks.

“Ultimately it’s a positive, I think, to have scooters available in our neighborhood,” said board member Kristi Hamilton. “It helps feed the vibrancy, but also the riders need to be good neighbors. I hope we can influence better behavior.”

Scooters using the bike lanes should be going the same direction as the auto traffic. And it’s illegal to have more than one rider at a time on a scooter. Minneapolis has posted its scooter rules here.

It also helps to report issues with shared scooters and bikes, so the city will have a record of where most of the problems are happening.

To report a problem such as a scooter blocking a sidewalk, either call 311 or visit the city’s website here.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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