You won’t find dockless e-scooters on West Hollywood’s streets anytime soon. Councilmembers in the popular tourist city recently approved a strict ban on the new transportation devices that are sweeping the nation.
This vote, which took place on July 9th, 2018, was an almost unanimous victory at four councilmembers for the measure and only one against. According to this ban, West Hollywood will charge any company that has their e-scooters illegally parked within its city limits.
One of the key reasons so many councilmembers supported this bill has to do with West Hollywood’s infrastructure. There currently aren’t many bike-only lanes on the city’s streets, which means e-scooter riders will be forced to ride dangerously close to traffic or on sidewalks.
Many West Hollywood councilmembers are worried about safety issues related to parking e-scooters in hazardous areas like pedestrian walkways. This is of particular concern in places with many elderly and visually impaired residents.
Another issue West Hollywood leaders had with e-scooters was how rental companies like Lime and Bird dumped their devices in many cities without getting consent from city leaders. Both of these California-based companies are guilty of sending in their devices to cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles without the consent of City Council.
Many younger residents in West Hollywood turned up at City Council to show their opposition to this ban. Protestors argued e-scooters are an affordable and eco-friendly transportation option that’s ideal for urban environments.
People who opposed this ban urged city lawmakers to at least consider supporting an e-scooter trail program in the future. Many American cities have already successfully implemented these e-scooter trials with companies like Spin, Bird, and Lime.
In response to these protestors, a few West Hollywood councilmembers said they would meet with DOT leaders to explore ways they could make the city’s roads more e-scooter-friendly. Some city leaders also suggested creating e-scooter drop-off locations in certain businesses.
To better understand the legality of e-scooters in the Golden State, please visit this webpage put together by UCLA.