Two people sharing one motorized scooter is against the current ordinance and could warrant a ticket for the users. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The City Council on May 22 voted down an emergency ordinance that would ban motorized scooters on the boardwalk from Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach to the jetty in South Mission Beach, as well as oceanfront paths in La Jolla.
“I honestly thought this was a no brainer, but clearly I was wrong,” said District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf (who proposed the emergency ordinance) after the City Council vote. “Anywhere else in the city we’re not asking for this, just at the boardwalk, and just for the same rules that apply to the sidewalks.”
“San Diego has embraced this innovative and green technology,” said Maya Rosas, policy director for Circulate San Diego. “A vote to ban scooters in our iconic boardwalks would have been a step in the wrong direction on the City’s road to get more people walking, biking, scooting, and taking transit.”
The City Council sent the issue back to a subcommittee for further discussion.
“We’ve issued 27 citations for running a motorized scooter on a sidewalk, 182 citations for motorized riders without helmets, and issued seven citations for someone riding with a passenger on their scooter,” said SDPD Northern Division Capt. Tina Williams last week. Public service announcements will be forthcoming to educate the public on where motorized scooters can and cannot ride legally, she added.
“Speed is the main problem,” said Mission Beach Town Council president Gary Wonacott last week. “We have the summer coming. We know there are going to be a lot more people on the boardwalk.”