Community planners vetting the issue on Oct. 24 followed unanimous approval that day of a City Council committee’s endorsement of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed new regulations of dockless scooters.
PBPG board member Eve Anderson and community activist Marcie Beckett presented numerous proposed additions to the mayor’s framework.
“Scooter companies are using our infrastructure and not paying for anything,” contended Beckett, who’s been documenting widespread law violations by local scooter riders. “Each scooter should have a license plate, and riders should be required to scan their driver’s license each time they ride to prevent use by underage riders” (Bird scooter riders are required to scan their driver’s licenses).
Becket issued a handout with a laundry list of suggestions for new scooter regulations that included: cost-recovery fees from companies to provide law enforcement; company fees for bike/scooter lane development and maintenance; citations and fines for adults unlocking scooters for underage riders; and citations/fines for scooter companies whose vehicles block ADA ramps, sidewalks, businesses or private property.
Group chair Henish Pulickal said other cities have employed high-tech to control scooters. “If you don’t park it in designated areas, it won’t turn off,” he said. “It keeps running.”
“We need to limit the number of scooters in any community,” Anderson added.
“Proper parking for these is a big sore point,” said board member RJ Kunysz.
“What we actually need is a per-mile use fee for each vehicle accessed,” said board member Jason Legros. “That is the only way we can keep up with the impact of scooters.”
“The mayor’s framework is a first step,” said board member Karl Rand.
“Tracking them needs to be refined,” added board member Jim Morrison.
Board colleague Ed Gallagher noted, “[Scooters] should be able to slow down. The technology is there. [Dockless] bikes also shouldn’t be left on the sidewalk at night to get knocked over.”
Audience member Chris Brewster gave a hotline number, 866-205-2442, people can call to get scooters fetched from in front of their properties.
Board member Kristin Victor suggested scooter regulations ought to be part of a broader discussion of transportation safety to include bicycles and cars.
In other action
SDMTS transportation planner Peter Casellini updated the group on a feeder bus study underway for the Mid-Coast light rail extension from Old Town to University City serving nine new stations, including Pacific Beach/Clairemont. Casellini fielded numerous questions from board members and residents.
MTS is developing a plan for adjusting bus service to better serve the new Trolley extension. Mid-Coast Trolley construction began in fall 2016 and service is anticipated to begin in 2021.
Casselini said SDMTS is hosting regional workshops on the future Mid-Coast interconnection between buses and trolley.
A workshop was held Oct. 29 at PB Rec Center.