It’s hard to avoid spotting a scooter downtown these days but the city has now taken action to regulate where they can go.
The six-month pilot program is designed to create rules as more and more companies bring scooters into San Antonio.
The new city ordinance addresses the dangers that pedestrians face as a result of the new scooters. Some of the rules include an age limit, allowing scootering for ages 16 and up, with helmets encouraged but not required. Also, people can only scoot on roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or slower.
Scooting on sidewalks will still be allowed.
"But if you are on a sidewalk, you have to yield to pedestrians, and that means not only avoiding them but also maintaining two feet of clearance from them,” said John Jacks, the Director of the Center City Development and Operations Department."
As for parking, scooters will be allowed on sidewalks as long as there is a three-foot clearance for pedestrians. Riders would need to park set distances away from bus stops and building entrances. And blocking entryways would not be allowed.
"No parking on curb ramps and intersections, things that would be a conflict for someone in a wheelchair, for example," Jacks added.
Right now, three scooter companies operate in San Antonio. Bird has the largest number of scooters in town with 1,700. Lime has 850 scooters throughout the city. Blue Duck, the latest to arrive in San Antonio, has 453 scooters. That's a total of over 3,000 scooters in the Alamo City.
After the six-month pilot program ends, the city will take a look at staff time and cost related to the program, violations, 3-1-1 calls, accident reports, usage and trip data, and stakeholder input from vendors and riders.
"Really get a better understanding and idea of how they operate, how they are impacting the city, and then come back in six months with a revised recommendation,” Jacks said.
The pilot program officially goes into effect next Friday.