Edmonton to crack down on illegal e-scooter sidewalk use with $100 fines Leave a comment


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The City of Edmonton is cracking down on the illegal use of electric scooters on sidewalks with increased enforcement where rule-breakers could receive a $100 ticket.

No tickets have been issued by city peace officers since e-scooters were first permitted on Edmonton streets back in 2019, but with increasing concerns about the rules constantly being broken, the city is changing its enforcement approach.

In a statement to Postmedia, city spokesman Derek Logan said peace officers will be taking a more active approach for the remainder of the season by issuing warnings and tickets, rather than strictly focusing on education for those breaking the rules. In the last three years, 59 warnings have been issued for bylaw violations.

Residents 18 or older are permitted to use e-scooters on bike lanes, shared pathways and roads with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h or less, but not on sidewalks.

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The city has received a slew of concerns from businesses in busy neighbourhoods, such as Downtown and Strathcona, about e-scooters being used on sidewalks and causing safety issues. Parking has also presented a challenge with some e-scooters found blocking business doors or sidewalks, causing accessibility issues on busy streets.

“We have heard concerns from the community regarding people riding e-scooters on sidewalks and parking in places that block sidewalks and doors. The city’s goal is to establish the safe and secure operation of e-scooters for users and the community,” Logan said in the statement. “For the remainder of the 2021 season, peace officers will be taking a more active approach by issuing warnings and tickets to e-scooters users riding on sidewalks. Enforcement campaigns will be conducted over the summer.”

With already about 2,500 e-scooters on Edmonton streets from three vendors, the city has also stopped accepting applications for new providers this season. A review is being conducted to determine the appropriate number of service providers for the city in the future, Logan said, taking into consideration the level of demand as well as safety and enforcement capacity. This means other interested companies can no longer apply this year to offer e-scooters, but also e-bike and bike-sharing programs that currently don’t exist in the city.

“This will allow current providers to focus their efforts on educating users on safe e-scooter use and will allow the city to maintain fleet sizes to a level that is consistent with other cities including Calgary, Kelowna, and Ottawa,” Logan said. “The city is working with e-scooter providers to determine a balanced approach to scooter volumes for the remainder of the 2021 season.”

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Old Strathcona Business Association executive director Cherie Klassen said these actions by the city are steps in the right direction to address the longstanding concerns of businesses in the core. Keeping the number of companies at three will allow business associations to work closely with them and ensure there is consistency with standards.

“Reducing the number of scooter companies and not allowing any more, that’s probably a good move so we could just work with the ones that are here and really work on some education and just changing it so there’s a better experience for everyone,” she said in an interview with Postmedia. “There probably needs to be more done on enforcement. If there aren’t any consequences to non-compliance, then why would people even bother trying to comply?”

Lime, Bird and Spin Mobility are the three e-scooter vendors currently approved to operate in Edmonton.

duscook@postmedia.com

twitter.com/dustin_cook3


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