City Blocking New Scooters, 100+ Complaints About Bad Riders
City pushing pause on scooter pilot program to push for less sidewalk riding.
The City of Milwaukee is blocking Lime and other companies from deploying additional electric scooters while it pushes for better compliance with the law.
“We are having some problems,” said Mayor Tom Barrett at a Friday afternoon press conference. “We want to make this work, but it is not going to work if we don’t have compliance with the law.” Chief among the issues is sidewalk riding, followed by parking in the middle of the sidewalk and riding the wrong way in bike lanes.
Barrett said the city has received well over 100 complaints already. Meanwhile, Lime, the only company authorized currently to have scooters on the city’s streets, has had approximately 5,000 riders take its 500 scooters for just under 25,000 rides since the vehicles arrived on July 23rd. The company has already requested to deploy more scooters, but the Department of Public Works has denied the request because of complaints.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Barrett about those that are following the law. “That’s the vast majority of people that used the scooters.” He characterized the offenders as a “small number of people that ruin this for everyone.” The Mayor said public education was needed to improve the experience for everyone.
But what about bad automobile drivers? The city has not proposed not allowing new drivers despite a wave of reckless driving. “I think the difference is this is clearly a pilot study,” said Barrett. “This is a safety issue, but this is also a quality of life issue.”
“It’s my hope that we will be able to work this out,” said Barrett. He said he wasn’t aware if the Milwaukee Police Department had issued any tickets for sidewalk riding, but would like to see the department focus its resources on higher priority issues. MPD is able to issue a fine ranging from $20 to $40 for a rider’s first offense.
How soon will the city make a decision to allow additional applicants to enter the market or Lime to deploy more scooters? Barrett said the decision would come in weeks, not months. Department of Public Works marketing and communications officer Brian DeNeve characterized Lime as a “responsive partner” and said the city would work with them to increase the visibility of the rules on the scooters themselves. The scooters currently display a no sidewalk riding message below the handlebars.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Transportation: Scooters Could Return To City In May - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 10th, 2021
- City Hall: Scooters Could Return to Milwaukee - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 30th, 2020
- Transportation: Lime Unveils ‘Group Ride’ Scooters - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 6th, 2019
- Transportation: Lime Debuts New Scooter - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 28th, 2019
- Transportation: Who Has the Cheapest Scooter? - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 14th, 2019
- Transportation: City Will Double Number of Permitted Scooters, Ends “Pause” - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 10th, 2019
- Transportation: City Blocking New Scooters, 100+ Complaints About Bad Riders - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 2nd, 2019
- Transportation: The Scooters Are Here! - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 23rd, 2019
- Transportation: Three Scooter Companies Apply to Operate in Milwaukee - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 19th, 2019
- Transportation: Scooters Legalized But Not on Sidewalks - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 9th, 2019
Read more about Bird vs Milwaukee Controversy here