Scooters Banned From Downtown
About 30% of riders found to be riding on sidewalks, triple the limit authorized by city.
At least temporarily, you will no longer be able to start a trip on a dockless scooter in downtown Milwaukee.
A third-party consultant found that 30% of riders in the city-designated Zone 1 were riding on the sidewalk, tripping a legislative provision that prohibits scooters in the greater downtown zone if sidewalk riding exceeds 10%.
Scooter usage will still be allowed in the rest of the city. The rentable scooters, accessible on a per-minute basis with a smartphone application, are provided by companies under a city pilot study.
The oddly-shaped Zone 1 is roughly bordered by W. Vliet St. and E. Ogden Ave. on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, W. National Ave. and Interstate 94 on the south and N. 22nd St. on the west.
It includes the entirety of the East Town, Westown and Historic Third Ward neighborhoods as well as the Marquette University campus west to N. 22nd St., Walker’s Point neighborhood east of Interstate 94 and north of W. National Ave., and Prospect and Farwell avenues north to E. Brady St.
Approximately 27% of the 298,000 trips taken in 2021 originated in Zone 1.
The council-adopted pilot study, which expires November 15, does not include language on how to restore scooter usage once the 10% threshold is tripped. The provision was included at the request of Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents much of the Zone 1 area.
“DPW continues to fully support greater micromobility and multimodal transportation options,” said Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Polenske in a statement. “DPW will continue to work with stakeholders, operators, elected officials and the public in hopes of safely resuming new trips and scooter deployment in Zone 1.”
The consultant, hired by the Department of Public Works and paid for by a fee assessed to the scooter companies, monitored 15 intersections for 15 total hours over a two-week period in late June and early July.
A city-conducted study in 2019 found 17.2% of riders to be on the sidewalks. The city did not authorize any scooter operators in 2020.
Since their initial deployment, the scooter companies have rolled out new sidewalk-riding detection and deterrence features. “With additional education and outreach combined with this ever evolving technology, DPW is hopeful for reductions in sidewalk riding,” said DPW in a statement issued Tuesday morning.
The new pilot program allows each company to deploy up to 1,000 scooters across the city, but with a limit of 100 scooters each in the downtown area (Zone 1). The city is divided into seven zones.
Parking is required to be on sidewalks that are more than five feet wide. The companies, using geofencing technology, are required to not allow scooters to be parked in Lakeshore State Park, the Milwaukee RiverWalk and other designated areas. The vehicles automatically turn off when entering a prohibited area.
DPW estimates that fees from the study could bring in up to $350,000. A $25-per-scooter fee and $0.15-per-trip fee are being collected by the city. An additional $10 per scooter is being imposed to hire the consultant.
- Transportation: Scooters Banned From Downtown - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 3rd, 2021
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- 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
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- 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
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