San Antonio City Council tightens scooter rules
The City Council responded Thursday to complaints about the perceived chaos caused by e-scooters by voting 10 to 1 to modify - some would say abandon - its initial “light touch” on regulating the city’s dockless vehicles.
“My constituents hate them, just hate them,” said District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez. “I have the most conservative district in the city, where people are allergic to all regulation and they call me and beg for more regulation (of scooters).”
Roughly 6,500 scooters and bikes are now on San Antonio streets — which could balloon to 14,000 under permits already granted
The lone dissenter to the new rules was District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, an avid bicyclist, who called them “a step backwards” and asked rhetorically why the evils of automobiles weren’t drawing similar scrutiny.
The vote adopted most of the recommendations of a council committee on amending a six-month pilot program on scooters and e-bikes.
Among the new rules:
Dockless vehicles will only be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., in hopes of reducing the number of late-night accidents requiring EMS attention.
The city can identify areas where scooters must be temporarily removed for purposes of street and sidewalk maintenance, avoiding construction and not hampering special events.
Scooters parked in prohibited areas, such as Alamo Plaza or along the River Walk, may be collected by the city without warning.
A moratorium on the city granting new scooter permits.
A greater use of designated parking zones for the flocks of dockless vehicles.
City staff told the Council that after the pilot program ends in May it might want to consider additional modifications, such as increasing permit fees, regulating the speed of scooters, banning their use on sidewalks and requiring them to park in designated areas or corrals.
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Bruce Selcraig is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read his stories on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | BSelcraig@express-news.net