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Cleveland State University bans leaving Bird electric scooters on campus

August 20, 2018

Cleveland State University bans leaving Bird electric scooters on campus

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland State University will not allow Bird electric scooters on its property, according to an email sent out to faculty, staff and students.

The email was sent Monday morning and signed by chief financial officer Stephanie McHenry. In it, McHenry wrote that the university has sent a letter to the company that operates the scooter rentals (Bird Ride) requesting immediate removal.

Any scooters that are not removed will be stored until the company comes to collect them. Bird representatives retrieved three scooters from CSU this morning, though the number taken from property could have increased since then, university spokesman William Dube said. 

CSU’s main campus is located in downtown Cleveland, where the scooters were dropped on August 10. The same day the city of Cleveland issued a statement demanding Bird Ride remove the scooters from the city, though in the weeks following the scooters remained. 

Scooter advocates say the city too quickly dismissed the scooters, and Cleveland city council member Kerry McCormick tweeted that he was meeting with Bird about how to keep the scooters. 

Thank you @BirdRide staff for meeting with me today to discuss a path forward to permanent scooters in #Cleveland! (photo model: Franklin the dog) pic.twitter.com/SlpdF5mnK2— Kerry McCormack (@KerryMcCormack1) August 14, 2018

Sidewalks on CSU’s campus are city property. The area around campus buildings is CSU’s property and campus employees remove them. The email sent out specifies Bird scooters, but Dube said the policy will likely apply to any electric scooters. 

University officials debated allowing the scooters to remain on the campus following the city’s statement. After seeing safety incidents in other cities and the city policy, Dube said the university sent the letter to Bird Ride on Friday, August 17. 

The university made the decision before a fatal electric scooter crash late Saturday night. The woman killed was riding a green Icon Q electric scooter that she rented from Ray’s Scooter Rental and was hit by a driver who admitted he snorted heroin shortly before the collision, police reports say. 

McHenry wrote in the email that the university’s number one concern is safety and that numerous cities around the country, including Cleveland, have banned the scooters. 

Dube noted the university partners with University Hospitals on a ride-share bike program which allows students to rent bicycles to ride on campus.

Read the full text of the email below: 

Dear students, faculty and staff, 

I am writing to update you on the University’s response to the recent unauthorized placement of electric “bird” scooters on campus. The University has sent a letter to the company that operates the scooter rentals requesting the immediate removal of these vehicles. We will be storing those that still remain on CSU property until they are retrieved by the company.

Given the safety issues with these rentals, numerous cities across the country, including Cleveland, have banned their use and cautioned individuals not to utilize them on sidewalks and city streets. Our number one concern is your safety. Please use your best judgement to decide whether to ride these scooters.

To help us in our efforts to protect the campus, please report any scooter rental stations or parked scooters on campus to CSU Facilities Management at (216) 523-7585.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Stephanie McHenryChief Financial OfficerSenior Vice President for Business Affairs & FinanceCleveland State University

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