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Park City Council Says E-Scooters Are Low Priority

E-scooters and similar new transit devices may be coming over the horizon to Park City. Given that, the City Council was asked last week if they want to develop policies for the scooters.

The consensus from Council at last week’s session was that it’s a good idea, but not a high priority.

City council member Becca Gerber talked to KPCW about the current legal status of e-scooters.

“So right now, they are prohibited within Park City. We have our Summit County bikeshare program that is allowed. Any of those businesses, these are the e-scooters or the e-bikes that are the dockless ones, like Lime or I think there’s one called Bird that you see in other communities. They would have to ask permission to come into the city and if they just showed up, we would be able to take them out because they are prohibited to operate right now. There could potentially be opportunities for them to solve some issues for us in the future. Done well and done right and if we can take a look at what other communities that are using them wisely have done maybe there’s an opportunity for them here.”

During the council discussion, Tim Henney said he has mixed feelings.

“Conceptually I like the whole idea. I think it comes with a lot of baggage. Right now our positions is we don’t allow it. I put it on the backburner, low priority but worth thinking about and preparing for. We do want to be prepared for someone who drops in on us. But boy, I think the lessons that I’ve learned from those places that are free-ranging is these things can be a disaster. So let’s keep in mind the potential cost to the community and at the same time the potential opportunities for different modes of transportation. To me, it’s a low priority but something that we’ve got to keep our eye on.”

Nan Worrell said there’s also a health and safety issue.

“Because there’s been a big outcry from physicians nationwide about the number of head injuries they’re seeing related to this and I think that’s an important part of the discussion.”

Council member Steve Joyce said maybe the easiest way to deal with the issue is to ask—will they work in this community.

“We have narrow sidewalks, we have bumpy sidewalks. Do you put them in the streets? Do you put them on the sidewalks? Can they get up the hills and that kind of thing. Before you get into all the how would we roll it out and enforce it and safety and all that stuff. I would just do kind of the fundamental is there even a good way to have these things functioning safely in town? With car traffic, or pedestrian traffic or that kind of thing and if the answer is no then we’re done. You don’t have to worry about how much it’s going to cost because we don’t care.”

Mayor Andy Beerman said that the staff would be directed to come back with some ideas by the late winter.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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