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Summit County Council Weighs-In On E-Scooter Ban

After a discussion Wednesday, the Summit County Council directed their staff to come back with proposed code language that will clearly prohibit e-scooters.

Council Member Kim Carson talked to us Thursday about some of the factors that led to their consensus.

On the surface, it seems like e-scooters could help with what’s called “first-mile transit.” That is, residents in neighborhoods like Jeremy Ranch, Pinebrook or Silver Springs could use the scooters to get to bus stops.

But Carson said there are a number of complications.

“While people can use them within their neighborhood, if they have a privately-owned one,” Carson continued. “these commercial companies generally look for highly-populated areas where they’d be able to be used quite easily, and we don’t see these as being a good—I doubt they can go uphill adequately in the Pinebrook and Jeremy Ranch neighborhoods. Or that there would be enough use for them in neighborhoods like Silver Springs. Then if you take them to a bus stop, are you just going to throw them in somebody’s yard? It’s not like there’s public sidewalks where—even that’s not great where you just leave them out on sidewalks, which occurs quite often down in Salt Lake.”

The area where they might be utilized, she said, is Kimball Junction.

“We’re already hearing complaints about capacity on some of those trails, and conflicts between users such as bikes and walkers, especially people that are out walking their dogs,” Carson explained. “There’s a lot of curves on that particular trail. As far as within the interior of the Kimball Junction area, there’s just with that car traffic, right now in its current design, it might not be that conducive to them”

Carson said they’re not closing the door to re-considering the scooters at some future date.

“We may see in the future, if we get a proposal from a particular company and they feel they have something that can work and can help meet our goals, then I think we would, we could possibly reconsider,” Carson said. “We had that conversation last night, as technology changes, and needs and active transportation strategies change. But for right now we don’t feel it would be a good complement for what we currently have. Another—I mean, there’s some real basic concerns. We can’t require people to wear helmets. The number of ER visits has just gone up dramatically. They’re made pretty poorly, very poor-quality construction, so they’re almost disposable. I don’t think that’s something we want to promote either.”

Carson said the prohibition would be county-wide, but individual cities can make their own decisions.

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