Columbus City Council to vote on first step to bring electric scooters to Uptown

Columbus City Council to vote on first step to bring electric scooters to Uptown

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM)- Walking around in Uptown Columbus could be a thing of the past.

“There’s definitely been buzz about the scooter culture coming to Columbus,” said Columbus resident Cora King.

Columbus city leaders are planning to vote on a 180-day moratorium from the consolidated government’s planning department, which would not allow anyone with scooters to come into Columbus with a business license during that six-month time span. It’s to possibly bring electric scooters to the Fountain City at no extra cost to the city or taxpayers.

Some said it’s a good idea of having this new form of transportation in Columbus.

“I’m sure a lot of the kids from the college will get a good use out of it. A lot of people downtown would get a good use out of it,” said frequent Uptown visitor Harold Sullivan.

“It could be a good thing, but it would have to be regulated. I’ve heard about scooters being thrown in the river before, scooters being left in the wrong places and causing wrecks,” explained King.

They said it could come with some complications if approved.

“I think it could cause chaos. You would have to train people to use them,” said Alabama resident Gary Dokken.

If approved, there will be an age limit on the scooters, a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, and riders will be limited to roadways for travel.

“We don’t have anything per say, that actually governs how you use a scooter in Columbus right now. And that’s what we’re trying to make sure of right now. We need to make sure we have the regulations in place to provide for safety and for access,” said Columbus Director of Planning Rick Jones.

Jones said, if approved, on August 13, the planning department of city government will come back to Council to talk about a 90-day trial period. Jones said the big talking point is rider safety. After reports of fatalities and injuries in other cities, he said safety is a priority.

“In the long run Council may determine that this is not a good fit, that scooters are not allowed, that they are not a good fit for Columbus. They may say it’s a good thing for everybody,” Jones explained.

The first reading for the resolution was on July 23. The vote on the moratorium will be Tuesday July 30th.

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