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11/3/2018 11:57:00 AM
Bloomington officials: Treat scooters like bicycles
City of Bloomington Scooter Guidelines
Since electric scooter rental services started operating in Bloomington in September, we’ve had another way to get around town and explore our parks and trails. At the same time, this new mode of transportation is posing challenges to safety, accessibility, and aesthetics in our city.

While city officials are currently considering adopting an ordinance to regulate the use of electric scooters in Bloomington, we’ve developed the following guidelines from our municipal code in order to promote safety, civility, accessibility, and order on our streets, sidewalks, and trails while enjoying this new mobility option:

1. Scooters may be used in the street. Riders using scooters in the street must obey the rules of the road, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, signaling turns, and following the direction of traffic.

2. Scooters may be used on multi-use trails, multi-use paths, and on uncrowded sidewalks outside the city center. Riders using scooters on trails, paths, and sidewalks must observe the rules governing bicycles on these same routes, such as:

 - Yield right-of-way to pedestrians,

 - Pass pedestrians at a distance of at least three feet,

 - Alert other vehicles and pedestrians in front of you with an audible signal before overtaking and passing them,

 - Do not suddenly move into the path of an oncoming pedestrian or vehicle, and

 - Give particular consideration to avoid startling visually impaired pedestrians.

3. Do not ride scooters on sidewalks or in crosswalks marked “Dismount Zone” in the center of Bloomington, on the following streets:

 - Fourth Street from Indiana Avenue to Grant Street

 - Kirkwood Avenue from Indiana Avenue to Morton Street

 - Sixth Street from Walnut Street to Morton Street

 - Walnut Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

 - College Avenue from Fourth Street to Seventh Street

4. Ride with courtesy, respect, and caution. Helmet use is strongly recommended.

5. Follow the rules you accept with the rental agreement. For example, riders must be 18 years or older, the scooter may be used by the renter alone, and texting or other distracting behaviors are prohibited while riding.

6. Park the scooter in a bike rack or in another lawful spot on public property that does not block the right-of-way, limit access for individuals with disabilities, risk damaging private or public property, or jeopardize public safety.

Riders who do not observe these guidelines may be subject to penalties in the form of fines consistent with state law and the Bloomington Municipal Code. If we all make the effort to use scooters responsibly, these vehicles can enhance our mobility options and add to our fun in Bloomington for years to come.



Laura Lane, Herald-Times

City officials have decided that guidelines regulating bicycles will be used for the hundreds of pay-as-you-ride motorized scooters two companies dropped in Bloomington in September.

They can be ridden in the street, on multi-use trails and on most of the city’s sidewalks, except for those in the downtown core in what is called the “dismount zone.” Riders are expected to obey all traffic rules, including stopping at stop signs.

“What we have here are vehicles close enough to bicycles that they will be regulated like this for the time being,” city attorney Mike Rouker said this week. “But there’s no question that the city council may come in and set more rules if they continue to hear concerns.”

In 2017, the city amended the bicycle code to include electric-assisted bicycles and that the scooters are similar to those vehicles, Rouker said.

The recently released guidelines advise scooter riders to use “courtesy, respect, and caution,” and recommend the use of a helmet, although scooter riders seen around town are not wearing one.

The guidelines acknowledge that “this new mode of transportation is posing challenges to safety, accessibility, and aesthetics in our city” and that more regulation could come.

But until then, “we’ve developed the following guidelines from our municipal code in order to promote safety, civility, accessibility, and order on our streets, sidewalks, and trails while enjoying this new mobility option,” the preface reads.

One guideline says scooters must pass pedestrians with three feet of clearance on city sidewalks that are just 5-feet wide, sometimes less.

Mayor John Hamilton sometimes rides a scooter from his home to his office at City Hall. He and other city officials welcomed and have embraced the scooters, calling them a fun alternative for getting around town.

Related Links:
• Herald-Times full text

Related Stories:
• Purdue: $50 tickets coming for bad scooter riders
• EDITORIAL: Scooters, the environment and city rules
• EDITORIAL: No scooters on Indiana highways
• Scooter rules sought by Bloomington Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission
• Lime launches scooters: South Bend pilot project to last 45 days

Copyright #YYYY#, HeraldTimesOnline, Bloomington, IN






Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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