Scooters, some testify by their convenience and eco-friendliness, while others point out the nuisance it has become in cities all over the nation.
Regardless of what side you’re on, this new breed of transportation has proved it won’t be going away anytime soon. But could these work in Santa Clarita?
“This is a discussion that I’m sure is going to grow, and the answer falls under one word: responsibility,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.
Placement of electric scooters, launched by companies like Bird, Lime and Uber, are not allowed on sidewalks or parkway areas, according to Danny Rivas, community preservation manager with the city.
With an uptick of these small vehicles seen in areas of the Santa Clarita Valley, including at Soledad Canyon Road, Rivas said code enforcement had kept a watchful eye as some have been left lying around.
“We haven’t seen an issue like most of the beach cities have, but we have seen some already that were left on the city’s right of way,” said Rivas.
While no citations have been filed, he said, code enforcement officers have placed notices on the scooters notifying that they must be removed within 24 hours. If the scooters remain in the area, the department would then confiscated and store each for 90 days, where the company can later retrieve them.
The topic of the growing presence of these e-scooters has even reached the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. Earlier this week, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose district covers Santa Clarita, called for county agencies to study the impacts e-scooters and bikes have had on other cities and jurisdictions, and identify best practices to prevent the adverse effects on public safety.
“Use of these scooters may provide some users a convenient way to get around, but businesses are not allowed to set up shop in public rights of way without proper authorization, especially if they will have a potential impact on public safety,” Barger said in a statement.
The excitement has focused around Bird being a relatively new and greener tech, for some. “The city generally encourages innovative businesses and green transportation,” said SCV resident Kathy Christianson. “I hope that they will not just allow, but encourage and embrace all forms of electric transportation including electric scooters and electric bikes.”
The concern with any new breed of transportation is that the usage comes with an understanding of the need to obey the rules for the safety of all who use sidewalks and roads, Weste said.
“You cannot stop technology from coming,” she said. “We just have to see what, where, how and if it’s possible. I’m glad to hear that we have a community that’s forward-thinking with options.”