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Pittsburgh City Council Introduces Legislation To Regulate Electric Scooters

e-scooter transportation electric.JPEG
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Under newly proposed regulations, scooters would be limited to 15 miles per hour within city limits -- and riders couldn't use or park them on sidewalks.

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday introduced legislation that would regulate the speed and age of electric scooter users. The legislation would set a top speed of 15 miles per hour for scooters, and allow them only in areas where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.

The bill also keeps the scooters off sidewalks — a complaint that has echoed in some neighborhoods. The proposed rules require the scooters to be parked in either its designated spots, a vehicle parking spot, or adjacent to a bike rack. They are not allowed to be operated or parked on a sidewalk

Karina Ricks, the director of the city's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, said the legislation largely emulates new state rules, but with a couple of stricter changes.

"It’s basically taking what’s been passed in the fiscal code of the state and adopts it in the municipal code of the city," Ricks said. "There’s a few variations on it."

The state code says that operators must be 16 years old or older, as opposed to the city's minimum age of 18. The state also allows for the electric scooters to be used in 35 miles-per-hour zones, up from the city's limits of 25 miles per hour.

"We wrote it in a way that we want to be very transparent and clear so that people know what the rules are and have a chance at following them," Ricks said. "This is in effect, this just reiterates it in municipal code so that there can no excuse" for violations.

Ricks said police will be able to ticket people for violating the code.

"In theory they could have before, it’s just cleaner this way," she said.

Ricks said officials have received numerous complaints about the scooters, "but nothing out of scale for what we get for other modes of travel."

Corrected: September 8, 2021 at 9:24 AM EDT
This story was updated to correct the spelling of Karina Ricks' name.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Ariel finally made a “big move” 45 minutes down the interstate to the University of Alabama where she studied Journalism and International Studies. During her time in college she interned with Tuscaloosa News, a daily newspaper in her college town. After college, she got her first job back in her hometown with Birmingham Times, a weekly where she served as reporter and editor. Ariel made an even bigger move to Pittsburgh and joined the 90.5 WESA family as digital producer. She is adjusting to experiencing actual cold weather.