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Bloomington issues electric scooter guidelines

Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 17:04:10-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The city of Bloomington has issued new guidelines on the use of electric scooters.

Bird scooters launched in Bloomington in September. At the time, officials said they did not plan to issue fines or violations to riders as other cities have done. Instead, they planned to closely monitor electric scooter use in the city and revisit the idea of creating rules if the scooters became an issue.

Other cities have ordinances in place restricting where electric scooters can be ridden. Indianapolis ordinances, for example, ban "motorized vehicles"  — including electric scooters — from being ridden on the sidewalks and trails. The city has also adopted a number of other regulations since the scooters made their debut.

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On Friday, the city of Bloomington tweeted that city officials are considering adopting an ordinance to regulate the use of electric scooters.



They also issued the following guidelines:

  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 multiuse trails, multiuse 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:
    1. Yield right-of-way to pedestrians,
    2. Pass pedestrians at a distance of at least three feet,
    3. Alert other vehicles and pedestrians in front of you with an audible signal before overtaking and passing them,
    4. Do not suddenly move into the path of an oncoming pedestrian or vehicle, and
    5. 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:
    1. Fourth Street from Indiana Avenue to Grant Street
    2. Kirkwood Avenue from Indiana Avenue to Morton Street
    3. Sixth Street from Walnut Street to Morton Street
    4. Walnut Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street
    5. 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.

The guidelines, which can be found on the city's website, also state riders who do not observe the guidelines may be subject to penalties.

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