Salt Lake Considers Changes For E-Scooters

Sep 17, 2019, 11:43 PM | Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 3:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – One year has passed with little-to-no regulations the e-scooter pilot program in Salt Lake City. Officials with the Salt Lake City Transportation Department said they have received hundreds of emails and phone calls asking for change. 

“So many people are riding scooters on the sidewalks, and a large majority of pedestrians don’t feel safe coming to downtown anymore,” said Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City Transportation director. “I recently had two ladies reach out to me who moved here to celebrate their golden years in this highly walkable environment. They tell me they regret it. They don’t feel safe because people are whizzing past them, full speed, on scooters.”

Currently Salt Lake City has four e-scooter vendors. Each vendor is allotted 200 scooters for downtown and dozens more for the outskirts of the city. It’s estimated more than 2,000 scooters are available in Salt Lake at any given time. 

“You have to ask the question, ‘how many vendors is too many?'” Larsen said. “We are strongly considering limiting it to one or two.” 

Salt Lake City officials have yet to pass a formal ordinance governing scooter providers, but they are putting some heat on vendors.

“They need to come up with proven methods to get their users to ride in bike lanes instead of sidewalks,” Larsen said. “The vendors who can succeed in this will secure a contract.”

RELATED: Safe in 60: Love Electric Scooters? Please Ride Responsibly

City officials said those riding scooters on sidewalks can currently be fined, but police have not focused on offenders.
Most of the scooters in Salt Lake are clearly marked, warning riders to stay off sidewalks.

Otto and Michele Stuart walked to the Broadway Cinema Tuesday night and recounted some previous close calls with scooters.

“It’s been very frightening; I have almost been hit by a scooter many, many times,” Michele Stuart said. “They don’t follow the rules or laws – they are on the sidewalk.”

Members of the Charron family enjoyed a night sightseeing on scooters and said they feel safer not riding on the roads.

“We are from Connecticut,” Kim Charron said. “We aren’t familiar with the roads here. I feel safer on the sidewalk. I always slow down when pedestrians are passing. My family and I don’t go flying by those we are sharing the sidewalk with because we don’t want to startle them.”

Local emergency room visits have skyrocketed in the past year due to scooter-related crashes – by as much as 160%, according to some reports.

“You can easily say that’s because there weren’t large amounts of scooters prior to last summer. Of course, the numbers will go up. These are minor injuries: broken wrists and noses. To address those problems, the mayor’s office is working on a ‘walk your wheels’ campaign to help inform people to use the bike lanes.”

Salt Lake City Council members are set to consider an ordinance regulating the scooters within the next few weeks. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Customers looking around for trees to purchase. (KSL-TV)...
Erin Cox

Utah farmers say real Christmas trees prices continue to rise

Utahns looking for a real Christmas tree may notice a few extra dollars to the price tag compared to past years.
1 day ago
West Valley City police at the scene of the crash on  3100 S 3200 W. (KSL-TV0...
Michael Houck

Three car crash closes road in West Valley City

A person was sent to the hospital in serious condition after a three-car crash on Saturday, according to West Valley Police.
1 day ago
Michael Houck

South Jordan police investigate suspicious death involving vehicle fire

South Jordan Police are looking into a "suspicious" death involving a vehicle fire that happened on Thanksgiving.
1 day ago
Local customers shop celebrate Small Business Saturday at Beehive Naturals (KSL-TV)...
Karah Brackin

Utah businesses see support during Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday marks a day to celebrate and support the small businesses in a community, many of which depend on the influx of shoppers coming in.
1 day ago
West Valley police officers respond as a protest at the West Valley City Police Department is disru...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah Man pleads guilty to pepper spraying Black Lives Matter protesters

A man pled guilty on Tuesday to hitting Black Lives Matter protesters with pepper spray at a demonstration in West Valley City in September 2020 as part of a plea deal.
1 day ago
A trash can fire that Mountain Green officials say is suspicious. (Mountain Green Fire Protection D...
Michael Houck

Mountain Green fire crews take down ‘suspicious’ trash can fire

First responders extinguished a burning trash can Friday evening, replicating a fire from a year ago in the Mountain Green area.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Salt Lake Considers Changes For E-Scooters