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

Local News

A photo of a tree blown over in a park in a Nephi from high winds on March 2, 2024, (Craig Oswald)...

Brianna Chavez

Strong winds leave behind damage across Utah

From uprooted trees to flying trampolines, most of the state experienced strong wind gusts that left behind damage for many.

2 hours ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Mark Jones

18-year-old arrested for alleged involvement in a shooting death of another person

A 18-year-old man has been taken into custody by police in connection to a shooting late Friday night in South Salt Lake that left one person dead.

5 hours ago

Some residents in Salt Lake County woke up   and in one case, a vehicle.(Mark Less, KSL TV)...

Alex Cabrero

South Jordan residents react to waking up and seeing thousands of tumbleweeds in front of their homes

Homeowners in Daybreak react to waking up Saturday morning and seeing tumbleweeds surrounding their homes.

6 hours ago

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah....

Mark Jones

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah.

7 hours ago

power outage map...

Cary Schwanitz

Rocky Mountain Power scrambles to repair outages affecting thousands

Rocky Mountain Power crews planned to work around the clock this weekend repairing power lines as winds up to 65 mph pummeled Utah.

7 hours ago

Several people in Salt Lake County woke up to tumbleweeds outside their homes, and not just a dozen...

Alex Cabrero

Tumbleweeds pile up in front of homes in Daybreak

Many people in Salt Lake County woke up to tumbleweeds outside their homes, and not just a dozen or so.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Salt Lake Considers Changes For E-Scooters