[Update June 2 at 3:02 p.m.: Denver Public Works has released a statement saying it will remove any unattended or illegally parked scooters. The city stated that LimeBike and Bird are in violation of Denver Revised Municipal Code Chapter 49, Article IX, which states it is unlawful to utilize any street, alley, sidewalk, parkway or other public places for the storage of goods, wares or merchandise. That means that via city rules and ordinances, “these scooters are not allowed to operate in the roadway except to cross the street at an intersection, nor are they allowed in bike lanes, on the city’s trail system, or in city parks.”]
They’re taking over.
Or at least it seems like it with the launch of two electric scooter companies in Denver within the last week. First, there was Lime — which deployed its electric scooters over the holiday weekend to mixed reactions. If you’ve recently spent any time downtown, you’ve liked seen people enjoying a ride — but organizations like the City of Denver are concerned. Representatives are citing that the company did not work with them on the release of the new system and are worried about the sidewalk congestion and safety issues the scooters may cause. As a result, the city has started to confiscate illegally parked scooters. Despite the pushback Lime has received, that did not deter Bird — a similar organization — from releasing its line of scooters today.
The California-based company claims to be different by offering a Save Our Sidewalks Pledge. The manifesto of sorts, explains that it offers daily pick-up of scooters where all scooters are collected every night to be recharged and properly dispersed the next day. In practice, this would be different than the current operation of Lime, which had complaints about a slow response to scooter collection. The pledge also explains it will practice and foster responsible growth by promising to not deploy extra scooters unless they are used at least three times a day and will remove unused vehicles. In addition, the company claims it will give $1 per vehicle a day to governments to help them build more bike lanes, build infrastructure and promote safety. The company also provides helmets upon request.
The company also said via a press release that is has been working with “various city officials” although when asked, Bird could not provide the names of the officials or the governmental offices they might work with. We’ve reached out to Public Works for comment but thus far it’s unclear if or who Bird has contacted about its launch in Denver.
In the meantime, the scooters are available in Curtis Park, Five Points, LoDo, Downtown and Villa Park. The company plans to continue to expand across Denver. If you’re interested in trying the scooters, check out the “How it Works” page for details.