Grab and go scooters launched this summer in Denver and seemingly overnight, took over the city. Unfortunately, as soon as they came, they were gone. Companies removed their scooters from Denver in early June due to issues with the Department of Public Works:
“In accordance with the wishes of the Denver Department of Public Works, today Lime will be removing our scooters from Denver for the next two weeks while we work with the City on developing a pilot program for dock-free shared mobility. We apologize to our riders for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate the DPW for their efforts and hope to return to Denver soon. We are eager to continue to serve Denver residents and visitors with Lime as their affordable, sustainable transportation option,” said Lime in a press release this past June.
And now, after more than a month of deliberation, it’s back. Lime along with Bird and three other dockless electric scooter companies as well as three dockless bike companies, have been issued permits by the city of Denver to operate once again. And for those of us who have enjoyed the quick transportation that these devices offer, this news couldn’t be more welcomed. Users and operators are, however, expected, to follow a set of rules put forth by Denver Public Works:
1. Do not block the movements of pedestrians and always provide 5’ clear width
2. Park against buildings (not impeding pedestrian access) or at least 1.5’ from the back of curb/flowline
3. Preserve pedestrian sight triangles at intersections, alleys, and driveways as well as to bus/LRT operations at stops
4. Vehicles should be upright when parked
5. Vehicles shall not impede access to utilities, or access from the street to the sidewalk
6. At least 8 feet of clear walkway shall be provided for all sidewalks on arterial streets
7. Additional clear width may be required in high pedestrian areas, as determined by DPW
8. Follow all Tier 1 Encroachment guidelines for placement and access
9. Park in designated painted parking spots, when available
The scooters were originally removed due to concerns over parking and user safety. These rules have been put in place to address those concerns.In addition to addressing parking locations and rider safety, Lime just released a new application designed to facilitate smarter scooter parking. By using photos collected at the end of a ride, Parked or Not uses crowdsourcing to rate and analyze whether a scooter is parked properly or not and encourage responsible parking. Rules or not, there will be some restrictions on where scooters can go including bike lanes, designated parks or on Parks maintained trails and 16th Street Mall.
With the city growing seemingly more than ever, transportation systems like Lime and Bird are trying to make it easy to get from one place to the next with minimal hassle. But the verdict is still out if the ease of access will overshadow safety concerns. However, this new update appears to be the step in the right direction.