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Seattle not allowing dockless electric scooters any time soon

Scooter shares continue to grow in the Northwest. (Lime)

Seattle was the first city in the country to boldly opens its streets and sidewalks and random patches of grass to dockless bikeshare bikes. But when it comes to dockless scooters, we’re holding off a bit.

“We can’t have scooters, because the nanny state in Seattle is concerned you’ll be flying off and hitting your noggins,” joked KIRO Radio’s John Curley.

The Emerald City has banned dockless scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird from strewing their little electric two-wheelers all over the streets, reports The Seattle Times. While scooter-shares already exist in dozens of cities — including Portland and Tacoma — Seattle is playing it safe while other cities take the plunge.

At the moment, scooters are banned from Seattle’s streets and there’s no timetable on when that might change.

Seattle hasn’t yet adopted scooter-shares for safety reasons

Much of the hesitancy is safety-related. A spokesperson for the mayor told The Seattle Times that the mayor is consulting with other mayors across the country, and wants to study the effects first. A recent report in the Washington Post found that the arrival of scooter-shares corresponds with a rise in scooter-related emergency room visits.

Scooter-sharing operates much in the same way bikeshares do, wherein users simply unlock them with an app and leave them wherever they arrive. The stand-up scooters reach a maximum of 15 mph, and are partially popular because it’s much easier ride a scooter than a bike while wearing a suit or skirt.

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Lime has noted that scooter-shares are used five times as much as their bikes, and will continue to push for inclusion in Seattle, especially considering the upcoming viaduct closing, which will facilitate the need for additional transportation options.

But Seattle officials have no plans to accept any of the numerous pitches they get from scooter-share companies each month, and will continue to watch the other cities in the meantime.

“I’m OK with that then,” Curley noted. “Let’s see what they do. Let Tacoma have people flying off the things.”


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