Moscow talks about banning e-bikes and e-scooters | North West

MOSCOW — The Moscow City Council will soon vote on new city rules regarding e-scooters and e-bikes, which include turning downtown sidewalks into a “no-go zone.”

Moscow’s administrative committee met on Monday to review the city’s code which has been changed in anticipation of the growing popularity of e-bikes and shared e-scooters in the city.

This issue had already been discussed in July when the city was in talks with companies that wanted to introduce these devices in Moscow. Companies remain interested in Moscow, and staff have proposed revising a 1991 code to regulate such vehicles on roads, sidewalks and non-motorized lanes.

Deputy City Supervisor Cody Riddle said changes to the city’s code include banning such electronic assistive devices from downtown sidewalks to avoid endangering pedestrians. This rule would apply to carpool vehicles and private vehicles. This is a change from the previous downtown speed limit of 6 mph originally proposed by the city.

City councilor Sandra Kelly, who sits on Moscow’s administrative committee, said she was in favor of establishing this “prohibited” or “dismantled” zone in the city center.

“It makes me feel a lot better about it,” she said.

City Supervisor Bill Belknap said the city still allows these devices on sidewalks in other areas of the city. Non-e-bikes would still be allowed downtown.

“We wanted to continue the capacity for young children who use sidewalks or ride downtown, and so what we would establish is just a drop-off area for electronic assistive devices in downtown,” did he declare.

The speed limit for sidewalks outside of downtown would be 10 mph. The trails would have a 15 mph limit.

Belknap said the city will enter into a licensing agreement with the companies that requires them to provide a local agent who can handle device repairs and locate abandoned ones.

The company should also have a 24-hour helpline to handle complaints and requests for immediate removal of vehicles.

The city’s new code would have exceptions for electric wheelchairs and police e-bikes, Belknap said.

This amendment to the city code will likely be on the agenda for the city council meeting in February.

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