City of Cincinnati forces scooters to streets, plans to enforce $100 violations
Newswire photo by Jack Dunn | The City of Cincinnati banned Lime and Bird scooters from its sidewalks. Both were already required by law to be ridden in the street, however the new ordinance makes the violation a misdemeanor with a $100 fine.
The City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance on Sept. 19 that bans Lime and Bird scooters from sidewalks. This ordinance clarifies that riding the scooters on a city sidewalk is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $100 fine.
However, this law will not be enforced on Xavier’s campus, according to Mark Hanlon, the director of Utilities and Energy at Physical Plant. Hanlon said that because sidewalks on campus are considered private property, they aren’t subject to the rule.
Hanlon did not rule out the possibility of enforcing the ordinance in the future, however.
“Right now it’s a wait and see period,” Hanlon said.
“If major issues start to arise with scooter riders on campus, then we might do something.”
Off-campus, the scooters are causing issues in the Norwood community. According to Marilyn Hanrahan, a member of the Norwood City Council, the scooters have become an issue in terms of being a “nuisance” and causing various safety issues in the city. She said that these issues have included obstructed sidewalks and scooters being placed on private property.
Hanrahan added that the Norwood City Council and Norwood Law Departments are reviewing current ordinances and preparing new ones concerning scooters and bikes.
“We’ve done a lot of research. Spikes in injuries from the scooters have been found all over the country,” Hanrahan said, “We are looking at what’s going on in other communities and what they are doing.”
Propositions of regulations and/or bans of scooters will be presented at the Norwood City Council Meeting in October.
“We aren’t against them, we just want them to be safe and not impede on our residents’ quality of life,” Hanrahan said. “We just want a safe neighborhood.”
Hanlon said the key to keeping scooters on campus is abiding by the rules, which includes giving pedestrians the right of way and parking the scooters properly.
Hanlon stressed that, in the presence of pedestrians, students on scooters must ride very slowly because the scooters are quiet and pedestrians can’t hear them.
Scooters also need to be parked responsibly, Hanlon added.
For example, scooters should be parked in bicycle racks or on grass rather than on sidewalks to avoid clogging walkways. Hanlon said as long as students abide by these rules, no issues will arise.
However, Hanlon explained, if these rules are regularly broken, Xavier will begin to look into consequences for improper use and parking.
For instance, Lime has the ability to see who rode and parked a scooter, so a suggested solution for improper parking is revoking the identified rider’s right to ride.
Hanlon expressed the hope that people will become more aware and follow the scooter rules so that no punishment measures will have to be instituted.
By: Emilie Krack | Guest Writer