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San Diego City Council committee expected to vote on new dockless scooter regulations

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Posted at 5:34 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 11:55:15-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council's Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will vote Wednesday on regulations for dockless electric scooters and bicycles as well as the companies that own them.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed the regulations last week after months of pressure from residents concerned about public safety and from transportation advocates who didn't want the scooters banned outright. Faulconer's office originally proposed a set of regulatory concepts in October, which the council's Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee approved while requesting a fleshed-out version.

Scooter riders would be banned from parking scooters and bicycles in hospital and school zones, beach area boardwalks, the perimeter of Petco Park and the north and south legs of the Embarcadero. Riders and scooter company employees would also only be able to park scooters in groups of four, with at least 40 feet between groups.

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Scooter speeds, currently a maximum of 15 mph, would be slowed to 8 mph in high-traffic areas like Spanish Landing, Petco Park and Balboa Park, and 3 mph on the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. Scooter companies would use geofencing technology to limit parking abilities and speeds in specific areas, technology that Bird already uses in areas like the Santa Monica Beach Bike Path.

The city would also require scooter companies to apply for a six-month operational permit and pay $150 per scooter or bike each year. Scooter companies could only renew permits in January or June, at which time they could negotiate variables like fleet size.

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The committee is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. today in the City Administration Building's 12th floor Council Chambers at 202 C St. City Council members Mark Kersey, Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Vivian Moreno sit on the committee.