Electric Scooter Share Policy Statement March 2019Seattle Neighborhood Greenways supports options for people to get around our community safely, comfortably, conveniently and sustainably. To meet this need, foot-scooters are one tool that the City of Seattle should pilot. Scooters can help provide first/last mile connection to transit and a pollution-free short distance transportation option. We have heard valid concerns that this new technology could make our sidewalks less safe to navigate, especially for people with disabilities. The city and the private companies must, therefore, address these concerns for any pilot to be successful. SNG supports a temporary pilot, derived from Portland’s regulations, to test how scooters could work in the Seattle context. We recommend the following elements be included in a Seattle pilot:
- Safe Sidewalks: In order to reduce conflicts with people walking, the pilot should legalize and recommend scooters be operated in separated bike lanes, trails, and the roadway of neighborhood greenways. When operated on the sidewalks, scooter users should be subject to the same regulations as people biking, and be required to yield to pedestrians.
- Orderly Parking: Keeping sidewalks accessible is critical, and strategies to reduce parked scooter conflicts such as installing additional bike/scooter corrals in the street (especially near corners where car parking is already restricted to help “daylight” sightlines) should be implemented.
- Safe Scooting: Users must pass an educational course (such as an in-app training) that helps people understand how to be safe while scooting and how to keep others safe.
- Data Collection and Reporting: Most media reports about the safety or danger of this new technology to date have been anecdotal. The pilot should require SDOT work with public health officials to collect, analyze and report on the public health impacts (positive or negative) of scooter share.