CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte’s city council is expected to vote soon - possibly as early as Monday - on an ordinance that would regulate scooters.
The new rules could include capping scooter speed at 15 miles per hour, banning riding scooters on certain sidewalks in Center City such as Stonewall, College, Seventh, and Church streets, and also prohibiting riding scooters on roads where the speed limit is 35 or higher.
Who will enforce the scooter ordinance?
“That’s what I would like to know,” said Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt. “The draft ordinance says that CMPD will enforce it. I just want to hear from CMPD do they have what they need ? Do they know they’re enforcing? What’s their opinion about this?
Eiselt added “I’m interested in that because I think we stretch our police department pretty thin.”
WBTV asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) if officers will be the ones to keep an eye on scooter riders. Department commanders say they’re waiting to hear the final decision from the City Council.
“We’re looking at CMPD to the extent that they will during their normal course of business enforce regulation or what we prescribe in the ordinance and I’m looking for more or less at least the more egregious incidents of noncompliance that I’m looking for,” said Council Member Gregg Phipps.
Phipps, the Chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, said he believes police should enforce the ordinance, especially in serious accidents.
“If we got a provision of no riding on the sidewalks in those designated blocks of Uptown and somebody does it and they run into a pedestrian and causes some sort of physical harm or injury I would expect through their investigative process that they would levy any kind of enforcement at that time,” said Phipps.
But Eiselt says she’s concerned about police staffing and devoting resources to scooters.
“Traffic enforcement is important,” said the Mayor Pro Tem. “It’s not always the best use of manpower so if we’re now layering on scooter enforcement I’d like know how that’s going to be done.”
Are other options on the table?
“I know there was some kind of discussion because we’re aware of an ambassador program that’s going to be kicking off in the Center City – that that possibly could be an approach,” said Council Member Phipps. “I don’t know that we have actually talked to representatives at the Center City Partners to see if that’s an avenue that we can pursue. That might be an avenue we will discuss in the future.”
Mayor Pro Tem Eiselt is wondering about Charlotte’s Department of Transportation.
“I think C-DOT could be doing it as well so it might be C-DOT just as it is with traffic that they might be - park it, runs around and ticket somebody who’s parked in the wrong place so it could be C-Dot or CMPD,” said Eiselt.