WEST HOLLYWOOD—Members of the West Hollywood City council rejected city hall’s proposal to construct a pilot program for electric scooter companies and banned the use of dock less electric scooters during the recent city council meeting on Monday, June 18.
The use of dockless electric scooters has become a trend amongst children and young adults. The issue of public safety has become a concern by residents and city leaders. Riders utilize the scooters on sidewalks instead of in bicycle lanes and many are not wearing a helmet while riding. The city of Santa Monica recently developed a pilot program to regulate shared electric scooters and the city of Los Angeles is currently considering a program.
During the meeting, Manny Rodriguez, a citizen of West Hollywood, was the first speaker to share his opinion on the electric scooters.
“Scooters by design will undermine pedestrian safety and confidence in our environment and will obstruct and clutter the public right of way,” said Rodriguez.
Sam Drymen, a representative of Lime electric scooters, stood in front of the city council to promote the benefits of using electric scooters instead of automobiles. He stated that his company conducted a survey in San Francisco amongst Lime scooter riders and found that 65 percent of scooter users said that they would have taken an automobile if they had not had the option to ride an electric scooter.
Councilmember John D’Amico supported the idea of constructing a pilot plan for electric scooters in West Hollywood saying that he works in Santa Monica and finds the scooters to be “non-problematic.”
Councilmember John Heilman was not in favor of a pilot program due to the fact that companies already started placing scooters within West Hollywood without being permitted to do so.
The pilot program would have allowed three operators, with a total of 150 devices in the city and would have been in effect for 6 months.
After several councilmembers voiced their opinions and addressed questions on the issue of electric scooters in the city, West Hollywood Mayor John Duran opposed the pilot program.
“We currently have extreme competition on our sidewalks between eating cafes, dogs, pedestrians, and bicycles.” He indicated that if electric scooters stayed in West Hollywood more chaos and collisions would occur.