Tucson Presses for Fixes to Residents’ Gripes About Scooters

December 9, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson officials are calling on the two e-scooter companies operating in the city to fix problems reported by neighborhood groups.

There have been complaints about scooters blocking sidewalks and alleys amid a lack of enforcement since the city launched a six-month pilot program in September.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that nearly 30,000 people used e-scooters provided by Razor and Bird for over 120,000 rides.

City Council members on Tuesday refused to go along with one member’s call to end the program immediately.

Instead, the council gave the companies and city transportation officials 30 days to come up with a plan to solve the issues.

Neighborhood groups, including the North Fourth Avenue Merchants Association and the Iron Horse Neighborhood and West University Neighborhood associations, have reported unsafe and improper use of the scooters in their areas as well as a lack of enforcement by the vendors and the city.

The e-scooter program, “is a hazard and a burden to downtown neighborhood residents,” wrote Erika Mitnik, Iron Horse Neighborhood Association chair.

“Although these scooters are promoted as a sustainable convenience, within our neighborhood they have amounted to little more than `corporate litter’ and a hazard to pedestrian and vehicle safety,” she wrote.

The groups reported incidents to their councilman, Steve Kozachik, whose motion to kill the program wasn’t backed by any other council members.

“Let’s not all of a sudden cut a program that has opened a door for people to get around. There’s still stuff that we can do,” said Councilman Paul Cunningham.

The companies plan to make their e-scooters undrivable in the area of the upcoming Fourth Avenue Street Fair, which is expected to bring out 600,000 people during the three-day event, according to the event website.

The topics that the council wants the company to address include enforcement, parking and education.

Council members want more community engagement, including more use of social media and commercials, and for such education to be available in several languages.

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