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Modesto CA says no to electric scooter rentals in the city


Concerned about liability and the city’s already bad traffic, Modesto City Council members rejected an electric scooter rental plan.

Involved about liability and the city’s by now lousy targeted traffic, Modesto Town Council associates turned down an electric powered scooter rental prepare.


A the greater part of the City Council voted Tuesday in opposition to making it possible for electric scooter rentals in Modesto, citing issues above legal responsibility, traffic mishaps and the metropolis not obtaining adequate law enforcement officers to make sure the scooters are utilized safely.

The council vote was 4-2 versus the pilot software. Councilmen Chris Ricci and Tony Madrigal voted in favor of the city coming into into an arrangement with Chook Rides, a Santa Monica-based organization that gives electric powered bicycles and scooters.

Hen sells the bikes and scooters to people but also operates rental programs in about 400 communities throughout the environment, according to a enterprise formal.

Mayor Sue Zwahlen and council customers David Wright, Rosa Escutia-Braaton and Jenny Kenoyer voted from the pilot system.

Their issues provided Modesto not obtaining adequate bicycle lanes (the scooters are not supposed to be ridden on sidewalks), the metropolis being ranked worst for visitors crashes, and an insufficient number of police targeted traffic officers to deal with the city’s existing website traffic woes.

The scooter riders are meant to use bicycle lanes on streets wherever the pace limit is bigger than 25 mph, in accordance to a town report that cites the California Motor vehicle Code.

Riders also are meant to have a driver’s license or allow and not have passengers. Modesto would have limited rentals to riders 18 and more mature.

A tale in The Bee on Sunday reported the California Office of Targeted traffic Basic safety rated Modesto worst for visitors crashes among its peer cities in 2019, which is the most current year for which OTS has studies. Modesto was rated amongst 59 California metropolitan areas with 100,000 to 250,000 residents. Modesto’s population is about 220,000 people.

The OTS rankings seemed at about a dozen types of collisions, which include drivers hitting pedestrians or bicyclists, lethal crashes, DUI crashes, hit-and-operate and speed-linked incidents. The rankings look at a assortment of components, including populace, the range of mishaps and miles pushed.

Not appropriate time for town

Modesto was rated second worst in 2018 and worst in 2017, which are the two other yrs on the OTS site.

Escutia-Braaton mentioned she loved bringing a lot more transportation and recreation possibilities to Modesto, but the metropolis was not but prepared for this possibility. “… Electrical scooters are definitely a good strategy for the proper town at the ideal time,” she explained. “Unfortunately, I never imagine that is Modesto.”

Ricci informed his fellow council associates that he had the “pleasure of driving electric powered scooters all above the state,” and although some towns are good, optimistic and target on the upside of problems, this city focuses on liability and the draw back. He stated he uncovered that “really disappointing.”

Modesto experienced been thinking about a 12-thirty day period pilot software with Chook, and Madrigal experimented with and unsuccessful to get the council to approve a three-month demo run. Bird was anticipated to commence the scooter rentals in downtown and surrounding region.

“I actually would like to urge my colleagues who have considerations to reconsider and give this a try out,” Madrigal explained.

A Bird enterprise formal stated other towns have expressed the same concerns as Modesto and observed they were being not warranted. The proposed agreement amongst Bird and Modesto stated it could be canceled with a week’s detect by possibly get together.

Zwahlen stated she is really optimistic about Modesto and its foreseeable future, but claimed she envisions the future as a very well-prepared, cohesive whole. “I appear at the long term in phrases of concepts, fairly than particulars,” she stated.

She said although there are important initiatives coming to downtown, like a new courthouse and commuter prepare company to San Jose and the probable for a new stadium, downtown does not have bicycle lanes. Yet, she claimed, the metropolis has an abundance of bicycle trails, which includes in the Tuolumne River Regional Park.

This tale was initially posted Might 11, 2022 7:56 AM.

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Kevin Valine covers local governing administration, homelessness and typical assignment for The Modesto Bee. He is a graduate of San Jose State College.


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