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E-Scooter Update: City Staff Release Scooter Phase II Recommendations

Electric scooters on North Washington Street. (Photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria, VA – What is the city of Alexandria going to do about the electric scooters all over town? City staff just released their draft recommendations on the Dockless Mobility Program, which is scheduled to run to the end of the year.

There have been more than 200,000 electric scooter trips taken by visitors and residents since the program started in January. Alexandria law enforcement officials, city staff, and council have been inundated with thousands of messages from an unsatisfied public. How are the scooter companies going to be regulated? What is the best way to ensure enforcement? Should the scooters be driven on the sidewalk?

The Dockless Mobility Pilot Program was kicked off in January with the permitting and launch of the first operator – Lime. The number of scooter companies operating in Alexandria has grown to seven, and also includes Lyft, Jump, Bird, Bolt, Skip and Spin – all of which paid a $5,000 permit fee to operate 200 scooters apiece within the city. The companies also paid that same fee when the pilot program was extended an additional three months until the end of the year. 

City staff are recommending that the pilot program move into Phase II, which would run through Dec. 2020.

The Draft recommendations include:  

  • Scooters would be allowed on sidewalks (up to 6 miles per hour)
  • The speed limit on the street would be limited to 15 mph
  • Only one rider is allowed to ride a scooter at a time
  • Riders under the age of 14 would be required to wear a helmet
  • A proposal to the scooter companies to include speedometers on the devices
  • The scooter companies would include in-app safety messaging, rules of the road, and sidewalk riding and parking messaging
  • The installation of additional parking corrals
  • Evaluate additional “No-ride” and “Slow-ride” zones and sidewalk bans
  • Consider other large areas with high pedestrian activity for no-park zones
  • Determine Minimum and maximum fleet caps
  • Work with operators as technology develops for stricter parking requirements
  • Host outreach & education events with operators throughout spring and summer
The city want public input on the recommendations, and the feedback form will be open through Tuesday, Oct. 15. 

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