WeHo City Council Moves Forward with Ban on Scooters Despite Opposition from Young Residents

Lime-S electric scooters in front of Shake Shack on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.

In a 4-to-1 vote, the West Hollywood City Council moved ahead tonight with its ban on companies leaving electric scooters for rent within the city limits and in establishing a penalty for those companies that do so.

The vote came after comments in favor of the dockless electric scooter rental system from several young WeHo residents, who argued that riding short distances on electric scooters rather than in cars was environmentally friendly, helped them avoid problems with traffic and parking and is part of the future of transportation.

Councilmember John D’Amico, a supporter of the electric scooters, noted the age gap between the supporters of electric scooters and their opponents. “This is the first time this many people under 35 have shown up for anything,” he said of the number of scooter system supporters in the Council Chambers.

D’Amico said he was disappointed that the Council, at an earlier meeting, had rejected a City Hall proposal to do a six-month pilot test of rented electric scooters in favor of an outright ban.

“It breaks my heart to see that our city is turning out back on young people in this way,” D’Amico said.

Other Council members supported a ban, noting the risks that the unlicensed vehicles posed for people walking on the city’s sidewalks and the risks to scooter drivers who don’t wear the helmets required by law.

Electric scooters have begun appearing on city streets across the country in recent months. A number of cities such as San Francisco and Santa Monica initially fought them but now are implementing pilot programs to figure out how to regulate them. Los Angeles also plans to implement such a program.

A rider can find a scooter using a mobile phone app and then rent it on the spot. The typical price is an initial fee of $1 and an additional 15 cents per minute The companies that own them use GPS tracking to discover where a rider leaves a scooter and then alert other prospective riders to its location. Scooters that are not picked up by other riders are retrieved up by the owner at some point in the day. The scooters are called “dockless” because they aren’t stationed at any designated location.

State laws enacted before the recent surge in popularity of such scooters allows anyone 16 years of age or older to ride an electric scooter with a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. However, that person must have a driver’s license or permit and must wear a helmet. The driver cannot carry a second rider on the scooter. Also the driver cannot ride on a city sidewalk but must ride in a bicycle lane. If there isn’t a bicycle lane available, which is the case on most of West Hollywood’s streets, the scooter must be in a car lane. However, the state bars scooters from riding in such lanes on streets with a speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour, which would include most WeHo cross streets such as Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue.

In explaining his opposition to the scooters, Councilmember John Heilman called out a recent incident where he encountered a blind person walking on the sidewalk on Santa Monica Boulevard who was approaching a scooter left parked in the middle of the sidewalk. Heilman said that if he hadn’t moved the scooter out of the way, the pedestrian might have been injured.

Heilman also objected to the way scooter companies such as Lime and Bird had promoted their scooters by dropping them on city streets without working with the city to regulate them. On March 30, dozens of Lime scooters suddenly appeared on city sidewalks.

“I resent businesses thinking they can use the public right of way,” Heilman said. “If you want to work with people, you come to them in advance and say we’d like to work with you in your city. You don’t come in after the fact …”

Councilmembers Lauren Meister and Lindsey Horvath and Mayor John Duran noted the lack of infrastructure in West Hollywood to support travel by scooters. Duran said traveling on sidewalks is a particular problem.

“Our sidewalks are part of the commons and we already have severe competition for what happens on the commons,” Duran said, noting the presence of sidewalk cafes and people walking their dogs

Horvath suggested the city look into possibility of allowing local businesses such as hotels to partner with the scooter companies so that they could drop off scooters on the businesses property. Meister said the city should take a look at ways it might deal with the infrastructure issues in the future.

  1. Can we ban Hollywood tour buses from using WeHo city streets but allow these scooters to stay? I think that’s a great deal.

  2. I could be fine with the scooters under the following conditions:

    1) Scooters cannot just be thrown down on the sidewalks. The scooter company should work with businesses to offer scooter racks to park the scooters. I think business might be open to it because if people know they are able to get and drop of scooters at their business it might bring more traffic which they would like.

    2) Scooters must be driven in the bike lane or the road and follow the same rules that apply to cars. Technically they should be wearing helmets but that doesn’t affect everyone else so if you don’t want to be safe on your scooter that’s your choice.

    3) The scooter company needs to come up with some ideas to make their app help with compliance with rules and work with the local government to find a way for the scooters to exists without being so disruptive and dangerous.

    All that being said I will not be riding the scooters and was totally against them at first, but if people like them and we can fix the things above let the people have their scooters.

  3. The singular issue that wasn’t addressed by the advocates who spoke during the discussion portion of the meeting was how are they doing to deal with the fact that the overwhelming majority of the user of the scooters refuse to wear helmets, and also the majority of the people who ride them do it on sidewalks where it is ILLEGAL. I’ve seen on Melrose while having lunch there one day over 20 people zip by the restaurant riding scooters on the sidewalk and none of them had helmets on. And there were a number of them being ridden by children (under 16) again no safety equipment. How can any kind of regulation be enforced when virtually all the customers refuse to abide by the laws and stipulations by the company concerning safety? And lastly, who is going to be responsible for the liability for damage and injury by pedestrians if they’re hit by moving scooters or trip over the ones just parked on the street blocking the walking portion of sidewalks and intersections? Not to mention the restriction of access by people with disabilities due to being blocked or struck by moving scooters???? The ban might seem extreme, but the companies that just dumped these in the city of West Hollywood with out even consulting with the city managers about the service should not be allowed with out some kind of control and regulation. It might be great idea, environmentally friendly, but there’s just too much that could potentially happen that predicates advance planning and control.

    1. @barton, you must be 18 or older to ride birds, and must provide proof of a license, so I highly doubt you saw people under 18 riding these scooters.

    2. All of you with your opinions are fine HOWEVER, I am a soon to be 59 year old man who has lived in West Hollywood for 33 of the past 40 years and I love riding these scooters for short errands around town.
      When I first saw one on the street I thought no way, I could never keep my balance on that thing, then around two weeks ago I dared take my first ride on a BIRD! It was fabulous, energizing, exciting and FUN! I spent $15.00 on my first ride, and kept riding until it ran out of power.
      As far as the helmet issue is concerned, I am a grown man and I should have the right to decide whether or not I want to take my life into my own hands. I promise you having ridden mini-bikes and motorcycles since my father bought me my first HONDA CT-70 in 1968 to my last HARLEY DAVIDSON, that the likely hood of a helmet saving ones life is unlikely. I was hit hard at the intersection of Edinburg and Waring in 2015 with my helmet on, and amongst other things I severely broke my entire face. I fractured my chin, eye sockets, cheek bones, nose, the bones between my lip and nose and my upper jaw had three fractures. I didn’t think I was gonna make it. In hindsight all I can really say about the accident is you don’t appreciate being able to walk or being able to chew until you can’t walk or chew. I was in Cedars-Sinai starting my recovery for about a month took me six months to feel a little bit OK and a good year and a half to be almost back to normal but I’ll Never be the same again so I think if I wanted to risk my life by not wearing a helmet this time you damn well should let me get away with it because I had a helmet on before and it didn’t do any good.
      As far as the city allowing the scooters or not you guys sound like a bunch of old fuddy-duddies …..you got to make room for the New Age.
      You made room for the internet
      Hey whatever happened to West Hollywood giving free Internet all of its residents yeah yeah politics….

      1. You would have likely died without a helmet and you’re complaining about people who should be required to wear helmets. Did the accident also muddle your ability to think clearly?

        We ALL pay for riders who don’t wear helmets when they go to hospitals and emergency rooms and the fire department or police have to respond to an accident. That includes motorcyclists who straddle lanes, and drivers who text–and these idiots going 20 mph on scooters who think they are on skateboards.

        1. I’m not sure how you’d know so certainly that he would have “died w/o a helmet.”

          I’m not sure how I feel about the helmet issue, exactly, but it makes no sense to me that one can ride a bike, going well over 15 MPH, legally, without a helmet (unless under the age of 18), but cannot ride a scooter going 15 MPH.

          Bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk, except where legally prohibited in CA (determined by local laws).

          I’d personally rather be hit by a scooter than a bike (especially one of the heavy ones from the bike share program), if given the choice. I’d prefer to not be hit by either, of course.

          Our laws need to be updated. “Motorized vehicle” doesn’t inherently make something more dangerous, especially if it weighs less, and travels at a slower speed.

    1. I read that story, and all I could take from it was “injuries from irresponsible riders,” not scooters themselves, or the system in place. I’d like to see the author do a similar story on bicycles. Should those be banned, also?

      We will see more injuries from these scooters, but not because they are more dangerous than bicycles. It is because of the volume of them on our streets right now. And that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Bird is valued at $2 billion dollars, and this ban does little to solve the public safety/nuisance problem. Working with law enforcement and the scooter companies would be more effective.

      I don’t blame the scooter companies for what will probably be an increase in accident and injury. I blame our lack of law enforcement.

      When renting a scooter, you agree to the following (through their app):

      – Obey all traffic laws.
      – Not leave it in the right of way.
      – Not ride on the sidewalk.
      – Wear a helmet (which they will send to you, for free).

      Bird also makes you scan your driver’s license. Not sure how Lime gets away with not doing that.

      That’s all they can do, that I can think of, except maybe put big stickers on the scooters, reminding people to STAY OFF THE SIDEWALK, or, perhaps, send out regular e-mail messages, notifications through their app, etc., reminding people to abide to what they agreed to. But they are not law enforcement, and we should be asking law enforcement to actually do their job. Just as we should with any type of transportation (bikes, automobiles, etc.).

      Are car rental companies responsible for the behavior of those that rent them? I get that they can’t be left in the middle of the sidewalk, or legally used there. But our own city bike share program has people riding those on the sidewalk where that is illegal, all the time, and how much effort is the Sheriff’s department putting into dealing with that? Should we ban the bike share program, also, as a result? Or is it OK, simply because it is barely used, even with people using it breaking the law, on a regular basis?

  4. I have to be honest, I was very anti-scooter, but recently noticed scooter use (all plain with no colors at all) and…
    1. My dog didn’t seem to mind or notice (perhaps their silence, perhaps my dog is now really old)
    2. It seemed like they weren’t so fast a needed a kick-push off to start. Had a feeling it was under more rider control & could stop quickly if necessary. (never rode a scooter so what do I know)

    BUT! I didn’t understand why people would abandon them … Wherever… No lock. Just kind of wherever on the sidewalk. Theft no longer an issue??

      1. Yeah, until late they started attacking me. The transient junkies blocking the sidewalks in weho are far more dangerous than scooters.

    1. Totally. Just like they ticket all the cyclists that don’t wear helmets already, right?

      From what I have been able to tell it seems like there are a total of about what, three cops in West Hollywood?

  5. I don’t mind the scooters but I wish there was a way to keep them out of the middle of the sidewalks when parked. My daughter uses a wheel chair and we can’t get around Santa Monica without having to move at least 7 a day. She can’t be independent because she is not ambulatory and can’t move them by herself. I wonder about accessibility issues in the city and laws related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is the responsibility of the company to make sure their product doesn’t cause obstacles in the public pathway.

    1. Then how do you get around all the homeless people passed out on the sidewalks? Honestly not kidding, I just stepped around one a minute ago while reading this article on my phone.

    2. Thank you, Shelly. This is an issue that I had not really thought about until I read your comment. I do hope this is seriously considered by the powers that be and that it does make things easier for you and your daughter. Thanks for bringing this to light. You have educated me, at least, on this important matter.

  6. I would love to know how many people that are all for these scooters walk regularly at least 2 miles a day and not just from their car to their front door? As an avid daily WeHo walker, I have been hit once and have been nearly hit and cursed at by multiple scooters that are being ridden on the sideWALK. So as long as they stay off the sideWALKS and stop at ALL stop signs (unlike 99% of bikers who fail to follow the law) I am okay with them. Then when they ride on SM Blvd., drivers are going to complain that they are slowing down traffic even worse when you are stuck behind a scooter doing 15mph. A friend hit one that someone threw in the middle of the street and it was dark and late at night and he couldnt see it until he hit it and had over $3000 worth of damage to their car. In a perfect world, I would love them. Maybe if they could have their own lane that is dedicated 100% just for them, where they do not put walkers or pets in danger and they do not slow down traffic and riders follow all the laws, great. Bring them on. But until then they pose too much of a danger.

    1. I walk 4-5 miles a day with my dog and sometimes accompanied by my girlfriend’s dog. Those walks includes daily strolls down Melrose Ave and Santa Monica Blvd. In my experience, there are more scooters used on Melrose than on Santa Monica.

      As for your friend who hit a scooter, that is rather unfortunate, but the scooters aren’t so small you can’t see them in the road. It sounds like the driver should have been paying better to the road while driving.

      I don’t use the scooters personally because I prefer to walk, but I still support their use.

    2. I also walk about five miles a day down Fairfax, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sunset, Etc., And while I prefer the walk, I have used the scooters a couple times for fun or to go longer distances. I have had no problems riding in the street alongside traffic just like I do on my bicycle. I fully support alternate methods of transportation that reduce traffic. But of course proper etiquette should be enforced in regards to people parking them correctly out of the way, and riding them safely.

      When they are in places like the middle of the street it’s unlikely that they were left there by the previous renter, and more likely that some drunk asshole just decided to throw one in the street. I assume that overtime as the novelty wears off this would happen less and less.

    3. I live near Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd and commute via public transportation to and from my office in Santa Monica in addition to using public transportation throughout the day for various meetings in BH, Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. I don’t know how many miles a day I walk but it’s easily well over 2 miles a day and as I stated at the Council Meeting, I am able able to document trips I have taken on a scooter that replaced a trip I would have normally used and Uber or Lyft for, and I have used the scooter on several other occasions to get from point A to point B but because I don’t own a vehicle, I cannot honestly say that I am replacing a car trip on each of those uses because I probably would have taken a bus, only it would have taken me twice the time.

        1. Because it changes the convenience factor, and possibly he cannot afford one?

          This method of transportation doesn’t require that you lock it up, store it, or even charge it. If taking public transportation, you have to bring the scooter w/you on the bus or train, and that isn’t always easy (I used to try this with a bike, all the time). It also might be a pain to bring into work, if you work in a building with an elevator, etc.. Or what if you only need it one-way, and then have to carry it around w/you for the rest of the day?

          I think for those who have yet to use this system, they don’t understand the convenience benefit, which sets this apart from just about anything else. Get from point A to point B with little hassle, and at little cost.

          I think most people are mainly focused on those who break the law, or who are inconsiderate enough to leave them in the public right of way.

  7. Amen, Jimmy, amen.
    I think the cat is sort of out of the bag, there’s no way to totally ban them, but I think every effort should be made for them to be used in a manner that doesn’t place pedestrians at risk. No riding on the sidewalk. Must obey traffic laws. No riding through a crosswalk.
    I was on Fairfax at Santa Monica & a scooter heading north on Fairfax at the red light, wove through the stopped cars and then drove through the red light intersection in the crosswalk. Could that self important woman have been more egregious???

  8. First off this is the dumbest thing I have ever seen . If someone is injured then you just deal with it. Scoooters have been around for centuries . It’s not a new means of transportation people!!!! Just because people are using them more now it’s an issue! You should be greatful for less pollution and less traffic!! Your morons if you think anything else. It’s just like a bike or any other modes of tranport. I’m sick of the Old Nazi people in this town. Gays will be moving out soon anyways, they keep changing this city for straight people and the regulations are getting ridiculous. Your about to lose your gay $$$&

    1. Los Angeles may not be your optimal destination, as it has imposed a moratorium on motorized electric scooters until new safety regulation can be crafted and approved – similar to how San Francisco, Seattle and Austin have done because of the dangers brought by these new vehicles.

      Human-powered bicycles have been around for two centuries. Motorized electric scooters are new, extremely high-momentum and – unlike bicycles – really hard to stop on a dime or maneuver around a sudden impediment without the rider losing balance. Also, no study to date has shown that dockless scooters relieve traffic congestion; indeed, the vast majority of scooters have been used solely for joy-riding.

      Despite those facts, the clearly illegal deployment and operation of motorized electric scooters – not to mention the misleading promotion – merits a “time-out,” just as any responsible parent would do for a misbehaving child.

  9. Well, Congratulations are in order to the West Hollywood City Council. Bravo!!!

    We have now witnessed true innovation and vision of our city leaders, with this ban. It’s not surprising that the majority voted to ban scooters, but what is surprising is the lack of thought or lack of reasoning for the ban.

    Heilman, make his resentment clear that he did not like how these companies came into the city, so as far as he is concerned, his personal feelings are more important than looking for a compromise and more important than addressing the needs of the city and what a large portion of the community wants. So we are clear whose interest Mr. Heilman is looking after.

    John Duran is focused on clean sidewalks, and giving the Key to the City to a Stripper. Okay!

    Lauren Meister and Lindsey Horvath both think that the city should work with these companies to find solutions, yet they both Voted No, on the city doing a pilot program. No this is interesting! Seems both Lauren and Lindsey forgot to bring some backbone to the meeting.

    D’Amico stood up and went against the wave and had a vision, truly Bravo to D’Amico!

    This leads me to believe, that because Heilman was so against this, that the others just fell in line behind him? Non the less, I think that this council just opened the door to more progress. I think that this is an opening for younger people and those tired of business as usual. It is clear that there is a true need for change in City Hall.

  10. Great news. I’ve said many times that they are placed in areas that block crosswalks , making it impossible for those in wheelchairs to get out of the street.

    Today LA Curbed article: ” Metro bike share isn’t working in Pasadena—and the city wants out. The city might try dockless bikes instead”

    I think the next issue is to address the failed and expensive bike program that is making no profit whatsoever.

  11. It’s Weho…if Lime or Bird were smart enough to have contributed to the campaigns of the council members, their scooters would have been approved, you know, like a 9 story hotel on Robertson.

    1. You got it such pathetic decisions. Everything is based on what brings in most money. And who contributed what to whom.

  12. These scooters are an environmentally friendly alternative to cars that will also cut down on traffic in LA. Not to mention fun to ride. I agree that regulations are needed but an outright ban is completely overkill.

    1. Cities banning motorized electric scooters to date have generally done so in order to provide a safe breathing period during which reasonable regulation could be crafted. Austin’s ban lasted about a month before emergency regulations were rolled out and service resumed.

  13. West Hollywood should really consider a pilot program with the scooters which includes educating the public. If everyone is so worried about people “breaking the law,” why are is there no focus on making sure the sheriff’s office enforces the law? I have been resident of Weho for many years, and these scooters are way more popular than the failing Weho Pedals program.

    The concern over the scooters being ridden have a simple solution. West Hollywood should consider joining other major cities and create a bike lane or corridor down Santa Monica Blvd. Similar to how Market Street in San Francisco has a dedicated bike lane or even downtown Los Angeles. Work with the city of Los Angeles to enforce laws on having these scooters ridden in bike lanes and not sidewalks, and ticket riders who aren’t wearing helmets.

    I have to admit. I am sick and tired of hearing the complaints about these scooters with no one offering solutions that aren’t an all out ban. The fact is these scooters are cheaper and faster than calling a car service. You can get from one end of Weho faster on one of these things than in a car or on the bus. The scooters also reduce the number of cars on the road and increases the number of parking spaces available.

    1. Thank you for being realistic about how things really are with your comment. Completely agree. None of this means anything, without enforcement.

      Regarding the pilot program, that was up for discussion in the previous Council meeting, and they nixed that idea. So much for being a progressive city.

      1. I agree, how to enforce is one of the devil in the details. Certainly the sheriff’s already have the authority to do so, and they are, but I doubt that ticketing a scooter rider would take priority over an emergency situation. Could council empower the neighborhood ambassadors, the bike patrols to issue citations? Or could the sheriff’s department empower their Volunteer On Patrol program to do so?

    2. But why don’t the companies enforce their OWN rules? Requiring licensed drivers ( lots of underage riders) and no motorized scooters on sidewalks m? Why is it up to the cities to regulate safety? Blame the companies for the ban not the city

      1. It is up to the city, because these are state laws, enforceable by our police department, whether you are on a rented scooter, or not. You expect these companies to create their own police force? You think their GPS is precise enough to know when someone is on the sidewalk vs the street? (maybe, but I doubt it) Based on your logic, should “WeHo Pedals” have their own dedicated police force to make sure those riders are obeying traffic laws?

        It so happens that Bird *does* require a driver’s license. You can’t even register for the app without having one. You are also told that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk, must obey travel laws, must wear a helmet, and only one person per scooter. You are offered a free helmet for $1.99 shipping.

        Once again, why can’t we ask our Sheriff’s department to enforce our laws, with, or without rentable scooters?

      2. Rules are not laws. The companies didn’t create laws regulating whether something can be ridden on the sidewalk or whether or not you have to wear a helmet. Hence the city of West Hollywood should be working with the surrounding cities to come up with a plan on how to enforce any current or future laws. There is no universal law stating residents over the age of 18 who reside in Los Angeles or the state of CA have to wear a helmet. I know the city passed on a pilot program and feel their decision was really misguided.

        The Sheriff’s department doesn’t seem to enforce people who text and drive or drive drunk after leaving the parking garage located near Tender Greens, perhaps we should start asking them questions about their lack of overall enforcement?

  14. Where are the statistics? How many have died or been injured from scooters? Would be nice to know that we aren’t over reacting. Do we have a siatebosrd and roller skate ban?

  15. I couldn’t agree more with John Heilman. LimeBike’s actions were brazen and disrespectful, and I believe they tried to bully the community into caving to their business plans.

  16. Scooters are great — I want to use them for my guided tours of Weho! Just regulate them. A pilot program is sensible. Assign parking spaces- They could sit on the sidewalk above red curbs- it’s not as though they’d block a fire hose from a hydrant.
    I was stopped on my bicycle TWICE while wearing a helmet and using a bike light at dusk- pure harassment. If they can bother me, they can ticket others for wreckless behavior. Eventually, everyone will settle down. We should have had Air B&B and other short term rentals- especially in this housing crunch- that have restrictions so it doesn’t become a cash cow for landlords, ie 4-5 times annually. Oh, and is the robogarage that eats cars returnable? THAT innovation was a mess.

    1. Great! Guided tours of Weho compliments of your being President of WHPA. No scholarship there, opportunity here.

  17. If they are going to ban scooters because they are ridden on the sidewalk because of the possibility of injuries, they should also ban riding bicycles. They are bigger and more prone to injure somebody when ridden on the sidewalk. On the major streets, there are now bike lanes, but the bike riders are too “frightened” to use them. That’s their problem. I see bike riders on the sidewalks all the time. Bike riders also ignore stop signs and other laws like red lights all the time. Where is the enforcement?

    1. Bicycles are legal to ride on the sidewalk, except where expressly prohibited. Please refer to my comment below. I completely agree. None of this means anything, without law enforcement.

    2. Nobody in their right mind would ride a bike down these busy boulevards, bike lane or not. One errant lane change when you’re in a car’s blind spot and SPLAT. Can’t really blame people for riding down sidewalks.

      1. Agreed. That is why I stay off major thoroughfares as much as possible. I don’t ride on the sidewalk where it is illegal, but sometimes, only briefly, where it is, and with caution. I try to use Willoughby, for example, as an east-west way of getting through town (I do that in my vehicle, even).

  18. Another great victory for public safety. Thank you Weho City Council!

    These scooters companies are all smoke and mirrors. They don’t care about public safety and are desperate to worm themselves out of this bad idea and bad behavior.

    Bye Bye Birdie!

    1. Please refer to my comment to Jimmy’s below, and ask yourself what this really accomplishes? A “victory?” Hardly. You are going to be seeing Birds for quite some time. Just like you are going to hear illegal leaf blowers, and find dozens of listings on AirBnB within the city limits. And see “WeHo Pedals” riders on the sidewalk where they are not supposed to be.

      The problem here isn’t the laws we create, it is lack of enforcement of them.

      I would argue that our own Sheriff’s department doesn’t care enough about public safety, or they would be enforcing the law. Regardless of whether it is a rented or non-rented scooter being rode on the sidewalk, a bicycle on the sidewalk, or distracted driving.

  19. What do you expect from a city that gives a”Key to the city too a Porn Star”

    Their Bike Program cost $500,000 and how many people do you see actually ride them…

    Last time I checked I thought by law you have to wear a helmet while operating a bicycle.

  20. Watching the meeting from home tonight made me so angry. Mr. D’Amico seems to think that his colleagues, which he seemingly referred to as liars, were turning their back on younger people. That remark was so biting and ageist…and calculated, that it may as well have had a “vote for me” in the next breath attached to it. As a person who lives here, doesn’t own a car, as I cannot drive any longer because of vision issues, these scooters on the sidewalk are terrorizing. I can’t tell you how many times I have nearly been hit, had to jump out of the way of them speeding on the sidewalk, and having had to move them out of the middle of the sidewalk so me or my neighbors down the street on Kings Road, that use wheelchairs or walkers could pass. I felt personally , that Mr. D’amico , is his zeal to get these scooters on the road(road means sidewalk to these riders) forgot about those of us who have been activists for decades, but now may have disabilities that actually require us to use the sidewalks for WALKING. The scooter companies sent reps AFTER THE FACT. They dumped these scooters off, and just bullied their way into Weho. I am not aware of any other business that is allowed to do this. Their reps spoke as though they were ignorant to the bully tactics involved, unaware that anything was done with purpose and blamed rogue drivers for the drop offs. I have SEEN AND TAKEN PICTURES of their employees teaching people how to use these scooters ON THE SIDEWALK . I am imagining they are all rogue also? WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE TO GAIN? Actually speaking tonight was someone from one the companies “Govt, Affairs Dept.”? WHERE THE HELL WAS HE WHEN THE FIRST DROP OFF WAS MADE? WAS HE AT CITY HALL TRYING TO WORK WITH STAFF OR COUNCIL? No, he was there tonight after the fact, when they indeed realized that WEHO is going to put safety in front of all else. (well at least 4 of the council members did). As much as I admire Josh Kurpies, surely he must realize that he indeed is careful and cautious, but that is not the norm. This week I literally saw 2 kids riding these scooters past Target so quickly, yelling “Out of our way”, and they then knocked the bags out of a woman’s hands and screamed “We told you out of our way.” I also saw a dad, albeit riding in the street, with his 3 or 4 year old daughter sitting on the base of the scooter, going as fast as he could yelling “Hold on”, to her. Here is the funny part of all of this. I do indeed think they are fun. BUT THEY BELONG IN THE STREET WITH RENTERS WHO ARE AWARE HOW TO USE THEM, and are mature enough to realize they are a motorized, moving , vehicle. I agree with Lauren, that there is no infrastructure for these as we exist now. I agree with Lindsey that the city does not belong in business with scooter companies, and I agree with Heilman, that community safety is going to come before a new fad. Mr. D’amico…I am trying to see your view on many things in the last few months. On this…you turned your back on those of us who are not under 35 and are having vision or mobility challenges of our own. Are you really that guy? I am shocked. And hurt.

    1. I watched the meeting, also.

      I don’t think D’Amico once defended them being left on the sidewalk, or used on the sidewalk. I think he was being realistic about what this ordinance accomplishes (if anything). He asked staff to clarify, before public comment. He was realistic about the city not “staffing up” to handle this. This ordinance gives the scooter companies until EOD to pick up a scooter (or was it 2 to 3 hours?), after being notified, and until the next day, before being fined. It seems like they can just have a vehicle on call to pick these up when reported by the city, which probably won’t cost them much, considering that Bird is being valued as a $2 billion dollar company (that is right, $2 billion). If they have that in place, really, all this accomplishes is the prevention of dumping of scooters by the companies on public sidewalks, which I thought the city had mostly under control. Regarding the “under 35” demographic, 54% of the city is aged 18 to 44. More than half of our population. I don’t think it is a bad thing for him to recognize a demographic that makes up more than half of the city, even if they are less outspoken, and don’t vote as much. And, once again, I don’t think he’s advocating riding them on the sidewalk or leaving them in the public right of way by doing so.

      That discussion can be heard around the 1 hour, 40 minute mark in the Youtube video below.

      If I had been there last night, I would have spoken at public comment at the end of the meeting. After listening to their deliberations. Nobody discussed, (except D’Amico, earlier), enforcement of the law. And that, to me, is the problem here. Motorized vehicles are illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Riders must wear a helmet. These are state laws. And our contracted Sheriff’s department is not enforcing these laws, to a meaningful degree. That also includes our own city’s bike share program, which results in people riding on the sidewalk where it is illegal (where there are bike lanes on SMB). If I had to choose, I’d rather be hit by one of those lightweight scooters than one of those heavy bikes from “WeHo Pedals.” I would also say that they don’t successfully cite people for distracted driving. Not enough. D’Amico mentioned the AirBnB ban, and its lack of enforcement, and he was correct to do so. Laws mean nothing, if not enforced. This seems mostly for show. They create laws, but don’t press on the Sheriff’s department or city staff to enforce them. Even if this prevents people from leaving scooters on the sidewalk (maybe, just a little), they can still legally ride them in West Hollywood, rented, or not, and people will ride them on the sidewalk, without helmets, and if people want this problem addressed, they should be asking the Council to make the Sheriff’s department do their job.

      So, the city can make laws, but without enforcing them, they mean nothing. And if scooter companies have until the following day to be fined, or if they have 2 to 3 hours to pick up scooters on the sidewalk, this all will probably amount to nothing, and nothing will change. Perhaps this will force the companies to develop something in their apps to prevent people from locking them anywhere within West Hollywood city limits. I’m guessing it would be more cost-effective for the companies to have vehicles on call to pick them up, should they be reported by the city, rather than dissuade riders from leaving them in West Hollywood. They’ll have 2 to 3 hours to do so, and this is a small city.

      I think D’Amico was being realistic about what this does (or does not) accomplish, and he was not advocating a free-for-all, abandonment and riding of scooters on the sidewalk. He acknowledged the younger demographic that came to speak, but I don’t think he was stepping on the older demographic, or disabled people by doing so.

      If people care about public safety, it would be nice if law enforcement would do their job.

      Regarding “infrastructure,” that seems like it was all for show. Everyone on that Council knows that there will *never* be the proper infrastructure to support safe riding of scooters, or bikes, on *all* of our streets, in certain parts of West Hollywood. This very thing was discussed regarding Fountain Ave, not long ago, which is a narrow street, with no middle lane, and very, very narrow sidewalks. Or by City Hall, from Sweetzer to Crescent Heights. Those streets will never be widened, nor will the sidewalks, as there is no room to do either, unless they are going to push Hamburger Mary’s, City Hall, etc., buildings back?


    2. Agreed, Prehaps Mr. D’ amico could help pick up abandoned Scooters littering the walkways, and grounds of West Hollywood Park every night! There was at least 6 discarded by the Dog Park Sunday evening…..

      1. Once again, where did D’Amico advocate them being left in the right of way? Please click on the Youtube link above, and watch the discussion and deliberation.

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