West Hollywood Will Begin Marking Sidewalks to Warn Off Electric Scooters

The City of West Hollywood is going to be taking steps to alert riders of dockless electric scooters that they are breaking the law when they use them on the sidewalk.

City Hall staffers have created a stencil that states “No E-Scooters on Sidewalks / It’s the Law” that will be painted on all four corners of each of 11 intersections of side streets with Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue and on the north side of Santa Monica in front of Plummer Park. Such stencils may address the concerns of some residents that those illegally riding the scooters on the sidewalks are unaware they are breaking the law.

The Santa Monica intersections are at Doheny, San Vicente, Westbourne, La Cienega, Holloway Drive and Croft Avenue, Crescent Heights, Fairfax, Gardner and Vista and La Brea. The Melrose intersections are at Robertson and San Vicente.

In a report to the city’s Transportation Commission, which is meeting on Wednesday, the city’s Planning & Development and Public Services departments also will update the commissioners on negotiations with Lime and Bird, two of the largest providers of dockless scooters in the Greater Los Angeles area. The City Council voted in June to ban the rental of such scooters within West Hollywood’s borders. That vote was a reaction to a decision last spring by both Lime and Bird to drop scooters on West Hollywood’s sidewalks, making them easily available to anyone with a mobile phone scooter app, without alerting City Hall.

Anyone with the necessary app can rent the scooter on the spot. The typical price is an initial fee of $1 and an additional 15 cents per minute. Lime and Bird and other scooter companies 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 by the owner at some point in the day. The scooters are called “dockless” because they aren’t stationed at any designated location.

In a report to the Transportation Commission, city staffers note that both Bird and Lime have agreed to mark the boundaries of West Hollywood as a “red zone,” meaning rental of scooters found on the sidewalks within the city isn’t permitted. Riders who rent scooters outside of the city, such as the many blocks of Melrose Avenue within the Los Angeles city limits where they are clustered, can legally ride them into WeHo.

In its report to the Transportation Commission, the city states existing state laws governing the use of such scooters. The law states that one cannot:

1) Operate a motorized scooter unless it is equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

2) Operate a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit in excess of 25 miles per hour unless the motorized scooter is operated within a class II bicycle lane.

3) Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

4) Operate a motorized scooter without a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.

5) Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to the operator

6) Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

7) Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk, except as may be necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.

8) Operate a motorized scooter on the highway with the handlebars raised so that the operator must elevate his or her hands above the level of his or her shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

9) Leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk, or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.

10) Attach the motorized scooter or himself or herself while on the roadway, by any means, to any other vehicle on the roadway

The Transportation Commission will meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Community Conference Room in West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. at Sweetzer.


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08Mellie
Guest
08Mellie

Please also include power washing that smelly, cesspool CVS on SMB. That is the most disgusting sidewalk, parking situation, entry way, etc. TLC Vet has nothing on that s-hole of a parking garage. Yes, i know the garage is VCS’ issue, but the spillover is something we all suffer.

Richard Luna
Guest
Richard Luna

The new laws are all well and good, but unless they are enforced, scooters riders will ignore. The most effective way to enforce a law is with the wallet. Set the fines at an outrageous level and link them to DMV like parking tickets and the scooters will disappear. It’s simply no supply without the demand – Economics 101.

Realistic Thinker
Guest
Realistic Thinker

First off, I totally agree with all of the previous posts. Everyone makes a very good point about the homeless issue. It’s funny that a lot of these comments address the filthy sidewalk situation. Didn’t city council raise the parking meter fees many months ago to finance a sidewalk cleaning program? Where are these amazing cleanings taking place? They are supposed to power wash the sidewalks on SMB and put a special coating on them to make them easier to clean. As far as the stenciled signs, do you think these scooter riders really care? Let’s see enforcement of these… Read more »

Thaddeus Smith
Guest
Thaddeus Smith

I totally agree with this writer, between, bikes, scooters, pan handelers , skate boards, charity collections and the homeless it’s easier to walk in the street. Shameful that our village is disappearing because of no one taking responsibilities for correcting these violations even when the council makes laws. Funny

SOAP & WATER
Guest
SOAP & WATER

Before power washing became the go to concept, the most normal routine was soap and water with a little effort on a regular basis. That worked, people cared and wanted their abode whether personal or business to be attractive and free of dirt and debris. Now if the city could introduce a program like that to some able bodied homeless residents and the concept to residential and commercial property owners we might be able to accomplish several things and give folks some pride in good old fashioned elbow grease. In Weho one is afraid to touch anything without a hand… Read more »

Randy
Guest
Randy

Thank you. I’ve been beating that drum since all of this “controversy” started. A ban was overreaching, and unnecessary. How about we ask law enforcement to enforce the state laws that are already in place, long before these scooter rental companies even existed? But nobody seems to want to talk about that, as a solution. Instead, they want to blame the scooter companies, as though they are responsible for people breaking the law.

carleton cronin
Guest
carleton cronin

Do you suppose that the City Council reads Wehoville.com? Of course they do. Do you suppose they might take real notice of the citizens’ remarks, gripes, suggestions? They might – for a moment, but those who make the suggestions must folow up with a direct notice to your favorite Councilperson or your words are just blowing in the wind.

Seriously?
Guest
Seriously?

Yes of course they read the b!tchy, ridiculous comments from the angry people that comment on here. It’s comic relief.

Nate
Guest
Nate

How do we report a scooter on the sidewalk? Is there a number to call? How do we get the scooters impounded, so they are not “trash” blocking the sidewalk. I doubt 911 is the correct number. We have all these rules, but is West Hollywood going to enforce them. And about the homeless. If these people wanted to be functioning part of society, there is places that could help them. Yes. Maybe getting a minimum wage job wouldn’t pay for the rent in West Hollywood, but I couldn’t afford to live in West Hollywood immediately after college. I worked… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

Bikes arn’t allowed on sidewalks, either. However, I have yet to see that law enforced.

LR
Guest
LR

Agreed. Bike lanes go unused by scooters and bikes, it’s increasingly difficult to enjoy this city as a pedestrian, which I can’t call progressive at all.

Randy
Guest
Randy

This is such a misconception, and people repeat this again, and again. It is totally legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in West Hollywood, except where there are signs, and bicycle lanes prohibiting it, which includes that stretch of SMB from Flores to Doheny, or so. If people don’t like it, complain to the City Council.

I’d much rather get hit by a scooter than a heavy bike (which goes faster, and weighs more), if I had to choose.

Laws vary by city.

https://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/bikes-on-sidewalks/

LR
Guest
LR

I’m talking explicitly about scooters and bikes on sidewalks that run parallel to bike lanes.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Yes, I was referring to Mike’s comment. When I scooter, or bike, I always use a bike lane, when available. And I avoid all major thoroughfares as much as possible, for my own safety, and where one can ride safely on the street, w/o even considering having to go on the sidewalk. Willoughby is a great street for cutting through most of West Hollywood on a scooter or bike. I also use it when driving, during rush hour.

Dennis Anderson
Guest
Dennis Anderson

It’ll be interesting when someone brings a lawsuit against the city when they get mowed down by a car because there aren’t complete bike lanes available throughout the city.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Good luck with that type of lawsuit. I’m sure someone would have tried that before, if someone thought they could win, even on a bicycle, which are legal to ride on the sidewalk, in most places (see my comment above).

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

1) The scooters aren’t the problem, the riders who break the law are the problem. Good idea, bad users. 2) YES! Can we get the damned sidewalks power-washed once a decade or so (sarcasm). Why aren’t merchants screaming about the filthy conditions of the sidewalks? 3) Homelessness is a problem. One of the problems is that people don’t have homes. Let’s fix that part of the problem. Another one of the problems is mental illness–let’s take a crack at that part of the problem, too. Shooing them elsewhere does nothing to fix the problems. 4) Yes to supporting wehoville.com, and… Read more »

Randy
Guest
Randy

Thank you for stating number (5). I’ve been saying this for months. I don’t remember anyone on the City Council referencing the lack of law enforcement, or even anyone bringing it up during public comment. Instead, they just want to blame the scooter companies, as though they are at fault for people breaking state laws that were already in place before they existed. The scooter companies remind people of just about every law listed in this article when you first rent one. If people ignore the laws, it isn’t their job to enforce them.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

How about you focus efforts on making people actually stop at stop signs first? Crescent Heights to Orlando and Santa Monica to Melrose has to be the worst area of stop sign observance in the country. How about we generate some revenue by ticketing people who are breaking the law in heavy machinery then focus on the scooters?

Michael
Guest
Michael

How about proper left turn lights too? And trimming overgrown vegetation that partially blocks the sidewalk. And what’s up with all the overflowing street garbage receptacles and the rats along SMB. While we are at it, lengthening the left turn cut out on SMB east bound and west bound at Fairfax. Traffic literally bottlenecks to turn up Fairfax, blocking a full lane on SMB, throw in a bus. Traffic comes to a grinding halt. We are breathing in all those fumes. The sidewalks near 7-11 are gross. The last time 7-11 cleaned in front of their store was last year… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

The Sidewalks do need to be washed. The sidewalks are stained with human and pet urine. A broken green glass bottle pieces are still around from Pride. Between CH and Havenhurst on SMB by the posters. By the Vet’s office, every dog goes before they go in. That section is disgusting. How is there no ordinance or policy for the vet to power wash? The city will grossly overpay for the service and its not necessarily the city’s job either. Since we are a pet friendly city, and it doesn’t rain much, and we have a lot of bars, and… Read more »

Manny
Guest
Manny

GOOD!

mrjankle
Guest
mrjankle

Love it! They are always thrown in middle of sidewalk. So dangerous. Get them off our streets. And yes, I’ve tripped on them. They are especially hard to see at night time when walking the dogs, etc. They are a huge nuisance. And yes, powerwash the gross streets.