Cleveland Planning Commission Holding Forum On Scooter Safety

A bird dockless electric scooter parked on Playhouse Square in Cleveland.
The forum will focus on the unique safety risks that scooters pose for people with visual impairments. [Adrian Ma / ideastream]
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Cleveland’s planning commission will hold a forum Thursday with advocates for the blind as the group considers changes to electric scooter regulations to address safety concerns from disabled residents.

The forum will focus on the unique safety risks scooters pose for people with visual impairments. Suzanne Turner, president of the Cleveland chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, said her organization has already met with city officials to discuss some concerns.

“The scooters right now are being left just about everywhere, from in doorways, crosswalks, at the bottom of ramps," she said. "They don’t have a loud mechanism where you would know if they are approaching close to you.”

Turner’s organization is asking the city to impose penalties on people who don’t park scooters in proper locations and to require scooter riders be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license. City officials agreed to arrange the forum to discuss ways to make changes, she said.

“They were very receptive to it," Turner said. "I understand that they also have concerns.”

Earlier this year, Cuyahoga County officials reached out to several communities to gage interest in a scooter or bikeshare program. After a request for information (RFI) issued over the summer, five scooter vendors came to Cleveland for a trial run. Five East Side suburbs — Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Euclid, South Euclid and University Heights — are surveying residents to see if they want scooters in their neighborhoods and how they should regulate them.

The forum will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Cleveland City Hall. Scooter company representatives are expected to attend.

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