East Side Communities Working Together To Roll Out Scooter Rules
Electric scooters will likely make their way to five of Cleveland’s eastern suburbs later this year, after a survey of residents showed overwhelming enthusiasm.
About 1,100 people responded to an online survey covering Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights, Euclid and South Euclid, with more than 70 percent of respondents in favor of bringing scooter companies to the area. The survey asked residents whether they supported scooters on an initial trial basis.
In University Heights, the survey had only one response against scooters, said Mayor Michael Brennan.
“It does demonstrate that there is significant interest and that it’s something we should want to pursue,” Brennan said.
It will be at least a few months before University Heights brings in a scooter program, Brennan said. The legal directors of all five suburbs are meeting to develop coordinated rules and regulations across the area, he said.
“It is very likely, certainly from our point of view, that if you’re using a scooter in University Heights, that you will likely end up in one of our neighboring communities,” Brennan said.
The coordinated rules will cover where scooters can be parked and whether riders are required to wear a helmet.
About 18 percent of survey responses supported unrestricted parking, which would allow riders to leave the scooters anywhere. Creating designated parking spots received more support, Brennan said, but would take time to implement.
“We are lacking in designated parking areas for bicycles as well, which I think tends to suggest that more is necessary on that front,” Brennan said.
The cities also will need to decide if scooters should be ridden in the street or on the sidewalk.
Current rules for bike use in each city differ, Brennan said, so coming up with plans for scooters will require addressing discrepancies rather than just relying on existing ordinances.
“There may be some differences of opinion as to where scooters can operate, whether or not a helmet is necessary, and so on,” Brennan said.
University Heights residents could see scooters in the city before the end of this year, Brennan said, but timing will depend on coordination, discussions and rulemaking.
Cleveland Heights is also preparing for a trial run with the devices, according to a Saturday Facebook post from the city.
"Staff will use the survey’s information and best practices from other cities to prepare procedures and regulations for scooter and ebike use in preparation for a trial period for introduction of scooter and ebike sharing systems," the post said.
Electric scooters are already getting a trial run in Cleveland. The five suburbs began communicating about a possible coordinated scooter program after watching Cleveland’s develop. The East Side survey came together after Cuyahoga County officials reached out to several communities to gauge interest in an e-bike or scooter program.