Survey Shows Scooter Support In East Side Suburbs

A bird scooter beside UH bikes
Motorized scooters returned to Cleveland this summer. [Adrian Ma / ideastream]

Scooters have already come to Cleveland, but several East Side suburbs are considering regulations before allowing them into their communities.

Five cities are getting started with a survey. And so far, feedback is positive.

The survey, which is open through the end of the year, is a partnership between Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Euclid, South Euclid and University Heights.

Of the nearly 680 responses so far, 68 percent are in favor of bringing scooter companies to their neighborhoods, said Cleveland Heights Planning Director Richard Wong.

The trendy electric scooters provide a convenient method of transportation that residents want, he said.

“If you want to go to the library, you want to go to a movie or check out something at a commercial district, those are really short trips for you in a car, and it seems like you’re overdoing it,” Wong said.

The biggest concerns voiced in the survey so far, Wong said, are about safety.

“We don’t dispute that there could be injuries using scooters,” he said. “The question is, what are we doing, what are we learning from other cities including Cleveland to make sure that we are using the best practices possible in planning for this introduction of scooters?”

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.

The five suburbs decided to work together after watching the county’s RFI process, Shaker Heights City Planner Cameron Roberts said.

“If people are going to use these devices and go across the boundaries of our communities, it probably makes sense for us to have similar regulations in place for how these devices are being used,” he said.

The participating cities are in similar places with regards to implementing scooter programs, Roberts said. There aren’t ordinances or regulations in place yet, but officials are interested.

“All five of our communities recognized this was a good time to begin collecting input and focus on this survey because winter is coming up, there’s going to be snow and these devices are probably not going to be utilized as much as they would in spring, summer or fall,” Roberts said.

In and around Cleveland Heights, scooters are already visible, Wong said. The city wants to figure out how best to regulate the program before it expands, he said, and working with other neighboring suburbs provides that opportunity.

“It makes sense to blur those boundaries, because the trips shouldn’t end right at a city’s border line,” Wong said. “And the other thing that’s obvious is, they’re popular. So we need to plan for them.”

After the survey closes on Dec. 31, Wong said the participating cities will analyze the responses before making any plans, which is expected to take at least a few months.

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