Transportation

Scooters can help Sacramento’s traffic and air. Are you riding them correctly?

Here are the rules for riding electric bikes and scooters in Sacramento

The city of Sacramento hosted educational pop-ups on shared scooter safety at three major intersections on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The city could soon have 2,000 shared electric bicycles and scooters.
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The city of Sacramento hosted educational pop-ups on shared scooter safety at three major intersections on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The city could soon have 2,000 shared electric bicycles and scooters.

As 2,000 shared bike and scooters prepare to swarm Sacramento this summer, public safety on the streets has become a priority for riders, drivers and city officials.

On Wednesday the city hosted an educational pop-up on shared eScooter safety on three popular intersections: K and 24th streets, L and 11th streets and R and 15th streets.

A group of police officers gathered under a green tent at the corner of K and 24th streets at 3:30 p.m., handing out leaflets that outline key safety tips for the city’s scooters. One officer took a scooter for test ride around the block.

“We’ve received concerns from residents that people are scooting on sidewalks and parking illegally,” said Jennifer Donlon Wyant, the city’s transportation planning manager. “We’re trying to be proactive about it.”

Wyant said that scooters must ride with traffic, on the streets, and never on the sidewalks. They should use the bike lane when available, and scooters should not be ridden in streets above 25 mph unless in a bike lane.

The scooters should be parked in a stable, upright position, only at bike racks or specified drop zones. Scooters are welcome on city paths, but not on American River Parkway and county paths. Scooter users must be 18 years old with a driver’s license or permit.

Under the 100-degree sun, police Capt. Norm Leong stopped a pedestrian at the street corner, handed him a flyer and gave him a brief rundown of the rules: “Scooters should stay on the street and use bike lanes when possible.”

According to Wyant, Sacramento currently has 700 bikes and scooters, all licensed from Uber’s Jump. In the next few weeks, the city anticipates approving four other similar companies to rent out their bikes and scooters. These new partnerships could bring the city’s shared rideables count to around 2,000.

“The purpose of permitting and encouraging the shared rideable is to encourage travel by modes other than single occupancy vehicle,” Wyant said. “As we continue to grow as city, we can’t have everyone driving in their own cars. We want to provide options for people – whether it’s transit, a pool, or a shared rideable so we have people moving in other ways besides single occupancy vehicles.”

Morris Thomas, who works for Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, rides the Jump bikes and scooters.

“I use them for transport to work and for going to places with friends during the evenings,” Thomas said.

Although Thomas has a car, he sometimes takes a Jump bike to work to avoid midtown traffic.

These shared bikes and scooters may be a key factor in reducing traffic and car use in Sacramento, as well as promoting a green method of transportation.

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Candice Wang, from Yale, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee interested in climate change, sustainability, socioeconomic inequality, and culture. She grew up in Connecticut.
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