You may have noticed dockless rental scooters popping up all over Cleveland since late August, when the city approved a six-month shared mobility demonstration program.
In less than a month, about 53,000 rides have already been taken on more than 900 scooters from three different companies. And the city has just approved a new e-bike vendor to join the mix.
So what's all the fuss about?
We decided to send Mike Polk Jr. out for a spin. Watch his story in the player above.
If you plan on taking an e-scooter out for a ride, here are some important things to remember:
In a statement to 3News, Bird scooters confirmed that because of geofencing, their scooters will not work outside of the city limits.
The devices also don't work between 7:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M.
And most importantly, remember to ride safely. The city of Cleveland provided 3News with this list of important safety tips to keep in mind as you head out on the road.
As a scooter rider, key things to remember include:
- Ride in the street. Scooter and bike riders should ride in the street with the flow of traffic, using bike lanes where possible.
- Don't get stranded. Under City regulations for the six-month demonstration, scooter vendors are required to deactivate the devices between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Keep this in mind when planning your rides.
- Be visible. Never assume a driver sees you. Ride at least three feet from the curb so you are in the line of sight of other road users.
- Be predictable. Follow all traffic laws, including stopping when the traffic light is red. Avoid weaving and riding erratically.
- Ride smart. Don't carry objects that keep you from controlling the scooter or bike. Don't be distracted or ride with headphones. Don't drink and ride. Don't ride more than one person per device.
- Wear a helmet. Permitted vendors are required to give you a free helmet upon request.
For parking, just know that you may park or bike anywhere on the sidewalk in the "furniture zone," as long as you don't block access for others. The furniture zone is the area between the curb and the walkway where there may already be trash cans, bus stops, benches, and bike racks. Keep an eye out so you don't block:
- the pedestrian walkway (leave at least 6' of space)
- bus stops and shelters
- doorways and emergency exits
- fire hydrants and standpipes
- driveways and sidewalk ramps
Motor vehicle drivers should keep the following in mind:
- Share the road. People riding scooters and bikes are allowed on the road.
- Don't drive distracted. Be alert and watch out for slower moving road users like people on scooters and bikes.
- Pass safely. Drivers may pass people on scooters and bikes if there are at least three feet between the motor vehicle and the rider. Where possible, change lanes to pass.
- Look before you leave. When you park on the street, check your blind spot to make sure you will not hit a scooter or bike rider when you open your door.
- Be patient. Everyone on the road wants to get where they are going quickly and safely.