Austin Mulls Electric Scooter Use on Park Trails | Athletic Business

Austin Mulls Electric Scooter Use on Park Trails

Cities across the country are dealing with the invasion of rentable electric scooters in their downtown areas, and now Austin, Texas, is mulling allowing them in the city’s parks.

Following a pilot program that ran between January and September 2019, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has recommended to the city that scooter use should be permitted on certain trails, according to the local NBC affiliate.

Recommendations for the use of scooters on park lands were included in a letter from Austin Parks and Recreation Department director Kimberly McNeeley to the city’s mayor. While scooter use was recommended, limitations and best practices were also included in the letter.

During the pilot study, electric scooters and bikes were allowed on some trails in Austin. Educational pop-ups were eventually introduced on some trails and etiquette signage was installed to communicate safe guidelines, according to the memo. 

However, it was also recommended that the hike and bike trail should continue to operate without the use of electric scooters.

“With this additional use there will be a continued need to manage, evaluate and adjust to ensure that all trail users have a safe and enjoyable experience,” McNeeley wrote.

Analysis of 3-1-1 reports during pilot showed scooter speed to be the most reported behavior that concerned trail users. As a result, geofencing was implemented in the final month of the pilot, limiting the vehicles’ speed to 8 mph.

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