With the introduction of electric scooters to the Denver metro, sidewalks could get crowded.
Lyft, LimeBike and Bird (among others) are deploying scooters in cities across the U.S., including Denver. The Denver Department of Public Works recently released guidelines on operating these scooters. The guidelines mandate that all scooters stay off roads and bike paths. Instead, scooters are to stay on sidewalks. But what does this mean for pedestrians?
The scooters, which can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour, will be sharing space with pedestrians. While the Department of Public Works may consider these scooters as “toy vehicles”, they can carry up to 200 pounds. That means it’s not just children who are going to be whipping around Denver sidewalks at 15 MPH.
Expect growing pains as pedestrians engrossed in cell phones learn to share sidewalks with these fast-moving and quiet scooters. Scooter drivers must learn to drive the scooter itself while dodging preoccupied pedestrians.
The electric scooter craze started in San Francisco, Denver and Washington. Startup companies like LimeBike and Spin are deploying fleets of scooters to areas missed by other transit options. In Denver, someone can rent a scooter from Lyft for a dollar plus $0.15 per minute.
The prospect of cheap transportation is tempting, especially in downtown Denver. However, there is cause for concern. In California, all scooters are prohibited from using sidewalks. The state saw the potential danger posed to pedestrians and decided against it.
It remains to be seen how Denver’s pedestrians will fare.
It will be interesting to see how these new scooters coexist with the foot traffic throughout Denver. Pedestrian/scooter accidents may be common while both groups figure out how to share space.
If you’re in an accident as a pedestrian, a personal injury attorney can help. You shouldn’t have medical bills and missed work because of someone else’s carelessness.