EAST LANSING, Mich. – City officials are continuing to assess the use of the new shared electric scooters in the East Lansing community and welcome feedback from community members.
While City officials are open to working with the Bird and Lime scooter companies to operate in East Lansing and have heard some positive feedback from residents who view the scooters as a viable transportation method, they do recognize that some residents also have concerns.
At this time, City officials are still studying whether or not new ordinances need to be created to regulate these vehicles. Current ordinances do not prevent them from being driven on sidewalks, but the East Lansing Police Department can enforce the operation of them while under the influence or if they are being driven recklessly/carelessly. Further, these vehicles can be impounded if they are creating a significant obstruction to traffic and/or pedestrians, including being parked in a public right-of-way or interfering with the use of sidewalk ramps. If community members see a scooter that is obstructing the public right-of-way, they can reach out to the respective scooter company (Bird: 1-866-205-2442; Lime: 1-888-LIME-345) or call the East Lansing Police Department’s 24/7 non-emergency phone number: (517) 351-4220.
City officials have connected with representatives from the Bird and Lime scooter companies and have stressed the importance of community safety and maintaining unobstructed public right-of-ways in the community. Those who are using the scooters should exercise extreme caution in areas where there are walking pedestrians, follow all applicable traffic laws (i.e. ride with traffic, signal when turning) and are encouraged to utilize bike lanes when possible. Please also keep the following in mind from the State of Michigan’s Public Act No. 204, which went into effect on September 18, 2018 and refers to the scooters as “electric skateboards”:
- Electric skateboards shall not be used to carry more than one person at a time.
- Individuals under 19 years of age must wear a helmet when operating an electric skateboard.
- If operating an electric skateboard in the roadway, ride as near to the right side as possible and exercise caution when passing a standing or moving vehicle.
- If operating an electric skateboard on a sidewalk, operators must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before passing pedestrians.
- Electric skateboards should be operated at no more than 25 miles per hour (the top speed on a Bird scooter is 15 mph and the top speed on a Lime scooter is 14.8 mph) and should not be operated on a highway/street with a speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour except to cross that highway/street.
For additional safety information, riders can refer to the Bird and Lime websites:
Community members can share their feedback via the City’s online comment form: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/FormCenter/Communications-12/Contact-Us-61.