Boulder is continuing to work out the kinks about two months into its new e-scooter pilot program, which deployed 200 e-scooters in east Boulder.

The shared micromobility program, which includes a fleet of e-bikes, has been in the works for a while. The city issued a request for proposals in March after being directed to do so by Boulder City Council last September. It selected Lime to operate the e-scooter portion of the program and BCycle to operate the e-bikes.

Though the city views both the e-scooter and the e-bike programs as generally successful thus far, there have been safety and aesthetic concerns and parking issues, among other things, with the e-scooters. Those concerns have been reported to the city by community members, and Senior Transportation Planner David “DK” Kemp shared more in an update on Tuesday with Boulder City Council.

To address some of the concerns, the city is focusing primarily on education. The scooters also are programmed with a training ride mode, which prohibits speeds higher than 10 mph during a first ride so people can get acquainted with the scooter. Boulder also has committed to working with Lime to follow up on any reported issues within two hours of notification, and Lime goes out regularly to move improperly placed scooters into more suitable locations.

Since the pilot began  Aug. 18, there have been 22,490 scooter rides and 68,400 bicycle rides. No crashes have been reported for either mode of transportation, according to Kemp. There have been far fewer issues with the e-bikes, Kemp noted. In fact, BCycle is in the process of transitioning to a fully electric fleet with 400 to 500 e-bikes expected by 2022.

In terms of its e-scooter pilot program with Lime, the city opted for a dockless system, which has led to some complaints. Although there are rules about where an e-scooter can be left, this generally means the scooters can be parked at a rider’s final destination instead of being returned to a docking station.

Some Council members shared concerns about this, noting they’ve seen scooters blocking sidewalks and bike paths. Mayor Pro Tem Junie Joseph worried about the impact on people with mobility issues when scooters are parked in a manner that impedes access.

Others echoed this, with several suggesting some sort of penalty for those caught leaving scooters in inappropriate locations. Riders are required to take a photo of the scooter in order to return it.

“I think there’s something to be said for imposing a financial consequence to somebody who’s just leaving the e-scooter on somebody’s lawn or on a bike path,” Councilmember Mark Wallach said.

Still, if people follow the rules, Kemp views the ability to leave a scooter anywhere as a benefit of the program.

“If you can get this device as close as you can to your destination or pick it up as close as you can from your origin then it’s what we expect in a program — to have that device be convenient and get them where they need to be,” he said.

Though she shared some initial concerns about safety, Councilmember Rachel Friend agreed with this sentiment.

“I think they’re a great first and last mile solution, and I really want them to succeed,” Friend said.

“It’s very helpful to be able to leave a scooter right where you’re going, and that’s part of the big advantage of it,” she added. “I think we’d lose a lot of the value if we went to (a) docked system.”

Ultimately, the Council was reminded that the e-scooters are part of a year-long pilot program, one that is still quite new in Boulder. It can be re-evaluated down the road, and the city has flexibility in its ability to add docking stations or parking corrals in the future.

But for now, Boulder plans to ramp up its education efforts.

“I think we really need to intensify the education around how these things are operated — when you’re actually operating the device on the street and when you’re parking it — and help folks understand the context of why it’s important to park the device the way you should,” Kemp said.

“We’ve got more work to do,” he added. “There is a learning curve to this.”

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Boulder is continuing to work out the kinks about two months into its new e-scooter pilot program, which deployed 200 e-scooters in east Boulder.

The shared micromobility program, which includes a fleet of e-bikes, has been in the works for a while. The city issued a request for proposals in March after being directed to do so by Boulder City Council last September. It selected Lime to operate the e-scooter portion of the program and BCycle to operate the e-bikes.

Though the city views both the e-scooter and the e-bike programs as generally successful thus far, there have been safety and aesthetic concerns and parking issues, among other things, with the e-scooters. Those concerns have been reported to the city by community members, and Senior Transportation Planner David “DK” Kemp shared more in an update on Tuesday with Boulder City Council.

To address some of the concerns, the city is focusing primarily on education. The scooters also are programmed with a training ride mode, which prohibits speeds higher than 10 mph during a first ride so people can get acquainted with the scooter. Boulder also has committed to working with Lime to follow up on any reported issues within two hours of notification, and Lime goes out regularly to move improperly placed scooters into more suitable locations.

Since the pilot began  Aug. 18, there have been 22,490 scooter rides and 68,400 bicycle rides. No crashes have been reported for either mode of transportation, according to Kemp. There have been far fewer issues with the e-bikes, Kemp noted. In fact, BCycle is in the process of transitioning to a fully electric fleet with 400 to 500 e-bikes expected by 2022.

In terms of its e-scooter pilot program with Lime, the city opted for a dockless system, which has led to some complaints. Although there are rules about where an e-scooter can be left, this generally means the scooters can be parked at a rider’s final destination instead of being returned to a docking station.

Some Council members shared concerns about this, noting they’ve seen scooters blocking sidewalks and bike paths. Mayor Pro Tem Junie Joseph worried about the impact on people with mobility issues when scooters are parked in a manner that impedes access.

Others echoed this, with several suggesting some sort of penalty for those caught leaving scooters in inappropriate locations. Riders are required to take a photo of the scooter in order to return it.

“I think there’s something to be said for imposing a financial consequence to somebody who’s just leaving the e-scooter on somebody’s lawn or on a bike path,” Councilmember Mark Wallach said.

Still, if people follow the rules, Kemp views the ability to leave a scooter anywhere as a benefit of the program.

“If you can get this device as close as you can to your destination or pick it up as close as you can from your origin then it’s what we expect in a program — to have that device be convenient and get them where they need to be,” he said.

Though she shared some initial concerns about safety, Councilmember Rachel Friend agreed with this sentiment.

“I think they’re a great first and last mile solution, and I really want them to succeed,” Friend said.

“It’s very helpful to be able to leave a scooter right where you’re going, and that’s part of the big advantage of it,” she added. “I think we’d lose a lot of the value if we went to (a) docked system.”

Ultimately, the Council was reminded that the e-scooters are part of a year-long pilot program, one that is still quite new in Boulder. It can be re-evaluated down the road, and the city has flexibility in its ability to add docking stations or parking corrals in the future.

But for now, Boulder plans to ramp up its education efforts.

“I think we really need to intensify the education around how these things are operated — when you’re actually operating the device on the street and when you’re parking it — and help folks understand the context of why it’s important to park the device the way you should,” Kemp said.

“We’ve got more work to do,” he added. “There is a learning curve to this.”

, Boulder working through growing pains as e-scooter pilot program get… , Deborah Swearingen , 2021-10-08 18:36:44 , Boulder Daily Camera , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/DCC-L-SCOOTER_MJ28417.jpg?w=1400px&strip=all , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/DCC-L-SCOOTER_MJ28417.jpg?w=1024&h=665 , [rule_{ruleNumber}] , [rule_{ruleNumber}_plain] , , , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/08/boulder-works-through-growing-pains-as-e-scooter-pilot-program-gets-rolling/ , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/08/boulder-works-through-growing-pains-as-e-scooter-pilot-program-gets-rolling/ , www.dailycamera.com , https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailycamera.com%2F2021%2F10%2F08%2Fboulder-works-through-growing-pains-as-e-scooter-pilot-program-gets-rolling%2F , Colorado News,Latest Headlines,Local News,News, #Boulder #working #growing #pains #escooter #pilot #program