No SATV scooters for Page

Photo provided by City of Scottsdale
Three scooters illegally parked on sidewalks in Scottsdale.

PAGE – The City of Page passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of two-wheeled shared mobility vehicles. Safety concerns guided the March 24 decision.

A shared active transportation vehicle, or SATV, is a commercially rented scooter, bike, or any other mobile vehicle, which includes – but not limited to – stand-up electric scooters and electric bicycles. This excludes motor vehicles that have a self-contained locking mechanism that does not require locking to a bike rack, docking system or structure.

Another concern brought up in the council meeting is the business operating model itself. A customer rents a scooter with a mobile app. Riders pay by the minute and when they’re finished, they leave it wherever they’re at. The company then rents it to someone else in the vicinity or retrieves it.  

The problem is scooters would be left on the sidewalks, parks or cluttering other areas. Mayor Bill Diak told the council he witnessed the problem firsthand staying on the boardwalk of San Diego. He said vehicles were left on the sidewalks for at least four days while he was there.

City Manager Darren Coldwell told the council that SATVs “have not been well-received once communities have accepted them. They have bad reputations for not maintaining them.”

Coldwell said they’re left on the ground and people have to step over them. He said, “Our sidewalks are really not built for them; they’re too narrow.”

Coldwell said another big concern is the hill leading to ‘hotel alley.’ He said, “That could be an accident waiting to happen.”

He added, “A lot of communities in the valley wish they could have just said, “No. We’re not going to do it.”

City Attorney Josh Smith said of the ordinance: “If someone wants to come here and open up a shop downtown and rent scooters, they can do that because it’s a staffed location.”

Smith said, “What it prohibits is unstaffed kiosks or from an app where you just have them wherever—you grab it, and you can activate it in an app and ride it wherever you want to go and leave it there.”

Councilor Brian Carey objected to the ordinance exclusion of SATV bicycles. He said, “My experience with bicycles in this business model has always been very favorable in any city I’ve been to. They’re not the same as the scooter rentals. You have to return them back to a docking station.”

Carey gave Chicago as an example of where SATV bikes are used extensively for day-to-day business and by tourists. He added, “I’m concerned that we’re getting away from a bicycle-ready town rather than moving toward a bicycle-friendly town. I can’t support an ordinance that does that.”

Carey tried to get an amendment added to the ordinance excluding non-motorized bicycles from the prohibition. Only Councilor Theresa Lee sided with Carey and the amendment was defeated 5-2. The ordinance prohibiting 2-wheel SATVs was passed 5-2 with Carey and Lee voting against the measure.

 

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