4
| News |

Like Scooters? Here's What You Need to Know to Ride in Denver

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Denver has addressed its scooter problem. On Monday, January 7, Denver City Council unanimously passed an ordinance regulating the controversial but popular two-wheeled devices.

The ordinance, proposed by councilmembers Mary Beth Susman and Paul Kashmann, allows scooters to use bike lanes and roadways whose speed limits don't exceed thirty miles per hour. If there is no bike lane available and the roadway's speed limit exceeds thirty miles per hour, a scooter may be operated on a sidewalk, though it can't go faster than six miles per hour. Scooters using roads must stay as far to the right as possible. And scooters are banned from the 16th Street Mall entirely.

"This is a thing to primarily get the scooters off the sidewalk and give our scooters flexibility to use our bike lanes and our roads," Susman said at the meeting.

Scooters must have lights on the front, a red reflector on the back, and reflectors or lights on the sides. Scooter operators must also abide by roadway traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. Scooter parking is allowed on sidewalks, as long as it does not impede pedestrians. Joint scooter rides are also banned.

How to regulate scooters became a contentious debate after companies like Bird, Lime and Lyft dropped their iteration of the two-wheeled mobile devices on Denver in 2018 without much notice to the city. Suddenly scooters were zipping by on sidewalks and streets and in bike lanes.

Although the scooter ordinance received universal support from the city council, a few members expressed concerns about how scooter riders will mesh with pedestrians, bikers and drivers. And Kevin Flynn and Paul Lopez said they were concerned that similar transportation devices, such as motorized unicycles, electric skateboards and hoverboards, would also be included in this ordinance. However, a representative from the Denver Department of Public Works stressed that the ordinance only covers scooters.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.