Nashville is banishing the scooters after its first scooter-related death. The city’s mayor David Briley notified seven scooter companies operating in Nashville he was ending the pilot project and banning electric scooters from the streets, according to a letter he posted to Twitter Friday.
“We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue,” Briley writes. “If these devices return in the future, it will be after a public process, on our terms, with strict oversight for numbers, safety, and accessibility.”
Today, I notified Nashville’s seven scooter companies of my decision to end the pilot period and ban e-scooters from our streets. We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue. pic.twitter.com/1IBmZRsRgF— Mayor David Briley (@MayorBriley) June 21, 2019
Briley had considered banning the scooters a month ago, according to the Tennessean. But it wasn’t until Nashville experienced its first scooter-related death that the mayor formally announced his plan to remove scooters from the city. Brady Gaulke, 26, was struck by a vehicle and killed while riding a scooter in May. Police found that Gaulke had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system and was responsible for the crash.
Nashville has been a hotbed for scooter sharing, with seven companies and as many as 4,000 scooters on the streets. Briley, in consultation with the Nashville city council, plans to allow one or two companies to eventually return and put smaller fleets of scooters back on the streets. Companies would compete for the limited slots through a process overseen by the city’s Transportation Licensing Commission, according to the Tennessean.
Nashville has been a hotbed for scooter sharing
Since they emerged in late 2017, dockless electric scooters have flummoxed city officials. Cities have tried to juggle the popularity of the devices with the need to better regulate their numbers while also forcing the companies to apply for permits.
Some cities have proposed rules too onerous for the scooter companies, forcing them to decide whether to stick around or pull out. Uber pulled its Jump bikes and scooters from San Antonio, Texas, last week after the city proposed changes that would cut its fleet in half. Over in Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is proposing new rules after the June 10th death of an e-scooter rider, who was struck by a truck.
One of the last major holdouts, New York State, recently legalized electric scooters, but will allow cities to write their own rules for scooter companies to follow.