City staff propose revised phase two e-scooter pilot program

City staff propose revised phase two e-scooter pilot program
Spin scooters in front of Market Square. (Photo Credit: Cody Mello-Klein)

By Cody Mello-Klein |

The Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services released a list of draft recommendations for a phase two e-scooter pilot program on Oct. 1.

T&ES previously extended the city’s e-scooter pilot program to the end of 2019, but staff has been considering the potential for a phase two pilot for a few months.

After nine months of ridership, data collection and controversy, T&ES outlined what changes would be made in a phase two pilot, which would extend the program through December 2020, according to a T&ES news release.

Staff’s proposed changes include allowing scooter riders, like bicyclists, to ride on sidewalks “unless explicitly banned” in certain areas; adjusting speed limits to 15 miles per hour on streets and six miles per hour on sidewalks; limiting one rider per device; and requiring any rider under the age of 14 to wear a helmet, according to the release.

Under the proposed phase two pilot, scooter companies would also be required to rebalance scooter deployment throughout Alexandria, participate in income-based discount programs and place scooters in the city’s new parking corrals if possible.

The draft recommendations are based on community input, coordination with other jurisdictions and data evaluation, according to the release.

The public can provide feedback on the recommended changes through an online feedback form up through Oct. 15: AlexandriaVa-ScooterPilotDraftRecs.

The Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes during its Oct. 16 meeting, according to the city’s website. City council will vote on the future of the e-scooter pilot program later this fall.

(Check out the Times’ Scooters in Alexandria series)