Bird reacted to the recent scooter boardwalk ban.
“Bird is a committed member of the San Diego community, and we are grateful to residents, local businesses, and community organizations that have championed and supported shared e-scooters,” said Tim Harter of Bird. “While we are disappointed in the City of San Diego’s decision to ban all motorized devices on the boardwalk, we are supportive of the Council’s direction to speed up infrastructure improvements along Mission Boulevard.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with the City to help provide a reliable and environmentally friendly transportation option to help locals and visitors easily get around town, connect to transit, and enjoy everything the city has to offer, as well as improving safety measures for all.”
Beach residents Gay Wonacott, recent past Mission Beach Town Council president, and Bill Zent of Pacific Beach, who authored a petition drive to curb scooters, were pleased by the City Council’s action.
“MB residents and visitors to our community will now be able to walk on our boardwalks during the summer months with much less risk of being run over,” said Wonacott. “But this is a decision that never should have been required this long after the e-mobility devices were introduced by Bird, Lime and others.”
“I am extremely pleased with the job Councilmember Barbara Bry did on the scooter issue,” said Zent. “We achieved a permanent ban in key areas such as the boardwalk. Numerous people who signed my petition were thrilled and sent me emails expressing their appreciation to all who worked to resolve a dangerous problem here in San Diego.
“Scooters companies like Lyme leaving once this ordinance was announced highlights the fact that they never came here to provide mobility. They came to leverage our tourism into a profit while selling their goods for free on our streets and sidewalks.”
Beach visitors largely agreed that a scooter boardwalk ban was proper.
“I have mixed feelings, 50-50, about having a full ban, said Cristen Clemetson of Bay Park. “There does need to be some kind of regulation. I just don’t know if banning them completely is good. We want to cut back on cars and emissions and traffic and all that stuff. But it did get to the point where it was overwhelming. [Scooters are] helpful to get from point A to point B.”
“I don’t think they should ban them because a lot of people use them,” said Don Ofer of Las Vegas. “Everybody’s going to make money from it. They do it in all the other cities. I’ve never seen anybody stupid on them. I don’t have a problem with it.”
“Due to speed, maybe [the ban is] applicable as people don’t know how to slow down,” said Iluyomade Segun of Solana Beach. “I support the ban just for the fact that it’s automatic. People need to apply their senses. It’s a great idea.”
“I do like the scooters, but I can understand [the ban] because it’s dangerous,” said Matt Collamer, visiting from Boston. “It makes sense. It’s probably a good call. I think it’s fair.”
The council Jan. 28 also opted to reduce the scooter geofencing speed limit from 8 to 3 mph in some areas.
On the beachfront, motorized scooters and bicycles will now only be allowed to travel at a maximum of 3 miles per hour in the following locations:
• On the public walkway on Ocean Front Walk in Mission Beach, beginning at the South Mission Beach Jetty northward to the terminus of the public walkway at Ocean Boulevard at Law Street in Pacific Beach.
• On the public walkway on the west side of Mission Bay Park from San Diego Place (adjacent to the South Mission Beach Jetty) to Corona Oriente Road (terminus of Crown Point Park), known as Bayside Walk.
• On the public walkway on the east side of Mission Bay Park from De Anza Road southward to the South Shores Boat Launch and Park.
• And on the boardwalk from Avenida De La Playa (adjacent to La Jolla Shores) north to the terminus of La Jolla Shores Park at its northeast corner.
“It is correct to say that private and rented motorized devices are prohibited from use in these areas,” said City spokesperson Leslie Wolf Branscomb. “The 3 mph geofence is meant to effectuate the ban for shared devices offered for rental by companies like Bird or Lime.”
Added Wolf Branscomb: “The ban applies to riders of the device and the geofencing requirement applies to operators (shared-device companies like Bird or Lime). So riders are prohibited from using these devices in the listed areas ‘and’ the companies must make sure that their devices are limited to 3 mph in those zones to effectuate that ban.”