ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke city leaders welcomed electric scooters as an alternative way to get around the Star City, but some say they’re becoming a problem.
The city is planning to implement strategies to address this and in the end it may cost you more, if you don’t return scooters where they belong.
They’re everywhere, some are black and white, and others are orange with brake lights blinking.
“It’s a nuisance,” one Downtown Roanoke worker said.
A nuisance, because what’s supposed to be a fun way to get around the Star City, is causing headaches for some.
“I go into work and I have to move these dang scooters away from the shop in the morning they’re on the street,” another worker said.
Some are on the bridge slightly leaning, and one completely on its side.
Another scooter at Smith Park on its side in a parking space. It reads, “please help me up.”
“We’re seeing about 9,000 to 10,000 rides a month on average, sometimes up to 12,000,” Chris Chittum with the City of Roanoke said.
City leaders say they have heard growing concerns about scooters blocking sidewalks and pathways and they plan to address the issue several ways.
One is by installing corral racks downtown.
“That are about the size of a parking space of car that might hold 10 scooters, the company would deploy scooters in the corral and the company would require them to return them before they could end the trip,” Chittum said.
If the scooter isn’t returned to the rack downtown, the rider would have to pay additional fees.
City leaders plan to work with companies to make sure scooters in residential areas are not blocking sidewalks.
“Staying in contact with the scooter companies to monitor how they are deployed and more importantly when riders return them and get them back in the right place,” Chittum said. “Going out on patrol and making sure there are no scooters knocked over blocking sidewalks and curb ramps.”
City leaders say they are expecting to see corrals in downtown by the summer.
We want to hear from you — do you think the installation of corral racks in downtown Roanoke will help keep them off of streets and sidewalks?
Let us know your thoughts in the form below.