Roanoke City leaders create parking zones for scooters left on sidewalks

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s a problem Roanoke City leaders are wanting to address — scooters in Roanoke.

Electric scooters have become an issue for anyone who is trying to get access to a business across Roanoke.

“You see them littered, a lot of times, it looked like the wind knocked them over or someone leaving a pub kicked them over,” Wes Meyers, who works in Downtown Roanoke said.

Meyers uses a scooter to get around and he is pleased to see a new parking zone for the scooters — one is in front of Community Financial Group.

“Since they put this here, it certainly has cleaned them up quite a bit,” Meyers said.

Roanoke City leaders said the purpose of the new parking zones is to make sure the scooters are properly put away and they are not blocking any pathways and sidewalks.

“It kind of got into a crowded situation with our sidewalks, and we figured the best way to approach that would be to provide corrals,” Chris Chittum, the executive director of community development and placemaking said.

Roanoke City leaders said around September they installed four corrals or scooter parking zones downtown for about $4,800.

They started with downtown because that’s where they see the most usage.

City leaders said this is one step in ensuring the sidewalks are safe for pedestrians.

“One of the main things is when the scooter is left by the ride or right at the edge of the sidewalk corner where somebody who might have a wheelchair may have trouble getting on the sidewalk using the curb ramp,” Chittum said.

Roanoke City leaders said they don’t plan to fine people yet, the goal right now is educating riders.

“We’re going to ease our way into this and get the scooter companies to deploy their scooters in them, the scooter companies would then impose a charge if they don’t get them back in the corrals,” Chittum said.

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