Electric scooter parking: How the city, companies handle violations

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)—The electric scooters zipping through downtown aren’t being parked properly by every rider.

City workers hit the streets Tuesday to inspect the park jobs and inform riders on proper parking procedures.

A city ordinance states the scooters, which launched in Indianapolis this summer through companies Lime and Bird, must be parked upright. They should leave at least four feet of open sidewalk space and they should not block any entrances or exits to buildings.

Scooter rider Shane Luttrell calls the rules “simple.”

But Dimitri Kyser of the city’s Department of Business and Neighborhood Services spotted a few scooters in violation, parked in a downtown alleyway.

“Because it is a right of way, they need to parked on a sidewalk or near a bike rack,” Kyser said.

City workers moved the scooters and a zoning inspector wrote down the violation. He’ll send the information to Bird but no one is penalized.

“The companies are doing a great job of making sure the scooters are upright and they’re parked where they need to be,” Kyser said.

News 8 found four Lime scooters stacked sideways, not upright, near East and Washington streets around noon Tuesday. A reporter texted Lime to let them know and, while someone responded saying a team would fix the situation, the scooters remained on their sides at 5 p.m.

City leaders encourage people to call Lime, Bird or the Mayor’s Action Center if they see scooters parked improperly.

“A representative will come out, they will locate the scooter and the proper area, a proper position that I needs to be in,” Kyser said.

The city ordinance states people should park the scooters near a bike rack if one is around.

City workers say they encourage helmets but helmets are not required on the scooters by law.

Bird released the following statement Tuesday in response to a request for comment on this story:

 Rider education is our top priority at Bird, and we are committed to partnering with all cities to ensure that the community, and its visitors, safely embrace our affordable, environmentally friendly transportation option. We strive to improve and enhance the well-being of our riders and communities through concrete action, including: restricting the maximum speed of the vehicles, requiring riders to upload a driver’s license and confirm they are 18 or older, providing an in-app tutorial on how to ride a Bird and how to park it, and posting clear safety instructions on each Bird. Additionally, Bird recently formed the Global Safety Advisory Board, which will create, advise, and implement global programs, campaigns, and products to improve the safety of those riding Birds and other e-scooters.

We strongly recommend reporting any incidents that Bird scooters are involved in, as we have a support team dedicated to safety that is available around the clock to address questions and reports we receive. We provide a number of ways for people to reach us including by email (Hello@bird.co), our in-app messaging feature, and by phone. We strive to respond to all inquiries in a timely fashion and are continually striving for an immediate response time.

News 8 has reached out to Lime, asking how they can ensure proper parking, and we have not heard back.

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