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Scooter fees to go toward better bike paths

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — People riding scooters and bikes around Indy could have some improved bike paths thanks to some action by the City-County Council this week. 

A portion of money the city collects on scooter fees will go to making those paths safer.

The fee comes from the dollar per day per scooter charge that Bird and Lime pay the city to operate in Indianapolis. 

Estefany Duanez zips around Indiana on a scooter often. She said she knows she doesn’t always follow the rules, though.

“You’re not supposed to use the sidewalks or the cultural trail but there’s no other option,” she said.

She said the bike lanes are not safe for scooters. And sometimes there are none.

“Either every lane is occupied for parking and when you’re riding drivers aren’t too nice about you being on the street,” Duanez said.

Estefany is not the only one riding on the sidewalks.

“You see a lot of scooters on the sidewalks and I think that’s because of the lack of safety right,” said Katie Feltman, who is the president of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association.

Feltman bikes to work most days. She said some bike lanes are just too narrow while other times there just need to be more around the circle city for bikes and scooters to ride safely.

“Scooter riders don’t necessarily feel safer on the roads than bikes do,” she said.

That’s why Feltman said it’s important the city will use some of the money from scooter fees to improve bike lanes used by scooter riders.

The city will study which streets riders use most often and figure out ways to make them most safe. 

“Have more bike lanes around downtown so we don’t use the sidewalks or have issues with cars,” Estefany said.

A spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works said the couple million dollars will start coming in January or February, and then the plan for changes will begin.