Electric scooters are not the big issue they were a couple of years ago when flocks of them first appeared on the streets, but they have a new name.
The Greensboro City Council at the Tuesday, Oct. 6 meeting plans to redefine electric scooters and electric bikes as “micromobility vehicles.” The old definition of an “electric standup scooter” defined it as having two wheels, while the new definition allows it to have no more than three wheels and a top speed of no more than 20 miles per hour.
The new definition comes with a whole bunch of regulations. But the one that will likely cause a lot of concern for micromobility vehicle riders is the impoundment clause.
The impoundment clause gives “any law enforcement officer or parking enforcement employee” of the city the right to impound any micromobility vehicle or bicycle that is being operated or parked in violation of the law.
If the parking enforcement employees enforce this law with the same vigor as they enforce parking regulations, then a lot of folks are going to leave their micromobility vehicle outside a business while they run in for a minute and when they return, they will discover it has been impounded.
Exactly how that impoundment will take place is not specified.
The ordinance also does not specify the “administrative fee” that will be charged for the impoundment and storage in order to get the micromobility vehicle back.
The ordinance does establish that it is illegal to ride a micromobility vehicle or bicycle on the sidewalk in the Central Business District and the micromobility vehicle or bicycle can be impounded for that violation.
The ordinance also establishes that designated bike lanes can be used by micromobility vehicles and it is illegal for any person to park or drive any vehicle in a designated bike lane other than micromobility vehicles and bicycles.