Tonight: Mountain View BPAC reviews escooter policy

This evening, the Mountain View’s Bicycle/Pedestrian advisory committee will review policies for scooter sharing programs. Last night, the City Council adopted a temporary moratorium while the regulations are being developed.

According to the staff report, the mobility gizmos have proven much more popular in nearby San Jose than bikeshare systems, which have had lower adoption in areas that are less dense. Both of the companies that had been operating bikeshare systems most recently in Mountain View withdrew their bikes following low ridership.

Education for new scooter users seems particularly relevant since data from a recent study in Austin showed that 33% of scooter injuries were experienced by first-time scooter users. Parking is another topic for discussion – what facilities and rules can help scooters be stored in an orderly way?

Topics that the BPAC is being asked to consider include:

  • Restricting scooter parking to designated areas;
  • Verifying scooter parking behavior using a smartphone camera;
  • Adopting a maximum fleet size of 800 scooters, or 400 scooters per operator;
  • Requiring that fleet size expansion beyond 250 scooters per operator be contingent upon average weekday utilization of two trips per device per day;
  • Mandating robust educational strategies such as online or in-person training and assessment;
  • Exploring mechanisms to monitor and ensure that e-scooters to not operate along sidewalks;
  • Expanding data sharing to include open APIs and parking data.

Proposed regulations are expected to be brought to Mountain View City Council in the Fall, and a pilot program would subsequently be brought back to BPAC and City Council for review and approval.

Mountain View is on a timeline slightly behind the City of Santa Clara, where City Council held a study session on proposed regulations earlier this month, and a proposal is expected to come back to City Council in August.

Caltrain’s station access program is considering working with cities up and down the corridor to help with micromobility systems including escooters, since they can help people get to and from stations faster than walking.

If you have thoughts about policies for escooters, you can come to Mountain View BPAC at 6:30pm this evening at the Plaza Conference Room at City Hall, 500 Castro STreet, or send thoughts in writing to bpac@mountainview.gov