SAN DIEGO -- After a rash of recent crashes and injuries involving dockless scooters, a group of residents from several San Diego neighborhoods rallied in Mission Beach Saturday, calling on the city to better regulate the vehicles.
On Tuesday morning, the San Diego City Council is set to discuss a proposal by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to regulate e-scooters. Some of the new proposals include imposing scooter fees, creating designated parking spots and regulating speed in certain areas.
Saturday's gathering hopes the city embraces the new regulations, which they say will keep communities safe. As the rally began to wind down, a scooter rider wiped out right in front of the gathering on the Mission Beach boardwalk. The group said accidents like that are a perfect example of why they make streets, sidewalks and the boardwalk more dangerous.
“The city council needs to realize that this is a safety issue. We are having accidents. Motorized vehicles and pedestrians don’t mix,” said Greg Knight, the Mission Beach Town Council vice president.
The residents say they can no longer enjoy walks because walkways are now more like busy streets. They also say the high numbers of dumped scooters are an eyesore that create trash and obstacles. “People who live in communities are being driven off our walkways. It’s no longer safe for people to go out for a walk on a sidewalk, on a boardwalk,” said Jonathan Freeman, the founder of a group called Safe Walkways.
Freeman lives downtown and says he and his dog were injured when they were hit by a scooter. He claims most of the crashes are caused by users who are impaired or those who don’t know how to properly use the dockless vehicles.
“Scooters are inherently unsafe, the data is already showing that. In my opinion they should not be offered for rent to the public,” said Freeman. “If you’re hit by an 8-mile-an-hour vehicle, you’re going to be radically injured. We need to have proper enforcement and proper regulation here on the boardwalk."
The City Council's meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m.