CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - E-scooters are staying in Charlottesville, and that means the city has some new rules. Councilors passed an ordinance that says if you don't park scooters correctly, you'll have to pay up.
It’s especially important for keeping the city accessible to everyone. The new rules lay out how the city hopes to keep everyone safe and make sure those sidewalks stay clear.
“Certainly how they’re parked is a key issue,” Charlottesville City Spokesman Brian Wheeler said.
E-scooters like Lime and VeoRide now have long term rules and regulations in Charlottesville.
“The state has not given us a choice about whether we have them, the state is requiring localities to have an ordinance in place and we've been proactive, did the pilot, and now we have an ordinance that we think fits this community,” Wheeler said.
That year-long pilot allowed city officials to see the pros and cons that come along with these scooters. Now, in addition to keeping a helmet on, and not having headphones or earbuds on while riding, people will need to pay more attention to where and how they park.
It’s all to keep the city in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To be ADA compliant, a sidewalk needs to be three feet wide. However, with a scooter in the way, some sidewalks can’t be compliant.
“That’s a combination of education but also new regulations. There’s a $50 fine for improperly parking a scooter,” Wheeler said.
That $50 fine will be used to help make sure that the streets of Charlottesville stay accessible to everyone. The city plans on hiring a full-time employee to enforce the parking and other rules that come along with hopping on a scooter.
“Because we have an ordinance in place, that will create some revenue so that we can pay for that, that person then will be able to follow up with the companies directly and also patrol the community a little bit,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler says the city also plans to work with UVA to make sure that scooters are not left inappropriately on grounds.