DENVER (CBS4) – Following the first death by a rider on an electric scooter in Denver, a public debate was held Monday night to see what the future of scooters in Denver is, or should be.
“I take a lot of phone calls on this program. I talk to a lot of folks on that,” said Nick Williams, the Director of Public Works for the City of Denver. “These are new for everyone. No one grew up riding electric scooters at 15 miles per hour. A lot of those accidents happen in the first few rides making sure they’re as knowledgeable as possible would be a benefit for everyone.”
Williams was on a panel with other experts in a debate hosted by Streetsblog Denver. The debate was planned before the fatal accident but largely focused on safety.
“We all believe that scooters were inappropriate for the sidewalk,” Williams said.
The City is planning to force scooters off sidewalks and into streets later this week.
“This is a sustainable way to get from point A to point B,” said Patrick Quintana, a representative from Lyft Bikes and Scooters.
“There’s only so much that we can do and we’re trying to meet those riders where they are and help them understand the safety aspects of the scooter.”
Quintana says Lyft will hold a safety event in Denver later in the month where they will give away helmets.
Some argue with rider behavior being hard to change, safety falls to others.
“We have to also accept that some are not going to get that same infrastructure treatment, and unfortunately the burden lies on everyone, but more than anything I think it lies on drivers of vehicles,” said Jordan Block from HDR.
“It’s a mobility option, we’d like to keep exploring on that. But, I think there’s going to be adjustments and there has to be adjustments,” said Williams.