'Clear The Clutter' Tool Aims To Increase Enforcement On E-Scooters

Apr 9, 2019

As cities across Georgia continue to grapple with electric scooters, one group in Atlanta is taking things into their own hands.

PEDS, a sidewalk advocacy group, announced Tuesday a tool called “Clear the Clutter.” It allows people to upload pictures of illegally parked scooters.

The city of Atlanta placed a ban on riding e-scooters on sidewalks in January, among other regulations. It’s also required that riders leave scooters upright and at least 5 feet of space on the sidewalks when they’re parked.

But Sally Flocks with PEDS said the city’s ordinance lacks tools to enforce the new rules.

“It’s wishful thinking to tell people to stay off the sidewalk and park their scooters a certain way,” Flocks said about why they released their tool. “But there’s no enforcement.”

According to the ordinance passed by the city council, Atlanta police and the Department of Public Works are required to enforce the riding and parking regulations, but Flocks said no extra resources were allocated to make sure that happens.

The city has also asked people to report any violations directly to the companies. It has released a list with the description and contact information for each company operating scooters here: Bird, Lyft, Lime and Uber.

Muving also operates mopeds in Atlanta but those go twice as fast, up to 30 miles per hour, and people must wear a helmet and ride in the street. But that doesn’t prevent them from being parked on the sidewalk.

Flocks said the original plan was to leave the clutter clearing tool up for three months and then write a report for the city to highlight the problem. But she said they might get enough information in just the first 30 days.

But Flocks said she isn’t against people using the scooters.

“People who love them feel they should be on the sidewalk,” she said. “Hopefully this leads to getting roads re-configured, so people can feel safe riding them in the street.”