Council passes scooter ordinance; rules up next

Council passes scooter ordinance; rules up next

PAWTUCKET – The City Council last week approved an ordinance that paves the way for new scooter and bicycle rental programs to utilize local sidewalks, but second passage of the law will wait on rules about their distribution being finalized first.

Councilor Meghan Kallman placed it as a condition of moving forward that the council see a draft of the rules before finalizing the ordinance at its next meeting.

Rules would, among other things, limit how many scooters could be put on the streets.

With Providence’s JUMP scooters and bikes program, the number of active scooters allowed at any one time is 300.

Enabling the police chief and public works director to draft the rules with the council’s input prior to second passage will be faster than putting them through the ordinance subcommittee. She said there was incentive to move forward quickly as the scooter companies are interested in getting going in the city.

If the rules aren’t drafted by the next meeting, the council could always postpone second passage of the ordinance, said City Council President David Moran.

Kallman, at Councilor John Barry III’s request, also put forward a stipulation that district council members should be consulted as a necessary part of putting a scooter and bike docking station on a local sidewalk.

City ordinance approved last week essentially clears up any question about whether scooters and bikes are allowed on public sidewalks by allowing them with the public works director’s permission.

Officials are looking to promote greater transportation options in the city with similar programs to what neighboring Providence has.