E-Scooter pilot program sparks conversation about privately owned scooters, other motorized vehicles

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – E-scooters may soon be rolling on Wichita streets.

The city looks to pass an ordinance Tuesday that would bring 1,500 rental E-scooters to town. If they come, they will have rules. But the rules are different for people who privately own their own e-scooter and other motorized vehicles.

“I get around town,” says Casey Boultinghouse.

Boultinghouse typically used his motorized skateboard.

“I actually have three of these,” he says.

It’s a skateboard with an engine and a whole lot of giddy up.

“This one here will go 30 mph,” says Boultinghouse. “I have another board that will go 50 mph.”

Boultinghouse usually rides in the bike paths, but in the world of motorized vehicles, the names of the lanes can get lost between the lines.

“That is kind of a grey area because, technically, these motor vehicles are not allowed on sidewalks unless they fit into a couple of different categories,” he says.

But he’s sticking to the rules and the way they were introduced last week for the new E-Scooter pilot program, he would be stopped in his tracks.

“I would not be able to ride on the sidewalk, nor the street, therefore I could not operate this vehicle or any of the other two for that matter,” he says.

Councilman James Clendenin feels good about the coming vote and program.

“I do not think anyone is getting pulled over right now,” Clendenin says.

Clendenin expects soon 1,500 rental E-Scooters to be in the city should the program pass the vote on Tuesday. For people who privately own motor vehicles, he says, no changes. People like Matthew Bradshaw will be able to use his scooter on the sidewalk to get to work.

“Privately owned scooters, the way the pilot program is written currently, should be exempted until the end of that pilot program. Then, we will really start to look at what those rules need to be for all those scooters and motorized vehicles,” says Clendenin.

It’s a new conversation and program in Wichita one Boultinghouse is excited to have and excited to have his fair share of the road for now.

“As it pertains to me, I can actually go about the way I have been operating which is riding in streets, bike paths, multi use paths, depending on where they are,” he says.

Clendenin says they are also watching closely how other cities handle the rental E-Scooters. He says they plan to hold users accountable.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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