Electric scooters banned at several big Wichita events

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You see them on nearly every corner in downtown Wichita, but you won’t see scooters at one major event.

Open Streets ICT, an event that shuts down Douglas Avenue, attracts thousands of people every year. But, the city announced this week electric scooters will not be allowed at the event.

“It’s fun, simple as that,” said Wichitan Alexander Matson, of the scooters.

“It’s a lot quicker,” said Wichitan Jon Finley. “It’s a lot easier, and it’s a lot cheaper.”

They’re everywhere.

“If you’re trying to walk and someone zooms in front of you or gets in the way knocks something out of your hand, I get why they’re not allowing them,” said Matson.

Parks and rec says the scooters are a safety concern. It also wants to promote walking and biking.

And just Wednesday, the decision was made to ban scooters at the Wagonmasters Chili Cookoff too.

“Those things go pretty fast,” said Bill Ramsey. “We don’t want people running people over, or bumping people in their scooters.”

Riverfest, which brings in hundreds of thousands of people each summer, already doesn’t allow it. That won’t change.

“We don’t allow any motorized vehicles,” said Ann Keefer, of Wichita Festivals. “The crowds are just too big during Riverfest to actually allow any wheeled human powered wheels through.”

Electric wheelchairs for disabled individuals are the exception. Scooter riders say they understand.

“There’s a right and a wrong you know?” said Finley. “There’s a time and a place for everything.”

The number of scooters on city streets could grow. The city says a third vendor has expressed interest but has not made any official plans yet.

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