Wichita temporarily pumps brakes on scooter pilot program

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You will have to wait a little longer to cruise through Wichita on a scooter.

The city put the plan on hold after one man voiced his concerns.

“I think they were thinking only about the downtown area,” says Matthew Bradshaw. “One council member said he was surprised seeing people with e-scooters, yet.”

Bradshaw does have one. It is a Swagtron. He is all for the city’s new pilot scooter program as long as it doesn’t prevent him from going to work.

“I live outside of the downtown area. All of the street, most of the streets, are 40 mph or higher. So, you are locking me into the residential sections, and the only way to get out of the residential sections, as the ordinance stands, is to break the law,” Bradshaw explains.

As it stood, the ordinance would not allow scooters on sidewalks, and only allow them on roads with 40 mph posted speed limits. He’d much rather take the sidewalk than the busy 40 mph road just outside his neighborhood in northwest Wichita.

“You are not going to catch me on a road on a high traffic road on this thing that tops out at 12 mph, it ain’t going to happen,” he says.

Another rule was a sundown rule, where scooters could not be used after dark.

“In the wintertime here in Wichita, everybody can attest it is dark, so I don’t get off until 6 p.m., and it takes me 30 minutes to get home,” Bradshaw says.

He pled his case at city council who seemed more than ready to jump start the program. Bradshaw says they listened, and he was able to get them to pump the brakes.

“I felt like it was a win. I got them to actually listen, as far as blocking me from going to work,” Bradshaw says.

KSN spoke with council member Brandon Johnson this evening. He says he felt like the discussion went well, and transit is looking at a way to minimize unintended consequences to people like Bradshaw.

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