Chattanooga City Council approves scooters in first reading

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — City council’s ordinance that would allow the usage of these electronic scooters has one more reading to go pass. In a 5-3-1 vote, the council moved to approve the first reading last night.

While some see this as a win, others are concerned with safety.

“It’s just one of those things where it sounds like a great idea but nobody seems to have found the best way to implement this idea in small tight urban area,” Councilman Ken Smith said.

Despite three council members’ objections, the Chattanooga City Council passed the first reading of the dockless small vehicle sharing ordinance — which includes electric scooters.

These scooters have quickly taken over major US cities. Chattanooga might be its next stop.

“That sounds pretty cool. I see people running around on things similar to that all the time. And I think it’s just a cool hip thing to bring to Chattanooga,” Walt Schaffeld said.

College students like the scooters as quick and easy ways to get in between campus and the rest of downtown.

“I honestly think it would be a great idea. I love going to Nashville and seeing them around, and just kind of a different way to commute,” UTC student Amy Cobb said.

“College kids they also have friends and family that come to visit. So they’re trying to get, you know, it builds a good connection between the campus and some of the other core places here in town,” said Barry White of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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However, it’s safety, not convenience, that some people are concerned with.

“It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s simple. But we want to make sure that it’s also safe, and you follow the rules,” White said.

One of those rules that the council passed as an amendment Tuesday night was an age restriction. Users will need to be at least 14 years old.

“We see a lot of groups, a lot of visitors using the bike share. Again this is another option, and it’s a little added excitement if they haven’t been to a city that has this, it’s something new and different which is always great to keep for people,” White said.

The ordinance is set to go through its second reading next Tuesday, May 7th, during the regular council agenda session.

Stick with News 12 as we update you on this story.

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