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Colorado Springs scooter program dealing with parking complaints

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- It's hard to miss the neon lights of the Lime electric scooters in downtown Colorado Springs. For some, it's also unfortunately hard to miss them on sidewalks or parked in places they shouldn't be.

Colorado Springs is currently participating in a one-year trial with electric scooter operators Lime and Veo. The program launched at the beginning of October.

City traffic engineer Todd Frisbie thinks it's been generally successful. However, Frisbie said the city gets between five and ten complaints per day, almost exclusively, related to parking.

"People are sending in pictures of scooters parked to the side, you know blocking a sidewalk or a curb ramp, or tossed to the side of the street," Frisbie said.

While there are plenty of complaints from neighbors in areas surrounding downtown, riders seem pleased with the program.

"They’re awesome," rider Brad Castle said as he boarded his scooter Monday night. "They’re fun, they’re easy, you can ride around downtown, and you don’t have to take an uber and stuff. It’s amazing."

KRDO spoke with a resident in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood who said she's had five or six parked on the dirt outside of her home. It's technically not private property, but she is responsible for maintaining the area. 

Just a few blocks away, annoyed neighbors say a scooter has been parked on the grass outside the Pleasant Valley Townhomes for quite a few days.

There are designated mass-parking zones downtown where riders must park their scooters. If you're inside the blue perimeter, you can't stop the ride without parking at one of the spaces. But outside of the area is more of a free-for-all.

Riders need to upload a picture of where they parked their scooter through a smartphone app. Riders can be reprimanded for parking in the wrong areas.

Still, some riders actually think the parking is already too restrictive. 

"You have to find a place to park it and in Denver, you can just ditch where ever," rider Kimberly Custer said.

While the current scooter program gets a passing grade from Custer, she said she wants more places to park.

"We had to ride around a couple of blocks to find a spot," she said.

Frisbie says that at the six-month mark, the city will meet with the scooter companies again to reassess things that can be fixed.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. I’m not understanding the purpose of the scooters. If I’m traveling from one block downtown to another, I’d generally walk. So you are taking people who are walking and encouraging them to use an electric device. How is that good for anyone? If I’m leaving or entering downtown I can’t use them. Is it supposed to be for tourists or something? They look like a lot of fun, but it is adding to the complexity of the traffic situation in the area.

      1. From who to whom? Is this just marketing on the scooter company’s part? It looks to me like the companies will get city money and the city signals that it is all green, but they are actually going to increase waste and fuel burning and create traffic hazards. I’ve got to be missing something. . . . .

    1. Many SUVs and most pickups today are larger than WW I tanks and average 1 person each. Scooters are proof positive transportation can be thrifty, adequate for the task, environmentally responsible, and attractive to consumers.

      History is repleat with examples of monsterous huge dinosaurs giving way to the small, quick and nimble.

      1. But I still don’t understand. The scooters don’t replace SUV driving, they replace walking, don’t they? If I could ride a scooter to work and home that would replace my car, but if someone is taking a scooter from one downtown block to another, that’s just using fossil fuel energy to replace what I would have been doing with my feet. What am I missing?

  2. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the people using them and dumping them wherever think it’s great, and the people who have to deal with their litter are angry.

    “But Denver lets us ditch them wherever we want!” Trashy people gonna be trashy.

  3. My guess is somebody was brainstorming in a big meeting downtown and Fred said yes, that’s a good idea, let’s implement it. A fad that will die shortly and at least you can throw these little boogers in the trash, unlike the wasted bike lanes.

  4. Marie, you’re asking questions. You’re not supposed to question such things. But really, you won’t receive a logical answer because there isn’t one. The real answer is that COS is trying really hard to be cool like big liberal cities. Sure, they may be fun but they’re a big waste of electricity and materials, not to mention the litter. My message, especially after CSU / City Council ballooned our electrical & natural gas rates and people are fatter from staring at screens is to get off your fat lazy behind and walk instead of scoot.

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