Wed
Mar 20 2019
04:57 am

As reported in the Knox New Sentinel,

Zagster, in partnership with Spin, will launch 250 scooters here after holding a news conference with city officials in Krutch Park on Wednesday morning, according to Christy Jensen, Zagster's marketing manager for the Knoxville area.

I can't seem to find the rules of the road for scooters. I see how much it costs to ride. I see where you can probably find one for rental. I see where there have been problems across the country when scooters were introduced.

I Googled. I went to the City of Knoxville website. Can someone help? Where can I find the rules/laws for riding/renting an electric scooter? Are they treated like bicycles? Can they only be ridden on the road, not on sidewalks? Do you have to wear a helmet? Can they be ridden on greenways/trails? Do riders have to obey all traffic laws? Who teaches people these days about hand signals for turning? :)

Bill Lyons's picture

Scooter rules & Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for raising this Bizgirl. This morning prior to the launch more information, including a FAQ list, will be placed on the City's website. I have placed the FAQs and responses below.

Electric Scooters
Knoxville, Tennessee
FAQs

How do I find a scooter?

The first thing you will want to do is to download the apps, Spin and VeoRide. When you have the app loaded with your credit card information, you will be ready to engage an electric scooter. The app will provide locations of scooters and the map where scooters are permitted.

How much are scooters to rent?

Approximately, $1.00 plus 15 cents a minute. So if you were to rent a scooter for one hour, the cost would be $10.00. The prices may vary with time and companies.

Where can scooters be ridden?

Electric scooters must be ridden in the streets. They are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters are treated similar to bicycles under City ordinances.

How far can I go on the scooter?

The scooters can be ridden on downtown streets, but not on Market Square, Cumberland Avenue, or the Henley Bridge. The app provides a map area where scooters can be ridden. If you approach the border of the area, your scooter will give you a verbal warning to turn around or change direction.

How old do I have to be to ride a scooter?

Eighteen (18) years of age; 13-17 with adult’s consent/identification. You must have a valid identification to rent a scooter.

How fast can an electric scooter go?

Electric scooters can only travel at 15 mph. This speed can, and may, be reduced during special events.

What times are scooters available?

Generally, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. This time is subject to change based on special events.

What other factors impact when electric scooters are available?

If it is raining, or there is a strong chance of rain in the forecast, electric scooters will not be available.

How many scooters are available?

Initially, 250 electric scooters will be available. This number will increase with the launch of the second company in the coming months and may change due to demand.

Where should I park my scooter when I am finished?

You can park a scooter adjacent to the rental bicycle holding area, PACE, or park it where a bicycle could be safely parked. Please do not lay it across the sidewalk or road. Rather, park the scooter upright and out of the way of pedestrians and moving vehicles.

What if I have problems with my scooter?

There is a customer service number on the scooter.

How do I report a complaint about a scooter?

If you need to make a complaint about a scooter, you can use the app or call the phone number on the scooter.

Can I be fined for using my scooter inappropriately?

Yes, you may be fined for leaving your scooter in a position that impedes pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle traffic or other misuse. You may also be fined and ticketed for not complying with traffic rules and regulations.

bizgrrl's picture

Thanks so much. This really

Thanks so much. This really helps.

A couple of additional questions:
1. Nothing was said about helmets. Are they not required?

2. Love this part, "The app provides a map area where scooters can be ridden. If you approach the border of the area, your scooter will give you a verbal warning to turn around or change direction."
Does the verbal warning continue until the rider changes direction? Or, is it like our GPS where we can totally ignore the warning and continue on our merry way?

3. Can a map be found of where a scooter can go without having to download an app and sign up for the program?

4. Will there be a phone number that people can call to complain about scooter riders? :)

Bill Lyons's picture

Further clarification

Glad to help.

1. Nothing was said about helmets. Are they not required?

They are encouraged but now required. [Ed note: assume this means "not" required.]

2. Love this part, "The app provides a map area where scooters can be ridden. If you approach the border of the area, your scooter will give you a verbal warning to turn around or change direction."
Does the verbal warning continue until the rider changes direction? Or, is it like our GPS where we can totally ignore the warning and continue on our merry way?

One will receive warning after which the scooters will shut off. They will coast for about ten feet.

3. Can a map be found of where a scooter can go without having to download an app and sign up for the program?

I am sure that will be published and will check. I will say that it is easy to download the app and see mapping without putting in a credit card for payment.

4. Will there be a phone number that people can call to complain about scooter riders? :)

Ha. I sure hope a separate number is not warranted. There is always 311, of course. There is a phone number for Zagster (Spin) on the scooter itself as well.

This is a Pilot program so we will be adjusting and learning as we go. It should be a fun ride - pun intended. Thanks.

bizgrrl's picture

"One will receive warning

"One will receive warning after which the scooters will shut off. They will coast for about ten feet."

I'd consider renting one just to test this feature.

R. Neal's picture

It mentions not going over

It mentions not going over Henley Bridge. What about Gay St. Bridge? Can you ride to Suttree Landing?

Bill Lyons's picture

Scooter area

"It mentions not going over Henley Bridge. What about Gay St. Bridge? Can you ride to Suttree Landing?"

Yes. One can ride over the Gay Street Bridge and to Suttree landing and beyond into Island Home. Sevier is within the permitted area, serving as the southern boundary. That will be helpful to the new businesses. In fact, here is the map itself!

large_Scooter Pilot Geofenced area (3).jpg

R. Neal's picture

Cool! Thanks.

Cool! Thanks.

AC's picture

I have to weigh in here. I

I have to weigh in here. I hate being a party pooper but based on incidents and near incidents I've witnessed in Nashville, I am not a fan.

I just returned from a venue walk thru of downtown - walking from the Mill & MIne back to Riverview Tower. I saw 11 scooters on my walk - 9 of them were being ridden on the sidewalk and one had to swerve to avoid a person in front of them.

cwg's picture

Great timing

to launch the day before Big Ears, huh? :/

R. Neal's picture

Looking forward to the "hold

Looking forward to the "hold my beer" and drunk bachelorette videos. Hope nobody gets hurt.

Rachel's picture

Is there a penalty for riding

Is there a penalty for riding on the sidewalk? How will this be enforced?

bizgrrl's picture

According to the City of

According to the City of Knoxville,

Individuals who misuse a scooter or park the scooter in a position that impedes pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle traffic may be fined or ticketed.

Knoxoasis's picture

Q: Will the automatic

Q: Will the automatic pedestrian braking system in my car activate when someone darts in front of me on a scooter? I know it doesn't pick up bicycles.

bizgrrl's picture

A technical issue led the

A technical issue led the city of Knoxville to take 50 electric scooters off the streets hours after they were first deployed for the launch of a pilot program on Wednesday.

The problem is within the geofencing technology, which uses GPS data to create virtual boundaries that aim to keep the motorized scooters from working outside certain areas.

"Today we had it working, but it didn't actually stop the scooter," said Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville. "It just slowed it down to a very minimal speed, which is still not what we want."

I don't think they had it working if it wasn't working as specified.

Didn't they test it? Did they test it then make more changes and not test it again? Like so much technology these days, changes are continuous and no real testing is done on newer versions.

Celestial Dung's picture

Was fifty scooters all they had?

So I've been through Big Ears all weekend and haven't seen a scooter yet. Well that one kid with a manual scooter and he was on the sidewalk but he was with his mamma so I wasn't going to say anything.

I don't have much of a strong opinion about electric scooters yet, but I wouldn't have minded at least seeing one in action to gauge the fuss.

bizgrrl's picture

They discontinued the

They discontinued the electric scooter rollout until Monday or later, thus you won't see one in action this weekend.

bizgrrl's picture

Here's the electric scooter

Here's the electric scooter road access map.

Getting to the UT campus might be interesting. It appears the main access is Clinch. Clinch is crazy. Student drivers popping out from everywhere.

Then, it looks like the scooters can be ridden on Henley Street (not the bridge), Magnolia Avenue, Broadway up to Glenwood Ave., Western Ave. to just West of College St. Wild West again.

Be careful out there.

jbr's picture

I assume you can ride them on

I assume you can ride them on the bike paths

Andy Axel's picture

and don't the cyclists just

and don't the cyclists just love that

bizgrrl's picture

I don't know that you can

I don't know that you can ride them on greenways. Many greenways say no motorized vehicles. Hopefully someone will have the info.

fischbobber's picture

Not on greenways

It's my understanding the the scooters are not allowed on the greenways. Clarification anyone?

jbr's picture

If you can ride an electric

If you can ride an electric bike on a greenway it seems like you should be able to ride an electric scooter. They max out at ~same speed and take up same or less space.

PM Parris's picture

Like Ashley, I don't want to

Like Ashley, I don't want to be a downer here, but on a short walk near home downtown last night I already saw one abandoned on a sidewalk near the KUB substation. My spouse and I have been to Dan Diego multiple times recently on business and there are scooters everywhere. Many of them are piled up against phone poles, on the sidewalks, etc. Realizing we are not San Diego, I will remain cautiously optimistic in the near term. But out there we see folks zipping around on sidewalks, streets with traffic, and so on. Fingers crossed for a better outcome locally.

jbr's picture

I thought scooters on

I thought scooters on sidewalks would get some sort of fine

fischbobber's picture

From Bill Lyons earlier post

"Where can scooters be ridden?

Electric scooters must be ridden in the streets. They are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters are treated similar to bicycles under City ordinances."

The rules be the rules.

bizgrrl's picture

Thx and duh. Gotta read. :)

Thx and duh. Gotta read. :)

Moon's picture

Bicycles and scooters

Electric scooters ... are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters are treated similar to bicycles under City ordinances.

Is this contradictory? Are bicycles prohibited on greenways? Or are scooters allowed on greenways?

bizgrrl's picture

From the City of

From the City of Knoxville,

Per the pilot program rules and City ordinances, electric scooters must be ridden in the streets and are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways. Electric scooters will be treated similar to bicycles ridden on city roads.

The terminology can be interpreted differently depending on how a person wants it to be read, I guess.

I see it as:

electric scooters must be ridden in the streets and are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways.

Electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks or greenways.

Electric scooters will be treated similar to bicycles ridden on city roads.

Electric scooters must be ridden on roads (not allowed on sidewalks or greenways) and are covered by the sames rules (laws?) of the road as bicycles.

Bill Lyons's picture

Bicycles are allowed on greenways. Electric scooters are not.

Moon is correct. This language will be changed or the second sentence eliminated. Bicycles are allowed on greenways. Electric scooters are not. And while it is best that bicycles not be ridden on sidewalks it is not technically illegal. Thanks!

michael kaplan's picture

What about Segways?

What about Segways?

bizgrrl's picture

While an exact re-launch has

While an exact re-launch has not been set, [Visit Knoxville President Kim] Bumpas said, the scooters could return "any day now" as the company, Zagster, is working to address the issue and to get its Spin scooters zooming around town once again.
...
"Our geofencing works, but the way we set it up doesn't exactly work the way the city wanted certain riders to be interacting," Zagster Sales Director Chad Jacobs said. "The rolling stop is not a super common option across the board but makes sense for a place like Market Square that is pedestrian heavy."

Jacobs said the devices could be back this weekend.

jbr's picture

Drunk driving and scooters

Can someone driving an electric scooter be charged with drunk driving?

Looks like you can in some cities ...

California

S Carpenter's picture

yes

Drunk + scooter = DUI

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