Columbus begins placing restrictions on shared scooters and bicycles

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COLUMBUS -- The city of Columbus on Tuesday began regulating shared mobility devices, most commonly known as shared scooters and bicycles.

The rules took effect immediately.

The city of Columbus tells 10TV the regulations include:

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  • Companies seeking to offer shared mobility devices for public use must obtain permits from the department to operate in the city. A maximum of eight companies at any one time may offer their products in the city.
  • The devices must be parked in an upright position and cannot be parked in the vehicle portions of the street, including parking spots and loading zones. They also cannot be parked in doorways, and they cannot block pedestrians on sidewalks or curb ramps, fire escapes, inside bus shelters, in driveways or on unauthorized private property or unapproved non-public spaces.
  • The city of Columbus may designate parking/staging spots for the devices in the city to assist with keeping order in the public's right of way.
  • Each company that receives a permit to offer shared mobility devices in the city is limited to offering up to 500 devices. The director of public service has the authority to increase this number based on demand and usage. The devices offered must not be able to go faster than 15 MPH.
  • Companies offering shared mobility devices are required to educate riders on responsible and legal use of their devices.
  • Companies offering shared mobility devices must deploy at least some of devices in neighborhoods outside of the central business district as designated by the office of the mayor.
  • Companies offering shared mobility devices must put in place access to the service for those without credit cards.
  • Companies with existing operations will have 30 days to come into compliance.

"Shared mobility devices present a mobility option that can fill a need in Columbus, if handled appropriately," said Mayor Andrew Ginther. "I tasked our Department of Public Service to come up with common-sense guidelines to manage right of way concerns as a first step to a thorough and thoughtful plan that works in our city."

The city will also be looking at several other issues when it comes to scooter and bike safety.

Lime scooters and bikes debuted earlier this month on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Cities across the country are trying to figure out how to deal with these new modes of transportation. Upper Arlington is considering regulating the scooters after several so-called Bird Scooters were left in the middle of the road. The city had to impound them. The company later picked them up. Some cities, like Bexley, have banned them, saying they are considered illegal for street use.

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