Windsor council green lights e-scooter pilot project, permitted on one city trail
Riders must be older than 16, helmets optional for those over 18
E-scooters will be allowed to ride along Windsor's riverfront and brought on city buses for the next 12 months, after council decided to move ahead with a pilot project.
Following the start of Ontario's e-scooter pilot project on Jan. 1, municipalities still had to decide whether to allow the devices on municipal roads, parks and trails.
During Monday night's council meeting, Ward 4 Coun. Chris Holt tabled a motion to move ahead with a 12-month trial for e-scooters along Windsor's riverfront path, while they'll be banned from other recreational trails. They can also be brought on city buses as well
In addition, e-scooters can ride in bike lanes and on the right-hand side of the road where those lanes don't exist — but only if that road has a speed limit of 50km/h or less.
Administration predicts Windsor could be the first, or one if the first, to enact a bylaw permitting e-scooters since Ont. allowed municipalities to do so on Jan 1. <br><br>Here’s some background, and how Detroit is doing this: <a href="https://t.co/wranqa8S86">https://t.co/wranqa8S86</a>—@JasonViauCBC
During the meeting, administration recommended not allowing e-scooters on recreational trails, citing congestion and safety concerns. They are also banned on sidewalks, but permited on multi-use sidewalks, such as the one on Lauzon Parkway for example.
Ward 5 Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac agreed, citing concerns from the city's 2003 ban of e-bikes on Windsor's trails and pathways.
"I would have liked to have seen us take a pause into the introduction [of e-scooters] into our community," said Gignac.
"Certainly, I know that when we were dealing with the e-bike situation, there was a lot of conversation over the introduction of unlicensed, uninsured vehicles into our roadways and what the conflict might be," she said.
Councillor Gignac presented a motion to defer e-scooter bylaw for up to a year, or until rentable e-scooters are permitted. <br><br>That was defeated.—@JasonViauCBC
Ultimately, Holt urged council to "have some balance" in terms of giving e-scooters the chance to succeed.
"If we prepare the riverfront for these and then collect the data to see if it did in fact cause the problems that we might anticipate, then council has the ability to go forward and go from there," said Holt, adding the allowance of e-scooters on city buses will increase public transportation use.
"Let's move forward on this. Let's collect that data. Let's see if it's right for our community and I believe we'll be pleasantly surprised," he said.
As of now, only private e-scooters will be permitted as part of this pilot project. Any e-scooter rental company, such as Lime or Bird, must seek permission from council to operate. At that point, council would have to pass a separate set of rules to govern how the rental companies are regulated.
Other regulations that are in effect under provincial rules:
- A maximum speed of 24 km/h.
- Weight, including batteries, limited to 45 kilograms.
- No passengers and cargo allowed.
- Riders must have a horn or bell and a front and rear light.