City commissioners discuss concerns about scooters
June 21, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
At the end of the June 10 City of Gainesville General Policy Committee meeting, Commissioner David Arreola brought up an email he had received from Butler Enterprises, saying that the day after the scooter permits were approved, the three scooter rental companies had dropped off scooters at Butler Plaza, “creating so many liability problems… That’s day two. And I went to… talk to some of the companies – I’m concerned that some of the people in charge of the administration here aren’t really up to—they don’t really know what’s in the permit… It just blew my mind, you’re just going to go to someone’s property and drop off the scooters as you wish?… Everyone’s talking about them… I don’t play baseball, so it’s not three strikes with me; I play golf, you get a mulligan. That was the mulligan… I will recommend that we pull permits from certain companies if they don’t shape up.”
Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker added that there are several drop-off sites in her district, District 1, “and my concern is a major safety concern when we have individuals who are riding in the streets, and I remember reading an article where it said at Depot Park they are geo-fencing so nobody can throw them in the lake. I need you to geo-fence so children can’t ride in the middle of the street… I’ve gotten several calls from constituents in Lincoln Estates and Duval and a number of other places. While I can see the value, these cannot [inaudible] as it is right now.”
Reina Saco’s comments started out inaudible, so this is the first part that was clear: “[police chief?] telling me just hours ago that they received video of a group of like a dozen kids riding. They were all younger teenagers riding as a group down University, some on the sidewalks, some in the road, so there has to be… [inaudible]…over 18… [inaudible]… ‘Oh, this is cool,’ and then off they go into the road. If there is a way to contact the companies to ensure the 18 and up thing, I don’t know how to do that…”
It was difficult to hear commissioners’ comments throughout the meeting because they wore face masks and didn’t have individual microphones; when they meet in the City Hall Auditorium, they have individual microphones.
That was the end of the discussion; Mayor Lauren Poe moved on to a different topic after Saco’s comment.
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