City of Ottumwa approves new bicycle ordinances, prepping the road for Bird e-scooters

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - The City of Ottumwa has approved new e-scooter regulations. It’s part of their memorandum with the Bird Scooter company to bring rentable scooters to the City.

The new regulations for e-scooters includes:

  • Anyone operating an e- scooter must obey all traffic rules.
  • No more than one rider on e- scooters designed for one rider.
  • No one should operate carrying any package or article that prevents using the handlebars.
  • Persons should not operate more than two abreast.
  • Operators should ride in a prudent and careful manner.
  • Any person operating on a sidewalk must yield to any pedestrian and give audible notice when passing.
  • All e-scooters must have a front lamp and red taillight after sunset.
  • Electric scooters may be operated on the trails with a maximum speed of 10mph.

City Planner Zach Simonson says these new regulations are necessary, regardless of if they end up having an agreement with Bird or not. “These changes are meant to update the bicycle ordinance so that we have rules for safe operation for e-scooters. As we’re moving towards the program - but also as people are buying more e-scooters, and it’s becoming a more popular way of getting around.”

Simonson says Bird wants to get these scooters in Ottumwa quickly, but the City wants to do it safely.

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