Denver, CO

Reckless scooters on sidewalks concern Denver council member Hinds

David Heitz

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Denver City Council member Chris Hinds believes it may be time to regulate scooters in the city.

During his Friday Facebook chat, Hinds discussed the issue of scooters using city sidewalks. They are supposed to only be used on the street and in bicycle lanes, Hinds said.

“I hope we as a city would look at our current practice, which is education and not enforcement,” Hinds said. “It is against city law to be on the sidewalk.”

Hinds said he heard from a couple of constituents about scooters just in the past week. “Ninety nine percent of the scooters I see are on city sidewalks and they’re careening at full speed about our city center.”

Scooter collides with man in wheelchair

The council member emphasized he is all for scooters, but they must be operated lawfully. “There’s been crashes,” Hinds said. He said a man in a wheelchair recently collided with a scooter. The damage to the wheelchair totaled $30,000.

“It’s great for us to have micro-mobility options that keep people out of cars,” Hinds said. “Certainly, the concept is great.”

One person during the chat commented that bicycles and scooters sometimes are forced onto the sidewalk. “You are forced onto the street because using the street means cars will just monster truck you and squish you without warning.

Council member suffers cycling accidents

Hinds responded that he’s all too familiar with the problem. “I’ve already been monster trucked too many times,” said Hinds, who suffered a spinal cord injury after a bicycling accident.

Hinds also had an accident on his hand cycle. “The driver of the truck said he didn’t see me.”

One resident commented that the city’s new 5280 trail will help get scooters off sidewalks. Hinds agreed.

“As a dedicated urban trail and linear park, the 5280 will unite urban life with Colorado’s outdoor culture for the center city’s rapidly growing population of residents, employees and visitors, encouraging them to use active modes of transportation while engaging in Downtown’s cultural and civic facilities,” according to a document on the Downtown Partnership website. “More than a trail, it will add green space to downtown and provide a safe and beautiful place to actively recreate and engage with the downtown neighborhoods, cultural amenities and more.”

Hinds said enforcement of the scooter laws is needed because “There are people who are just not going to follow the rules,” Hinds said. “I really hope that we as a city can look at our current practice.”

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

Denver, CO
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