- Another Los Angeles City Council committee, the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee, approved proposed regulations to govern dockless mobility devices including bikes and scooters, according to Streetsblog L.A.
- The committee made a few tweaks to the proposal before approving it, including suggesting a 15 mph instead of 12 mph speed limit and reworking permit requirements so mobility businesses that insist on operating in the city despite a dockless device ban are not unfairly rewarded.
- The Transportation Committee approved the regulations in June and added some updates last week. The full city council is expected to vote on the proposal later this month or early next month.
Dockless scooters are currently illegal in Los Angeles even though they can be spotted in the streets. The city's Department of Transportation issued a cease-and-desist letter to scooter operator Bird in June. A number of other cities — Miami and Nashville, TN, among others — have done the same when the scooters suddenly showed up on the street before any regulations were put in place. The same phenomenon has been occurring with dockless bike-share businesses in places like Dallas.
But as the Los Angeles Times reports, dockless devices remain on the streets despite the ban because the city doesn't have the capability to impound them. Officials say the ban essentially is intended to keep scooters off of the sidewalks in the crowded downtown area.
Besides the city of Los Angeles itself, many of the adjacent municipalities also have been struggling with dockless mobility. Scooter operators Bird and Lime staged a "day without scooters" demonstration and rally in opposition to the city's decision to pass them over for a scooter pilot and instead choose Lyft and the Uber subsidiary Jump. Beverly Hills banned the dockless devices until regulations are in place, and West Hollywood rejected a pilot program, banning them altogether.
In addition to the slight alterations to the proposal, the committee also made some recommendations for items that would need further consideration. One idea is for dockless operators to install technology in all devices to make sure the devices are upright, thus alleviating the clutter problem other cities are struggling with. Another recommendation is for the companies to help fund a build-out of the city's bike network infrastructure, considering Bird is already funding the creation, repair and maintenance of protected bike lanes in the cities where it operates.