E-Scooters Return To Portland Despite Concern

Now, e-scooters have returned for a full year, but not everyone in Portland is as excited as Huff. Last year, the city’s pilot aimed to bridge gaps in transportation and get more people out of their vehicles, and for the most part, it did do that. A report from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, or PBOT, the agency in charge of the e-scooter program, found that for many people last year, e-scooters were an introduction to active transportation. The program also encouraged a good chunk of people to use e-scooters instead of cars. About 34% of Portlanders and 48% of visitors took an e-scooter instead of driving or using a ride-share program, the report states. But still, there are a multitude of concerns around accessibility, safety and inclusivity when it comes to scooters in Portland. “We’ve received quite a lot of complaints from people with disabilities within Portland mainly revolving around sidewalk access with e-scooters either by blocking part of the sidewalk, by being parked sideways or by being parked right on curb ramps,” said Matthew Denney, an attorney with the nonprofit legal group Disability Rights Oregon. Although people can technically park e-scooters on the sidewalk, they must be near a bike rack or close to the curb, so as to not block access. E-scooter users illegally riding on sidewalks was also an issue last year. 

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