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Electric Scooters banned from Goodale, Franklin, and Schiller parks – The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus residents can now add Goodale, Franklin and Schiller parks to the list of places where electric scooters are no longer allowed.
Due to concerns related to pedestrian safety and reckless use of scooters, the Department of Public Service is working with scooter vendors to implement “geofences” in these parks. Geofences, also known as no-ride zones, are digital zones where these scooters will not operate. 
While in no-ride zones, scooters’ acceleration will be turned off and they will display an alert on their screen. They can still be moved by foot, and the ride cannot be ended until the scooter is moved outside the zone. 
Electric scooters have already been banned in the Short North arts district, on High Street between Fifth Avenue and Goodale Street. There has also been a no-ride zone along the Scioto Mile since soon after electric scooters were permitted by the city in 2018.
Columbus Public Service worked with the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Police to establish geofences when concerns arise, a city spokesman said.
Glenn McEntyre, spokesman for the city’s Department of Public Safety, said police received safety concerns related to scooters and large crowds gathering at Bicentennial Park, which is part of the Scioto Mile.
“These gatherings involved large numbers of scooters, including people riding recklessly in the area, creating safety concerns for pedestrians,” he said.
McEntyre said that as Columbus Police began looking into these concerns, they began receiving complaints about similar behavior pertaining to scooters in Goodale, Franklin and Schiller parks.
More:Electric scooter laws in central Ohio
Guy Piazza, 81, frequents both Goodale and Schiller parks, and doesn’t see much harm in electric scooters when used safely.
“I think they’re kind of cool to have. The only thing that bothers me is I see a lot of really young kids, like 10 years old, and I’m wondering where they’re getting those,” he said. “There’s something wrong with young kids getting on those scooters. Because of that, they’re going to get a lot of complaints.”
All “shared mobility device” vendors must receive a lease and a permit and are subject to rules and regulations by Columbus Public Service. Regulations require that vendors provide the city with data such as the locations of scooters and the number of daily users.
Related: Columbus bans e-scooters on High Street in Short North, citing safety concerns
A spokesperson from Bird, one electric scooter company, said that “it’s not a particularly time-intensive process” to expand geofencing.
“We were happy to work with the city to accommodate the request,” the spokesperson said. “It’s something that our operations team will implement,” they said.
Shared electric scooters have been controversial since their inception, and more restrictions may be possible in the future. Many agree that time will tell if good geofences make good neighbors.
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