Accessibility advocates’ ‘serious’ safety concerns could prevent e-scooters from rolling out in London –

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Accessibility advocates’ ‘serious’ safety concerns could prevent e-scooters from rolling out in London – fr


LONDON, ONT. – A pilot project that would bring electric scooter sharing to the streets of London has been roughed up by the City Hall Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC).

“We are very concerned about the accessibility issues this would cause,” says Jay Menard, president of the AAC.

Menard warns that electric scooters pose a danger to people with reduced mobility or visually impaired people because they move quickly with little noise, and if not parked properly on sidewalks, they can become a barrier.

“Yes, these things can be applied, but who does this? And at what cost? Who pays for this? ” he asks.

City staff are collecting comments on a provincial pilot project that would allow electric scooters on the streets of London.

Adults could use an app to rent a battery-powered scooter for short trips around central London and Western University.

Electric scooters can travel up to 24 km / h, but speeds can be limited internally in different geographies using GPS technology.

Participation in the provincial pilot project was inconsistent.

Electric scooters currently ply many of the streets and cobblestone lanes of Windsor and Ottawa, but Toronto has opted out, due to accessibility and safety concerns.

Bird Canada, which operates electric scooter sharing in Windsor, Ottawa and other cities, says the concerns raised by the advisory committee are not new and can be addressed with recent advances in technology.

“Sidewalk detection technology allows the electric scooter to know when it is on a sidewalk and to stop gradually and safely to discourage riding on sidewalks,” says Chris Schafer of Bird Canada.

He adds that Bird Canada has a team of people to educate bikers and solve operational issues in its partner cities.

Schafer says injuries are low and there have been no fatalities in Canada related to public fleets of electric scooters.

He suggests London has the ability to avoid some of the challenges faced in cities that first embraced electric scooters three to five years ago.

“Learn from them, take their best practices and implement them locally to address valid concerns from our friends in the accessibility community,” he adds.

The Accessibility Advisory Committee is preparing a written response to the pilot project that will express its concerns to City Council.

“Unless we get these answers satisfactorily,” he explains. “We are not going to support this program. “

City staff will continue to consult with stakeholders before submitting a report to council at the end of the summer.

If approved, electric scooters could be on the streets of London this fall or next spring.

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