NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In an effort to increase safety in downtown Nashville, some Metro Council members are proposing a ban of electronic scooters in the city.
“This is just a bad thing for downtown Nashville,” said Council Member Steve Glover. He is one of the co-sponsors of the bill along with Council Members Fabian Bedne and Larry Hagar.
The bill would ban scooters across the entire Metro area. Glover said there are no other options at this point.
“It is hindering everything about our city,” said Glover. “In fact, what it does is it continues to make our city worse that it was before they got here.”
Glover said he believed there were as many as 5000 scooters in Nashville that have been responsible for “hundreds” of injuries. He said he often sees scooters blocking sidewalks, as well as, being used illegally and dangerously. While the Metro Council has attempted to implement safety regulations, it has been next to impossible for Metro Police to enforce those regulations.
In May, 26-year-old Brady Gaulke was killed when he was hit by a car while riding a scooter. Immediately following the incident, Mayor Briley threatened to ban scooters after 30 days if companies did not address safety concerns.
In a letter obtained by NewsChannel 5, five scooter companies outlined 19 safety policies that they plan to adopt. The letter was sent to Mayor Briley’s office Friday. The letter said the companies would offer free helmets and reduce the number of scooters in the downtown area, among other things.
In a statement, Phil Jones, Senior Director for Government Relations at Lime said: “We're eager to work with Mayor Briley to find solutions to the concerns he and Nashvillians have raised. We believe these measures can result in a safer environment for all street users, while maintaining the benefits scooters provide to the city and its residents."
Glover said the effort is too little, too late.
“They have had their chance and they blew it,” said Glover.
A spokesperson for Mayor Briley said he “is reviewing the letter and will make a decision soon regarding scooters in our city.”
The bill is scheduled to come up for a first vote at the June 18 council meeting.