NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Five electric scooter companies have co-signed a list of best practices to avoid a scooter ban threatened by Nashville Mayor Briley last month.
On May 23, Briley sent a letter to the companies with a list of concerns to be addressed, or else legislation would be filed to ban scooters from Nashville streets. In the letter, Briley said "something has to change." He referenced the death of 26-year-old Brady Gaulke, who was hit and killed by a car while he was on a scooter.
Briley also mentioned that many scooters are illegally parked and operated on a daily basis. To read Briley's full letter, click here.
Late last week, the Mayor's office received a letter from five scooter companies - Lyft, JUMP, Bird, Lime, and Gotcha - that proposed a list of best practices for scooter riders. The letter was "directly responsive" to the letter Briley sent on May 23. News4 obtained a copy of the letter Monday afternoon.
The letter from the companies has 19 "guiding principles" to avoid Briley's ban. In order to reduce scooter clutter, for example, the five companies suggest that no company have more than 1,000 scooters in the city during the remainder of the pilot period. They also recommend that the companies respond to any complaints about scooters blocking sidewalks within an hour of receiving the complaint.
To improve improve safety for scooter riders--something Briley stressed heavily in his letter--the companies proposed making free helmets available at places like the Farmer's Market or local libraries.
To read the full list of recommendations, click here.
Thomas Mulgrew with the Mayor's Office said Briley is reviewing the letter and will make a decision soon regarding scooters in Nashville.
Phil Jones, the Senior Director of Government Relations for Lime, sent News4 a statement after the letter from scooter companies was sent to media:
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.
Bolt and Spin are the two electric scooter companies operating in Nashville that are not included on the letter.
Metro Councilman Steve Glover hopes to take the decision to ban scooters out of the mayor’s hands.
He’s proposing a bill that would ban scooters altogether saying companies had their chance and blew it.
The bill is up for discussion at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
The final point of the proposal is actually a challenge to the city.
The scooter companies said they are going to push the city into following through with the core bike lane pilot program.
That’s a message Walk Bike Nashville is happy to hear.
Walk Bike Nashville said there are no protected bike lanes in downtown Nashville and said more people would ride bikes if they felt protected.
The core bike lane pilot program was expected to go in on Third Avenue and Commerce Street, but it was derailed by honky tonks that didn’t want to move their load-in zones.
“People aren’t always riding on the street because they don’t feel safe,” said Lindsey Ganson, Walk Bike Nashville. “These bike lanes need to happen as soon as possible for the safety of everyone riding downtown.”
Walk Bike Nashville adds the lack of safety lanes is only encouraging more people to drive downtown, making traffic even worse.
News4 contacted the Mayor’s office on Monday night to see if the list satisfied what he was looking for. His staff said he is still reviewing the list and will soon make a decision regarding scooters in the city.