Dallas council considering additional rental scooter regulations

Dallas City Council may soon put more regulations on electric scooters.

The council is looking at several ideas including creating parking corrals, limiting hours you can ride and having "no ride zones" in popular areas like Deep Ellum. They hope some of these regulations can help improve safety.

It's been more than a year since electric scooters arrived on the streets of Dallas, and by the city's count they are very popular. According to the city's department of transportation, users have logged more than 4.2 million rides.

But with that comes some growing pains.

“Our businessowners were letting us know there were a lot of scooter/pedestrian conflicts happening on the sidewalks because the sidewalks are so full of pedestrians and scooters, were hitting pedestrians and generally causing a little bit of chaos,” said Jon Hetzel, president, Deep Ellum Foundation.

Neighborhood groups like the Deep Ellum Foundation - along with Uptown Dallas Inc. and Downtown Dallas have been working with city officials and transportation companies to create solutions to problems like parking, enforcement, and public safety.

One proposal is to have scooters operate in the city during specific times from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Deep Ellum stakeholders have been working on creating a "no-ride zone" with automatic shutoffs during their busiest times at night.

“We're focused on a 10 p.m. geo-fence cutoff where the riders will have to leave their scooters outside in an automated cutoff of their motors will happen so they're not riding through the midst of all those crowds,” said Stephanie Keller Hudiburg, executive director, Deep Ellum Foundation.

But some city leaders worry having specific hours and cut-off times could create confusion and limit riders.

“If we're going to geo-fence an area we don't want scooters to be ridden in, we need to geo-fence an area we don't want scooters to be ridden in. To have it just for a certain amount of hours and the hours of operation be different for that area is a little confusing to the consumer and the residents,” said councilman Adam Bazaldua.

“There's some folks that can't afford a car, but maybe they can afford a scooter and DART -- and we're going to cut that off for them?” said councilman Chad West.