Electric scooter debate rolling back into Huntsville City Council

Electric scooter debate rolling back into Huntsville City Council

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Electric scooters are coming back down the road.

The Huntsville City Council has scheduled a work session in February that could pave the way for scooters to operate downtown and on Huntsville’s college campuses.

The online agenda states on Feb. 12, the council will discuss the topic and hear a planning presentation.

The council shot down a pilot project proposal in September, and District 4 Councilman Bill Kling still has concerns.

“I just don’t see how scooters can work in Huntville’s traffic,” he said.

Council President Devyn Keith is pitching a plan to Kling and his colleagues to start a different pilot project in the Rocket City.

He said in his plan, scooters would only operate on special days like Panoply Arts Festival or select summer weekends. They’d also be restricted by location and time of day.

Keith also said he wants to see the scooters introduced on college campuses, with additional restrictions.

Kling said he is more open to a college-based option.

“I think this could be an interesting option for college campuses, where they are self-contained, where students could use these scooters to go from building A to building B," he said.

WAFF 48 News reached out to Columbia, Mo. City Councilman Michael Trapp on how scooters and college students mixed.

Columbia is home to the University of Missouri and has an agreement with e-scooter vendors.

“The one nice thing I’ve seen is I’ve seen them all over Columbia...It’s not just college students, as one of the criticism I hear, but for a lot of people that lacks transportation, it becomes an option,” Trapp said.

He says while scooters have been a nuisance on the side-walk the city and companies have worked together.

Whether that experience translates to Huntsville, remains to be seen.

E-scooter vendor Lime sent the following statement through its spokesman:

“...I can say that we at Lime are always looking for new opportunities to expand micromobility to new cities and towns to help folks get around in a new and convenient way. We appreciate that Huntsville is taking a forward thinking approach to transportation and considering this innovative solution as a way to support its residents and we’ll continue to monitor the discussion.”

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.