The Smyrna City Council has tabled consideration of a ban on e-scooters. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

Smyrna delays action on proposed e-scooter ban

The Smyrna City Council on Monday delayed taking action on a proposal that would ban shareable dockless devices, including e-scooters, in the city.

The Council unanimously voted to table the proposal until its June 17 meeting. City leaders were considering adding language to its ordinance that would ban the storage and use of the electronic scooters and electronic bikes in Smyrna. 

Mayor Max Bacon said “we got some additional information” that the city would like to review before moving forward on the proposal. No discussion or public comment was held on the agenda item. 

The proposed ordinance would make it illegal to provide the use of dockless devices in the city, leave them standing or lying in the right-of-way or on public property and to ride them in the city. 

Any e-scooters or e-bicycles found on public property or right-of-way would be impounded in the Police Department’s Property and Evidence Unit. The city would notify the owners of the devices and fine those companies for the costs associated with the recovery of the device. 

READHow safe is that e-scooter? Atlanta hospitals asked to tally injuries

Bacon said the city wants to take another few weeks to determine if a total ban on shareable dockless devices would be the answer. He also said the option to regulate the scooters’ presence in Smyrna is up for discussion.

“We just need to do a little more work on it to make sure we get it right the first time,” he said.  

The mayor said he’s seen a few people riding scooters in the downtown area, but has not come across any that were left abandoned. Bacon also said the city will have to make sure its pedestrians and customers who use outdoor seating on sidewalks at downtown restaurants can safely continue those activities. 

Jennifer Bennett, the city’s spokeswoman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Smyrna has not been contacted by any company offering shareable dockless devices. 

READGeorgia rules for electric scooters scrapped until next year

Smyrna is the latest metro Atlanta city wading into the debate surrounding e-scooters and other shareable devices. The Marietta City Council in February enacted a similar ban, and Woodstock leaders have approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ban them in their jurisdiction. If approved at the June 10 Council meeting, the change would go into effect July 1, according to city documents. Alpharetta City Council members are also moving forward with its own ban. 

At its April meeting, Roswell’s Community Development and Transportation Committee asked city staff to monitor the number of e-scooters in the city. The committee said an ordinance wasn’t needed at that time. Cities such as Atlanta and Decatur have opted to regulate the devices. 

Last week, the city of Atlanta recorded its first e-scooter-related death last week when a rider coming out of a parking lot of the West Lake station just after midnight May 17 was hit by a red Cadillac SUV traveling south on West Lake Avenue. 

The driver of the Cadillac said he tried to avoid striking the victim, identified as 20-year-old Eric Amis Jr. of Atlanta, but was unable to do so. That accident remains under investigation, and Atlanta police said no charges have been filed in the case.

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