San Diego

OB Planning Board Wants Tougher Regulations on Dockless Bikes, Scooters

Ocean Beach faced backlash Wednesday night from residents frustrated over dockless bikes and scooters crowding their streets and sidewalks.

A frustrated Frank Gormlie attended Wednesday night's Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting where members discussed how they can better regulate what some consider a growing problem.

“It’s time for San Diego to rein in these scooters,” Gormille said.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has proposed new regulations on dockless scooters and bikes to improve public safety. In late February they were submitted to the San Diego City Council to make amendments and to take a vote, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.

“Mayor Faulconer's proposal doesn't go far enough, " sniped Gromlie. A sentiment shared by some on the Ocean Beach Planning Board.

Faulconer's proposal includes, in part, restricting where people can leave bikes and scooters, how many can be clustered together in a given space, and holding companies accountable by forcing them to pay a proposed $253 operating permit every six months. That's all in addition to paying $150 for each bike or scooter they operate.

“They’re worth billions. One and two billion dollars, so funding 1,000 scooters in San Diego for 150 bucks a year is nothing," said Gormlie.

Speeding riders, with no regard for the rules of the road or people on sidewalks, were another major concern for some OBecians.

And though the mayor's plan includes forcing companies to use geofencing to slow scooters down to 8 miles per hour in high-traffic pedestrian zones, Ocean Beach's boardwalk is not included in the restricted zone.

Board members are hoping that will change, so they can create safer walkways and better traffic movement in the area.

“Not just curtail speed, but create smart zones for where you can geofence in high pedestrian high walking areas," said board member Andrew Waltz.

The planning board also wants to study Coronado’s ordinance to see how they can impound active and disabled bikes and scooters.

The group will send a memo of their suggestions to the council and mayor, hoping they’ll be taken into consideration before the council vote which hasn’t been scheduled.

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