Micromobility and West Hollywood may not be a match made in heaven, but City Council isn’t ready to grant the divorce just yet.
The Dockless Micromobility Pilot Program, which opened the doors for electric scooters and bikes on city roads back in 2021, won another extension Monday night despite widespread unpopularity among motorists and pedestrians, along with near universal safety concerns among residents
In a 4-1 vote, City Council allowed the program to proceed for another six months instead of ending Jan. 1. Mayor Lauren Meister, whose sister was hospitalized after a scooter rider crashed into her on Santa Monica Blvd., offered the sole “no” vote.
“I’m not very supportive of extending this program,” Meister said. “I do think that we need a micromobility lane, that we need to have the infrastructure for this rather than assuming that pedestrians should just move over, and and let’s hope for the best.”
Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne’s motion mandates all of the current vendors — Lime and Bird — to begin instituting the sidewalk detection technology they recently demo’d for the councilmembers. A third vendor, Wheels, will be temporarily removed from the program until the company can adopt such technology. Shyne also directed staff to explore including two other popular vendors, Link and Spin, in the program.
Councilmember John D’Amico re-iterated his request for more street-level “corrals” in which to park scooters throughout the city, while Meister wondered whether the city might be liable in a hypothetical scooter-related lawsuit. Staff will explore the inclusion of a liability insurance policy for all riders worked into the vehicle’s fees.
In 2018, an elderly woman sued the City of Santa Monica for negligence after she was injured in a scooter crash. An L.A. Superior Court judge ruled the city was responsible because it had failed to impound scooters that were placed in a no-deployment zone.
[…] hard to believe how little foresight City Hall had when they opened the flood gates to electric scooters and bikes. The micromobile devices have so much potential to improve urban transportation, but without a plan […]
[…] (Lyft is out as of mid-November).In a September city council meeting, West Hollywood announced a new sidewalk detection requirement for its three operators, Bird, Lime and Wheels. While all three have geofencing technology, […]
Scooters have to remain an option. LINK Superpedestrian scooters are the safest for riders because of their long, stable wheelbase and ability to slow themselves down and safest for pedestrians because they shut down when taken onto a sidewalk. Their precision GPS does this. Ticketing sidewalk riders is also essential.
How do you think horse carriage riders felt about the automobiles taking over their streets one hundred years ago? Cars “litter” our streets now and are massive. Let’s evolve.
The scooter drivers don’t obey traffic lights or any laws for that matter. The person who hit Mayor Meister’s sister ran through a red light across from Starbucks when he struck her.
I came one step from being struck by a scooter speeding through a red light in the crosswalk by Gelson’s. He couldn’t if anyone was in the crosswalk because a bus was stopped at the light, so the jerk just blew through the red light anyway.
I am in complete agreement with Mayor Meister. These idiot sticks should be banned.
It is great to finally have some data. How many people approve of the program. How many rides have been taken. How many cars have been taken off the road. I would like to commend Erickson or asking the questions I would’ve asked. Which included, Who are the people making the complaints? It is broad set of people. One person who admitted the public comment to making up to 60 complaints per day. It is nice to have numbers, even if incomplete. For example, of the 13 accidents that occurred in 14 months, I’d like to know how many involved… Read more »
Mayor Meister voted against this program twice now, with her argument being that we have not the infrastructure. I’m sorry, but that is a cop-out. She knows, logistically, that it’s just not possible to get bike lanes on thoroughfares in the City of West Hollywood. Without creating gridlock, or major parking issues. Fountain, first and foremost, the narrow parts of Santa Monica Blvd., and many narrow parts of Sunset. Those changes will never happen, money will not be allocated, and people are not going to give up parking spaces. Political suicide. And just a dumb idea. All said, I am… Read more »
Prior to physical infrastructure it is of primary importance to establish rules, responsibilities and penalties for infraction. The City simply extended the welcome mat with few protocols. Similarly with drivers not obeying speed limits. A few days ir weeks if radar guns and tickets will get the attention of drivers in that Weho insists on a safe community. Let the Sheriff pick up the scooter offenders but there must be firm laws upon which to ticket and/or arrest the scofflaws.
I agree with everything you say, and if the sheriff department would actually do their job, maybe we would see a change. Instead of blaming all of the scooter operators, and users. The city creates laws, and they are not enforced. This includes bikes, as well. I think that is who we should be directing our complaints to. But it seems like the sheriff department just does what they want. With very little oversight. The city, basically, asking them “ … please, sir, will you do this for us?” These “firm laws,” are already in place. They are not being… Read more »
Thank you for seeing my point. It is my belief that Kristin Cook who originally had purview over the bikes, scooters and vehicle issues was negligent and let enforcement slide. As a result we have unsafe conditions that no one appears willing to take responsibility for and or correct. Bottom line, this must be fine if we want a safe city for residents and visitors the best starting point. Otherwise Weho is unsafe at any speed. And to cross reference, owners of bars and restaurants must take more responsibility to insure the safety of their patrons including monitoring their own… Read more »
We see eye to eye. But I think that Ms. Cook’s hands are tied, when it comes to the sheriff. I want stats on how many citations are issued for bicycles on the sidewalk, where they are illegal. I believe the sheriffs department is failing on that front, as well.
Ms. Cook is gone, retired imho was not up to the task and helped create this exponential issue.
Mayor Meister was correct about liability exposure to the City. It’s only a matter of time until someone else is injured (or worse !) and sues the company AND the city (and possibly the Councilmembers who voted in favor of this). Fasten your seat belts… Plus, the CIty constantly mentions how walkable WeHo is and that is correct. So, why the need for scooters. Just walk !!!
The City of West Hollywood admits the bikes and drivers are dangerous. Fortunately, the ludicrous City Council, except for Mayor Meister, seemed to think there would be no lawsuits against the City! Shyne is a lawyer and did her simpering evasive routine while D’Amico, who is not a lawyer, said the City could NOT be sued. I don’t care if the suit is downtown (called the bank) or on the Westside. When the jury sees the ludicrous video performance by the SHE plus D’Amico, the award is in the millions! As for the City Attorney. Get a new one based… Read more »
Personally against the scooters, but if they actually have a way to prevent people from riding them on sidewalks, and they must be dropped off in a certain zone (with financial penalties for not doing so), go for it. If people are still riding these things on sidewalks with their prevention software, the scooters have got to go.
Viewing this last night was tantamount to watching first graders design an operating plan. Spokesmen were unprepared, equivocated and simply did not act responsibly regarding things they should have known. The real responsibility for this foolishness lies with City Staff for not outlining and defining acceptable rules of the road n every issue. Incompetence breeds incompetence. Sitting through the eternal discussions about this is torturous. Hopefully the city will be sued in some instances and perhaps that will get their attention.
Those meetings are embarrassing and unwatchable.
I have safety concerns about reckless drivers going down SMB, Fountain and Sunset. Why aren’t LASD officers ticketing psychopaths flaunting their rented Lamborghinis?
Because of racial equity. You know this, its your peeps on the City Council who’ve asked the Sheriff to de-prioritize moving violations
All of the scooter riders I see on the sidewalks are entitled white young men. I rarely see a person of color on a scooter on the sidewalk, probably because they have a healthy fear of law enforcement.
The op was talking about how reckless driving of motor vehicles was not being policed – a direct consequence of his/her pals telling LEO to back off in case they stopped a POC for dangerous driving. Their wish was granted, and the consequences (double digit increase in traffic fatalities/injuries) are plain as day.
Maybe progs will grok one day why Chesterton had a fence in the first place
Again, the commenters here are misrepresenting the truth.
They never even proposed stopping to ticket reckless speeding or drag racing. They were talking about broken tail lights.
This proposal was only a first step to explore doing this. I don’t believe this was ever even implemented. Do you ever read beyond a headline?
Him/her sowing: this is great! HaHA
Zim/zher reaping: no, this sucks, wtf!?
You got what you wanted – why aren’t you happy?
You are so right. Entitled white young men, with superior expressions, young Millennials and Z Gen. types. They are on Santa Monica a lot. A friend told me, big guy, that one of these precious young men headed for him, He didn’t get out of the way. The bike went into a tree and the youthful driver started crying.
They passed a proposal to explore using sheriff resources for public safety instead of ticketing people for broken tail lights.
It had nothing to do with crazy reckless driving.
Why are you lying?
Seems you have chosen Wehoville as your mouthpiece vehicle. It is tedious hearing you berate other commenters and Wehoville. NEVER have we knowingly seen you speak up at any public meeting ie Public Safety or City Council on any subject.
Why are you so triggered by the truth? I simply stated that the city council never instructed the sheriff not to go after reckless speeding drivers.
“Wacky Weho” was incorrect.
And how do we know if you’ve spoken at a city council meeting, “Tedious”? Pot meet kettle.
I’m just curious. Who are you? When did you speak up? About what? Can you reference a meeting? That would be really helpful. Thank you.
If none of that is the case, then this is just a mouthpiece for you, as well.
What does this have to do with scooters?