Scooters are here to stay

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West Hollywood City Council made the Dockless Micromobility Pilot Program permanent at their meeting Monday night after months of struggling over whether or not to ban rental electric scooters and bikes from the city’s streets.

Mayor Sepi Shyne, Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson and Councilmember Chelsea Byers sealed the deal in a 3-2 vote, with Councilmembers Lauren Meister and John Heilman voting no.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Shyne said, explaining her support. “It’s a new thing.”

The motion sends the Dockless Micromobility Program out of its trial phase, extending the current framework of the program through December and reconfiguring the contract the city has with its operators, Bird and Lime. It also caps speed limits on scooters at 12 mph, institutes an escalating fee structure and institutes a $100,000 liability insurance on pedestrians.

Council’s decision came as a tough blow to residents like Mikie Friedman who have fought to have the devices banned.

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Friedman says the electric scooters, seen so often strewn about sidewalks and right-of-ways, present a clear and present danger to disabled people like her. She led a wave of anti-scooter sentiment over the past year, constantly voicing her opposition in Council meetings and the press. The survey which showed a slight majority of residents want to keep scooters and which Council partly based its decision on traces its origins back to Friedman.

“Riding on the sidewalk is illegal no matter what speed you’re going,” Friedman said at the end of Monday’s meeting. “You as a city are condoning illegal behavior. And so now that it’s permanent I’m going to be looking into options for suing the city for ADA equal access.”

She ended her public comment by singing “Hatikvah,” the national anthem of Israel.

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Questions, Questions
Questions, Questions
4 months ago

One could ask why John Erickson failed to recuse himself from the item given the donation to Planned Parenthood by Lime? It might have removed him from the appearance of impropriety if he has a grasp of ethics.

Also are there any details regarding the $7,452. check Erickson paid to Planned Parenthood?

CHLOE ROSS
CHLOE ROSS
4 months ago

And it may add money too. the city coffers.

Elsa Carlisle
Elsa Carlisle
4 months ago

“60% of the scooter complaints over the past two years came from three individuals.”

I’m looking forward to continuing to safely scooter (with all the other supporters) in the streets of WeHo. Bravo to the City Council for not caving to the minority opinions.

Bad Scooter
Bad Scooter
3 months ago
Reply to  Elsa Carlisle

Keep it on the streets of Weho “Elsa”…..and buy one, they’re cheap.

Really...
Really...
4 months ago

I thought Mikie sang a few lyrics from My Fair Lady not the national anthem of Israel. If I’m correct, then then Mr. Garcia needs to provide more accurate reporting.

Board Monitor
Board Monitor
4 months ago
Reply to  Really...

During one of Mikies public comment she sang two lines from my fair lady, she also sang the Hatikvah, Israeli National Anthem in its entirely to close the meeting.

Truly...
Truly...
4 months ago
Reply to  Board Monitor

I only saw her initial comments. I did not view the entire meeting, so the national anthem must have been at the very end. Thanks for the info.

Stephanie Harker
Stephanie Harker
4 months ago
Reply to  Really...

Oops! You thought wrong. You obviously did not watch to the end. She sang both a parody of wouldn’t it be loverly during 5.C and closed her public comment at the end of the meeting with a very moving rendition of Hatikvah.

Truly...
Truly...
4 months ago

I noted that I had not watched the entire meeting so, of course, I did not see the end but I will.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
4 months ago

This was the right decision and I look forward to unified council support for not just talking about improving bike/scooter/pedestrian infrastructure but actual investment in new and meaningful improvements to our bike/scooter/pedestrian infrastructure.

Stephanie Harker
Stephanie Harker
4 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

Josh, what pedestrians, disabled and able bodied alike look forward to is SAFETY on ALL sidewalks in West Hollywood. Nothing more and nothing less. There is still no accountability and no responsibility from the billion dollar scooter companies or the City of West Hollywood. The amount of insurance they will have to pay is nominal and in no way reflects what it costs if injured by a scooter rider. Just ask D. Meister what her injuries are still costing her after over year of pain and suffering. The council should have put the program on hold until such time as… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
4 months ago

The star of the show last night was Mikie Friedman with her passion, tenacity, dedication, and with stunning singing voice to top it all off. Mikie never gave up, and still hasn’t. She’s a fighter with a voice and a brain and elegant toughness.

#blueyedguy
#blueyedguy
4 months ago

What is the name of the lovely lady who spoke at the end of the meeting and announced she is joining other citizens for a class action lawsuit against the city council and the City? I want to sign up on this breach of public trust lawsuit!

Jim Sattertwaite
Jim Sattertwaite
4 months ago
Reply to  #blueyedguy

Me too!

JF1
JF1
4 months ago

Of course those three voted yes. VOTE. THEM. OUT.

Manny
Manny
4 months ago

This decision by the city council majority has fundamentally surrendered our sidewalks to motor vehicles.

The motor culture is alive and well in West Hollywood.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
4 months ago
Reply to  Manny

They want all the convenience with zero responsibility. Last night’s meeting was an exercise in debate by deceit, riddled with staff incompetence.

JCB
JCB
4 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Well if every NIMBY in the city wasn’t against bike lanes we wouldn’t have this sidewalk issue…

Winners & Losers
Winners & Losers
4 months ago

What cognitive city or organization would agree to terms that an opportunistic entity would present without a finely articulated contract? This is similar to a laboratory experiment gone out of control. The scooter operators clearly desired business from a city with the least amount of entanglements reaping the highest financial benefits. Where was the City Staff cognizant of the safety and regulatory requirements? Where was the City Attorney who should have exercised oversight to such a contract with the inherent liabilities? This is a laboratory experiment gone out of control. The genie will likely never again be captured back in… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
4 months ago

This is just one of many issues for which West Hollywood is used as a laboratory for mostly outside forces. Three naive political rookies got shnookered by tech behemoths with the aid of incompetent staff carrying mathematically faulty reports. It was embarrassing to watch staff stutter through multiple report errors and process deficiencies. Meanwhile, the city attorney and city manager watch quietly, seemingly unaware of their role in the increasing dysfunction.

JohnRyan
JohnRyan
4 months ago

Shepi, it’s NOT new and it IS bad.
I am shocked, shocked, that the City Council’s 3 worst members would vote with the cash-rich scooter companies and against disabled, angry, and fed-up residents. Great job, you made the exact wrong decision AGAIN!

Had Enough
Had Enough
4 months ago

Who’s getting the kick back?

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