City of North Vancouver's e-scooter trial zips ahead with council's approval

·1 min read
E-scooters pictured in Calgary. The City of North Vancouver is moving ahead with a pilot program to test out the devices on some streets. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)
E-scooters pictured in Calgary. The City of North Vancouver is moving ahead with a pilot program to test out the devices on some streets. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)

The City of North Vancouver is zipping along with an e-scooter pilot program.

Also known as electric kick-scooters, the devices are occasionally seen on the road, but the city notes in a statement that they're not legal under the Motor Vehicle Act.

The pilot program would make the city one of eight communities in B.C. that plan to give e-scooters an extended test drive.

"Everyone can agree that moving efficiently around the community is a top priority," Mayor Linda Buchanan said in a statement.

"For too long cities have been designed for the movement of cars over people. That's why I am so pleased that we are delivering this e-mobility pilot. When people are presented with transportation alternatives they use them."

City council gave its first three readings to bylaw changes to approve e-scooter use Tuesday.

The pilot program would allow e-scooters on local roads with no centre line, bike lanes, mobility lanes and multi-use paths, the city's statement said, while they won't be allowed for use on sidewalks, arterial roads without a mobility lane or unpaved trails.

Riders don't need a license but must be at least 16 years old, wear a helmet and have a bell and lights on their e-scooter. Personal and rented e-scooters will be allowed, but not "shared" e-scooter programs.

E-scooters have been trialled in other cities but they have occasionally led to problems: some people ride them on sidewalks, leading to conflicts with pedestrians, or park them in inappropriate places. Obstructed pathways have led to criticisms from people with disabilities.

The trial is expected to receive final approval on Jan. 31, the city said, and will run until April 2024.

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