Are E-Scooters a Thing in Palm Desert?

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E scooters or electric scooters have been considered by councilmembers on a trial basis throughout Palm Desert. Spin, an E scooter company, may set up the business on a trial basis. More environmentally friendly, these E scooters are popping up where there's a lot of foot traffic around college campuses and a downtown areas. There already and several Southern California cities such as Riverside, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles and they are gaining popularity among users nationwide. However, there are some drawbacks. These scooters are prohibited on sidewalks so they must be written on the streets or in bike lanes close to the curb, which can be dangerous. These scooters can travel up to 17 mph and are operated by phone apps that require a credit or debit card as well as a drivers license in order to operate. Users must be at least 18 years old and are encouraged to wear helmets.

The problem is that these can be left anywhere and have been found blocking curbs accessible for pedestrians. The city Council has been discussing the pros and cons of these and recently a four to one vote was based on public safety against having the scooters around town. It doesn't necessarily mean the issue is dead, it just means that there needs to be a better and safer way to utilize these scooters.

In December, Palm Desert city Council adopted a ban on all E scooters and other shared mobility devices while staff evaluated the growing popularity and use of them. Back in November, the E scooter company Bird delivered a fleet of scooters in downtown Palm Springs, however, they did not obtain the necessary permits so the city had to place a moratorium on all shared motorized devices. Although ecologically friendly and popular, they can get in the way and cause a safety hazard.

So, while this might be a great option in the future, for now, Palm Desert has decided to put this notion on the back burner. Image by Desert Sun