September 26, 2021

Electric scooter ridership, complaints up in Appleton

Electric scooter ridership, complaints up in Appleton

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – We’re halfway thru a six month pilot program in Appleton, allowing electric scooters to be on the street.

A new report shows ridership is up, but so are complaints.

In downtown Appleton, electric scooters are just about everywhere, but whether the city will continue its pilot program with Bird is still unclear as a new report shows both pros and cons.

“Since the pilot started we’ve had over ten thousand individual rides logging over 14 thousand miles so that’s great. It means that we have users,” said Director of Public Works Paula Vandehey.

However, the same report also shows the number of complaints from June to July have nearly doubled, with riding on the College Avenue sidewalk being among the biggest.

Vandehey added, “Kind of a new thing that’s been happening is people leaving skid marks in Jones Park in some brand new concrete and then probably the other big concern we have with people is just where they park them so they’re blocking the side walk or maybe blocking a pedestrian ramp.”

In Milwaukee, a few weeks ago the city suspended its scooter pilot program in the downtown area because of users going on sidewalks.

Vandehey says that’s unlikely to happen here, but a community wide survey will be conducted later this year to see if changes are necessary should the program continue.

So far the company, at least, is happy.

“We have a limit of a hundred scooters, so really it means at any given time there’s probably closer to seventy scooters out and about. They feel we could probably accommodate up to two hundred or two hundred and fifty in our community. So they’re super excited. They think it’s really successful,” Vandehey said.

The scooters will remain out thru the first snowfall.

Bird is scheduled to make a presentation before the municipal services committee in October, which will decide whether they will be back next year.

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