SAN JOSE – In response to widespread reports of serious injuries and two deaths as a result of electric Scooter collisions in U.S. cities, Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmembers Dev Davis and Raul Peralez have released proposed requirements that e-scooter companies deploy innovative technology-based safety solutions in order to operate in San Jose.
Among the proposed guidelines, Liccardo and his colleagues have challenged e-scooter companies to implement existing geo-fencing technologies to prevent or slow riders from -operating on sidewalks in pedestrian-dense areas and ensure that e-scooter on-street storage does not obstruct or create hazards for pedestrians or cyclists. They have offered the City of San Jose as a partner in implementing these solution, offering public right-of-way for sensors or other infrastructure needed to ensure effective deployment.
The serious risks posed by e-scooters have led to at least temporary bans in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Madrid but Mayor Liccardo proposes a more collaborative solution.
“Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, we can leverage technology to improve safety risks, while supporting the mobility options that thousands of our residents clearly want,” said Liccardo. “Urban residents throughout our nation have felt both delighted and beleaguered by the proliferation of electric scooters. As accounts of injury-causing collisions mount, it has become increasingly clear that micro-mobility requires more innovation to ensure safety in a public environment. In particular, the use of scooters at high speeds on sidewalks poses serious collision risk to seniors, residents with physical disabilities, and many other wary pedestrians.”
“E-scooters are a great solution for that last mile connection in an urban setting,” states Council member Dev Davis, “we just want to make sure that last mile is safely traveled and people get to their destination without collision or contusions.”
“While new technology in micro-mobility are welcomed in urban settings such as downtown San José, we must be conscientious of pedestrian safety and maintain walkability on our public right of ways,” said Council member Raul Peralez.
Several weeks ago, Liccardo and Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer co-signed a letter, challenging CEO’s of leading e-scooter companies to partner with them in deploying safety-enhancing technologies. Resulting conversations with companies have led Liccardo to believe that such technologies are available and can be implemented.
The Mayor’s and Councilmembers’ proposal was heard at the December 12 Rules Committee meeting, with a request that it be considered in conjunction with the proposed regulations that the Administration will present to the Council on December 18.