San Francisco to double number of e-scooters

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — You know all those e-scooters on San Francisco streets? The City has given the green light to double them beginning next month. More scooters, more companies operating them and more of them in more neighborhoods.

Just when people thought there were enough powered scooters in the city, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency made this announcement.

“We decided to announce today the expansion of our scooter program in a way that’s both substantial and thoughtful,” revealed Jamie Parks, Livable Streets Director at the SFMTA.

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The number of companies operating them will expand from two to four. Permits have been granted to increase the number of scooters from 2,000 to 4,000 and the number of neighborhoods that will now have scooters will also double.

“I think it will decrease congestion, the downside obviously is that people will leave scooters around randomly,” said San Francisco resident Sammy Orina.

When scooters began inundating San Francisco streets, a civil grand jury report called for better enforcement of traffic laws.

David Lefkowitz, another San Francisco resident said he never seen a police officer stop a person on a powered scooter for riding on the sidewalk.

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Here’s what the SFMTA said about that.

“The police department has limited resources for enforcement, that’s why we’ve asked the operators themselves to do what they can to both educate users and then also have enforcement tools themselves,” added Parks.

To their credit, on Wednesday we saw fewer people riding their scooters on the sidewalk.

Operators like Scoot and Spin have visual symbols to encourage bike lane use. And what about those helmets? It was then-Gov. Jerry Brown who signed a new law saying that as of Jan. 1, 2019, powered scooters were exempt.

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