City of Atlanta imposes nighttime ban on e-scooters and e-bikes

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has directed the Department of City Planning, under the direction of Commissioner Tim Keane, to implement a daily citywide No Ride Zone from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. for electric scooters and electric bikes. No permitted device will be rentable during this time period. The nighttime ban is effective Friday, Aug. 9.

The move comes after a fourth person was killed riding an e-scooter in the metro area. Quienterry McGriff was killed Wednesday morning after being struck by a commercial gas truck near East Point.

“It is evident that immediate action is necessary to keep Atlanta’s residents and visitors safe,” Mayor Bottoms said in a statement. “Sadly, we have seen a pattern in the recent and tragic fatalities involving scooters – they all occurred after sunset. Having a variety of mobility options is critical to any city, but safety must be our top priority. This nighttime ban, while we continue to develop further long-term measures, will ensure the safest street conditions for scooter riders, motorists, cyclists, those in wheelchairs and pedestrians.”

The Department of City Planning has informed electric scooter and bike companies operating in Atlanta of the change in policy and requested that they disable devices during the ban hours.

The administration said it working on additional measures to ensure road safety, including an accelerated plan to create dedicated spaces for cyclists and scooter riders on city streets and a revised selection process that will allow the city to choose a limited number of dockless vendors to operate devices on the streets. The expected selection process is anticipated to be completed by February 2020.

“As a major city, we believe there is potential in engineering the smart integration of this popular mode of transportation,” said Department of City Planning Commissioner Tim Keane. “The devices go a long way in providing last-mile connectivity and convenience to residents, students, businesses and visitors. But it is vital that we pause and assess how we move forward in a responsible way, with public safety always being the top priority.”

On Monday,  legislation was introduced by the Atlanta City Council to repeal the Department of City Planning’s authorization to issue new permits for sharable dockless mobility devices.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.