Athens considers scooter crackdown

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First the University of Georgia restricted the Bird Scooter on campus now Athens is considering a temporary ban on the Bird. The move by the Athens-Clarke County Commission follows dangerous mishaps in other cities across the country.

The Bird Scooter has popped up all over American cities including Athens. The app for Bird shows a strong concentration around downtown Athens.

“They’re safe. If you know how to drive bicycle, you can drive bird,” said Jashandeep Singhgila, a Bird rider in Athens.

While Birds are prevalent around the city they’ve been heavily restricted from parking lots, bike racks, sidewalks and landscaped areas at the UGA campus.

The Athens-Clarke County Commission is taking actions on the Bird after videos of near mishaps around UGA surfaced.

“We’re putting a ban on them temporarily while we figure out some ordinances to make sure the citizens are properly protected while using them,” said Commissioner Mariah Parker.

She said the temporary yearlong ban would mean if Birds are found they could be confiscated and the company fined to get them back and riders could face citations.

“We’re concerned about people hurting themselves or endangering other people like interacting with cars,” said Commissioner Parker.

She told FOX 5 News Bird rules could involve establishing docking stations, the use of helmets and identifying roadways unsuitable for the scooters.

A Bird spokesperson said, “We've been having productive conversations with county officials in the hopes of reaching an agreement that can work for everyone, and ensure we are able to continue to serve the community with Bird's transportation solution residents and students have come to rely on.”

Riders who spoke to FOX 5 News said they’ll take their cues from the availability of Birds.

“I mean if they leave them out on the streets I still will but if they don’t I won’t,” said Rahul Chabra.

Commissioner Parker told FOX 5 News the Commission is expected to make a final ruling on the temporary yearlong ban on Bird Scooters at its December 4 meeting.