TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Now comes the hard part for the Tucson City Council following preliminary passage of a pilot program to allow scooters on Tucson’s streets.
The council voted 5 to 2 to allow the six month pilot which will determine whether the scooters fit into the Tucson multi-model transportation system.
It’s hoped the scooters will become an alternative to the car for short trips, which will in turn reduce congestion and air pollution.
The scooter program is scheduled to begin July 1, 2019.
It calls for two companies to provide up to 500 scooters each with the possibility of another 250 each under certain circumstances.
While safety appears to be the biggest issue, another issue among merchants on Fourth Avenue is clutter.
Liz Cirillo, a Tucson attorney originally from Tempe, where the scooters are legal and clutter is an issue says, “there are scooters, litterally like trash, everywhere, they’re just everywhere.”
She hopes Tucson takes better care to prevent that.
“I don’t want to see Tucson be like that,” she said.
Libby Tobey, co-owner of the unique store Popcycle on Forth, has the same concerns.
"We have people in wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and dogs on the avenue all the time," she said. "I would hate to add another safety concern."
She says she's been to Tempe and seen what it's done to merchants there and does not want the same thing happening here.
It's only eight feet from the street to the front door of her business. A scooter or two would make it impossible to get into her business.
"I think if people are addressing the docking and the safety and there's a structure on how to deal with these issue," she says. "Then it's alright."
But even if there are rules, there's always a concern on whether those rules could be enforced.
“I think it’s pretty close to unenforceable,” says 35 year 4th Avenue resident, Jack Zittere. “I think it’s just too many layers of problems with the scooters.”