Pensacola riding with micromobility
While Pensacola embraces micromobility, Orlando looks to remove a popular stretch of bike lanes. Also, are 4-wheeled scooters allowed on Florida roads?
Pensacola looking to permanently embrace micromobility
The City of Pensacola will be voting on whether to amend its micromobility ordinances to allow for a permanent e-scooter rental program. The current pilot program has been in place for the last year, reports Pensacola News Journal.
The proposed ordinance would include “forced parking” in designated areas downtown, but also allow e-bike and bicycle rental companies to apply for a permit under the micromobility program. The current ordinance limits the number to two providers with 500 devices.
The only provider currently in Pensacola is Veo after Bird left when the city changed its ordinance to only allow for seated scooters.
Pensacola has seen its residents embrace micromobility and achieve the goals of getting cars off the road, as Mayor Grover Robinson said:
"At the same time, I'm seeing people use them all over the place. I'm seeing scooters be used. So clearly, they're being utilized. It helps us keep cars off the road and out of the downtown area, parking and everything else that we deal with."
Orlando going the wrong way on bike lanes
Meanwhile, Orlando to the south is regressing on micromobility as it looks to potentially remove bike lanes in exchange for parking spots. As reported by WFTV9 and brought to my attention by Jim Charlier in his tweet below, Orlando is looking to make the change along Edgewater Drive in the College Park area. The move would also include wider sidewalks.
While the bike lanes have been at the location for 20 years, the new $16 million would remove them and include a new roundabout. Beth Resta of Orlando Bike Coalition spoke out at a public safety meeting, which Ken McLeod, Policy Director at The League of American Bicyclists, quoted in a tweet:
The city will have two more public meetings before finalizing plans.
Limited study finds micromobility injuries and deaths up with motor vehicles the leading cause
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission finds that injuries involving micromobility devices were up 127% between 2017 and 2021, according to News4JAX.
The City of Jacksonville launched a pilot program last year for e-scooters and bikes. There are about 400 e-scooters all around the city and people can ride them at almost any time — except between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
The report, titled Micromobility Products-Related Deaths, Injuries, and Hazard Patterns: 2017-2021, itself notes that while it covers micromobility products, it only covered e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bicycles. Other micromobility devices like traditional bicycles, mopeds, three-wheeled scooters, and seated e-scooters were not reviewed.
The study found that between the time frame and across the vehicles it looked at, there were 267,700 ER visits and 129 fatalities. E-scooter deaths outnumbered those of e-bikes, 68 to 53, with motor vehicle crashes the top hazard. In fact, motor vehicles were the leading cause of death for e-scooter (72%) and e-bike riders (51%).
The 4-wheeled D-Fly Dragonfly is making waves but might not be allowed in Florida…yet
A new four-wheeled e-scooter is hitting the market but it might not be welcome on Florida’s roads. D-Fly is unveiling its Dragonfly platform and calling it the “world’s first hyperscooter,” according to Inverse. D-Fly claims that the unique four-wheel design allows for greater stability with peak speeds at 25 mph and even allows the rider to lean into the turn.
Unfortunately, Florida roads may not be ready for this self-proclaimed supercar of micromobility. Motorized scooters (which includes e-scooters) are defined by Florida law (sec. 316.003(48)) as having no more than 3 wheels with speeds not exceeding 20 mph (that there are other two-wheeled e-scooters on the roads going more than 40 mph is another matter).
Now those e-scooters allowed under the law are given the same rights and duties as that of a bicyclist according to sec. 316.2128. That means they can ride on sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and roads as a bicyclist would be able to.
Florida would need to change it’s definition of an e-scooter in order to allow for the Dragonfly, or any other four-wheeled e-scooter, to lawfully be allowed to ride.
Ex-NFL linebacker Junior Galette arrested for riding a scooter without a license. Wait…what?
Local 10 News in Miami reported that ex-NFL linebacker Junior Galette was arrested on October 6 for the charge of not having a valid driver’s license while riding a scooter.
I was able to confirm that he was cited for an improper left turn, improper lane usage (not sure about this ticket but the article mentioned he was riding in the bike lane, which is allowed), and not having a driver’s license.
The problem here is that you don’t need a driver’s license in Florida to operate a scooter. The stop appeared to stem from Galette’s riding pattern that Miami Beach Police Officer Yosbel Igarza didn’t like. Galette ended up with a night in jail, though.
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