Bird E-Scooters in Middlebury discussed THIS Tues Sept 28/ Pop-up Demo

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Laura Asermily

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Sep 27, 2021, 4:45:13 PM9/27/21
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At its meeting THIS Tues 9/28 Middlebury Selectboard will consider the recommendation of the Midd Public Health & Safety Comm to award a license to Bird to provide up to 50 e-scooters for rent beginning next spring 2022. PHS heard views pro and con at its Sept 20 meeting and so are clear it should be a one year license after which the Town can decide if it will renew. See more here. Want to weigh in still or again? You can attend in person, wearing a mask, when it gets discussed at 7:20 pm or via zoom link provided below and in Town's weekend email blast or send a written comment to Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay to share with the Selectboard (kra...@townofmiddlebury.org). 

Pop up e-scooter demo:  Join me with Middlebury Washington St resident Adam Sanctum who has agreed to be at the SB meeting with his privately owned e-scooter to describe his experience navigating our roads, including down Exchange St to Desabais with laundry. He will be outside the side entrance facing Ilsley at 6:30 pm to show you how his e-scooter works and answer questions. He is quite knowledgeable about them. Can't make that and want to learn more from Adam? Let me know and I will put you in touch with him. Like the couple who attended the PHS meeting with a story of scooter injury, he wonders how Middlebury College students (a target audience) will do with using the scooters, but feels it is worth giving it a try and monitoring it.   

Background: Middlebury Selectboard had charged the Midd Public Health & Safety Comm with coming up with a recommendation at it's 9/20 meeting, yeah or nay, on the issue of licensing Bird Scooter operations in town. To that end, Jeremy Lynch from Bird Scooters presented and they invited stakeholders as well as the public to weigh in Bird presented to PHS in June (see attached docs). It didn't weigh in then though lots got discussed at that meeting to address concerns to assure that they would not be a nuisance. Bird attested that "geofencing" and a good, local fleet manager would make the important difference in their success in Middlebury. This person would get 45% of the revenue and coordinates where scooters get docked, gathers and maintains them, etc. Bird is proposing up to 50 scooters in Middlebury (not masses, as you'd see in large urban centers). Bird supports Selectboard advisement that this wait to launch until Spring 2022--not this Fall. Scooters wouldn't be operated in winter months. College students would be seen as major user with pros and cons (could reduce carbon footprint and spare choking downtown parking with this alternative but could also be nuisance by riding inappropriately). "Speeding" would be controlled as they do not exceed 15 mph and would be slower on hills and speed could be programed to be reduced to 12 MPH on campus. The Town would receive some income (fifteen cents per ride). Liability would be on Bird for incidents, not the Town. 

Review the Midd Ordinance for Safe Operation of Bicycles and Other Rideable Devices here where you will see how scooters are addressed

To view and participate in the Selectboard meeting via Zoom:
 
 
By phone: 646-558-8656 (not toll free)
Webinar ID: 897 6294 4309
 
For those wishing to watch but not participate:
 
Selectboard Meetings are livestreamed to MCTV's YouTube channel:


 

Bird 2021_City Proposal - Middlebury, VT (1).pdf
Bird- VT Digger Article Oct 2018.pdf
Bird_Draft MOU (1).docx
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