Councilmember Zapf: Scooters in Mission Beach turning boardwalk into ‘a human slalom’

UPDATE: On Tuesday May, 22 2018, the San Diego City Council will decide whether or not to ban motorized scooters on boardwalks. Watch live below as people on both sides of the issue present their case before the City Council votes on the future of motorized scooters.

SD City Council motorized scooters on boardwalks

The San Diego City Council is considering banning motorized scooters on boardwalks at the beaches. People on both sides of the issue will present their case before the City Council votes on the future of motorized scooters on boardwalks.More info:

Posted by KUSI News on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

MISSION BEACH (KUSI) — You can walk or jog. You can skateboard, rollerblade or bike. However, San Diego City Councilmember Lorie Zapf is saying that she doesn’t want any motorized scooters on the Mission Beach boardwalk.

Light, nimble and easy to operate, they’re also fast. That speed is part of the problem as riders zip by, dodging and weaving between pedestrians at 15 mph, in excess of the boardwalk’s 8 mph limit.

The councilmember is calling for the scooters to be banned from the oceanfront boardwalk. Zapf said, “What’s happened is human beings are being treated like a slalom course on the boardwalk, a human slalom course.”

Some boardwalk regulars complain the scooter riders travel so fast, that they come close to colliding with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Zapf said her office received so many complaints since the scooters were introduced that she wrote a memo on April 20, asking the Mayor’s office to change the language in the municipal ordinance to clearly define the boardwalk as a sidewalk.

Under California law, operating an electric scooter is illegal on a pedestrian sidewalk.

Zapf told reporters at a news conference Friday that based on the amended language, an emergency ordinance will be presented to City Council for a vote on May 22. Speed is the overriding concern, but there are other safety issues.

Under state law, anyone using an electric scooter is required to wear a helmet, be at least 16 years of age and have a driver’s license.

San Diego Lifeguards are also in support of a ban. Lifeguard chief James Gartland said with the busy summer season approaching and more crowds expected, his crews will have enough to do with ocean rescues and other water emergencies, without the additional responsibility of responding to scooter collisions.

Since March 2, lifeguards reported 13 accidents resulting in injuries. Some of the injuries were serious. Not everyone thinks the boardwalk should be scooter free.

Kristen Victor with a group called “PB EcoDistrict” said if bikes aren’t banned from the pedestrian walk, then scooters should not be outlawed either.

The emergency ordinance would apply to the boardwalk from the South Mission Beach jetty to the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.

Categories: Local San Diego News