Following the second death of an individual riding an electric scooter in Atlanta in less than three months, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is taking action.
“Across the nation, municipalities are dealing with the sudden and unforeseen impact these devices have had on our communities,” she said in a news release. “While some municipalities have banned the devices altogether, the city of Atlanta acted in good faith to work with the private sector to explore innovative solutions to ease existing commuting strains. However, as Atlanta has seen two scooter-related deaths, this complex issue requires a more thorough and robust dialogue.”
Bottoms issued an executive order outlawing the issuance of additional permits for the scooters, also known as shareable dockless mobility devices. The order will not affect companies that have existing permits in Atlanta.
However, the mayor plans to introduce legislation at the city council’s next meeting Aug. 5, when the order ends, to address the long-term effect the scooters have on the city’s infrastructure and public safety.
The order comes after William Alexander, 37, died following a collision in Midtown with a CobbLinc bus while riding a scooter after an Atlanta United game July 17. Also, Eric Amis Jr. 20, died May 17 while riding a scooter home from the West Lake MARTA station.
A group of residents concerned about scooter rider safety hosted a protest rally July 24 in Midtown at the intersection of West Peachtree and 15th streets, where Alexander died. About 55 individuals attended.
Regarding Bottoms’ order, the release stated the council at its Aug. 5 meeting is expected to introduce an ordinance that would repeal “the authorization of the commissioner of the department of city planning or his designee(s) to accept (scooter) permit applications and to issue (scooter) permits.”
To view Bottoms’ executive order, visit https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=42730.
The Marietta Daily Journal’s Rosie Manins contributed to this report.