The diversity of which Fulton County is so proud may have closed, at least for now, any possibility of a countywide policy involving electric scooters.
“As diverse as Fulton County’s 15 municipalities are in their individual policies, rules and regulations involving electric scooters, I do not know how we, as a commission, could possibly expect to come up with a uniform, countywide policy for our cities,” District 1 Commissioner Liz Hausmann said.
That is how Hausmann reacted to a resolution introduced by Fulton Board of Commissioners Chair Robb Pitts. It would urge municipalities located within the county to adopt uniform rules and regulations regarding the use of such scooters. The resolution was on the board’s agenda for its Sept. 18 recess meeting at Assembly Hall in downtown Atlanta.
According to District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris, Pitts subsequently “filed” the resolution, meaning it would not be voted on or even considered by the commission.
“The odds that Fulton County’s 15 cities would agree to the same set of rules and regulations involving electric scooters is not very likely,” Morris said.
After hearing from Hausmann, the chair then made a motion to file his resolution, which was approved 6-0 and as Morris termed it, the resolution “would not be discussed or go any further.”
Pitts’ resolution comes after the city of Atlanta, which has allowed e-scooters since May 2018, has dealt with the issue of three individuals dying while riding the vehicles in the city this year between May and July.
The latest death prompted Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to issue executive orders to temporarily stop new e-scooter permits from being issued and to outlaw scooter use between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., since the three deaths occurred after dark. The permit ban was codified when the city council voted in August to approve it.
Pitts’ resolution was originally on the agenda for the board’s Sept. 4 meeting. But it was not considered because Pitts did not return when the commission was called back into session after its lunch break.
Following that meeting, Hausmann said she did an informal survey of the cities in her district and found their policies regarding such scooters were “across the board.”
“Johns Creek told me they had yet to see an electric scooter in their city while Alpharetta had completely banned them,” she said.
Upon Hausmann’s recommendation, Pitts said he would have no problem with the question of unified, countywide e-scooter policy question be brought up before the next quarterly meeting the commission has with the mayors of its municipalities.
Hausmann said she had seen how convenient the scooters are but does not believe Fulton yet has the infrastructure for them.
“We don’t have a lot of infrastructure in place for bicycles, much less electric scooters,” she said.
Phone and email messages left with Pitts’ office seeking comment were not immediately returned.