Illegally-parked scooters causing frustration in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh residents are starting to get frustrated with the growing number of illegally-parked scooters obstructing sidewalks or other walkways within the city.

A number of people tweeted photographs to the city’s 311 account. Channel 11 viewed one photo in which a scooter is seen blocking an accessible parking spot in Oakland. Another photo depicts two scooters toppled over on a sidewalk ramp off of Woods Run Avenue.

“Everywhere, on the side of the highway, downtown, you name it, it’s ridiculous,” said Joe Provenza, who works across the city.

“Sidewalks, parks, everywhere,” said local resident Jonathan Davis.

Channel 11 reported on the “Spin” scooter launch last month as part of a city program aimed at creating more affordable transportation options for residents.

Reporter Liz Kilmer reached back out to the city after seeing the parking complaints and received the following response from a city spokesperson:

“The parking policies we’re enforcing are some of the strictest in the country because we want to prevent scooters from cluttering the sidewalks. Since this is a new mobility service, we’re experiencing an adjustment period for users to ensure they’re parking them in the legally appropriate areas, which are in the Spin docking stations, next to bike racks or in legal parking areas near the end of a block with the wheels perpendicular to the curb. In some areas, scooter users will be required to park in a designated scooter parking space.”

City officials told Channel 11 that scooters should never be parked on sidewalks, ADA ramps, crosswalks, bike lanes or bike trails. Scooters are not to be parked on private property either, unless the rider has received permission from the owner.

In order to utilize the scooters, riders must use an app to scan a QR code. According to the city, Spin can therefore identify riders and may issue warnings or fines for violating rules. Repeat offenders could even be suspended or banned from the app.

Riders are required to take a test before their first ride and to take a photo of where they parked, according to the city.

A spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Police said there have been a number of complaints about the scooters and as a result, the agency will track all incidents and citations dealing with scooters.