Pittsburgh considers new traffic rules for scooters

PITTSBURGH — With the introduction of electric scooters to Pittsburgh city streets, the city council is now considering updated traffic rules to keep riders and vehicle drivers safe.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure introduced a proposed ordinance that amends Pittsburgh code to establish traffic regulations for electric low-speed scooters.

State law says scooter users must be 16 years old or older, but the city proposes increasing the minimum age to 18 years old. State law also allows electric scooters on roads with a maximum speed limits of 35 miles per hour but the city proposes decreasing that to only allow scooters on roads with speed limits up to 25 miles per hour.

Also scooters must be parked perpendicular the curb in a legal pubic parking space.

The Mayor’s Office said the legislation reinforces what has already been outlined in the state law and executive order that was implemented over the summer when the scooters were first introduced.

These proposed changes follow multiple complaints about the scooters, including where they are being left and how they are being ridden on city streets.

Pittsburgh police are now tracking the problems.

A number of residents told us riders aren’t following the rules; instead they are parking the scooters illegally and leaving them in areas where people can topple over them.

There have also been crash incidents where people have been injured.

The scooters are a part of a new initiative the city introduced over the summer to make travel around the city easy and convenient for Pittsburgh commuters who don’t have access to a vehicle.

Council will discuss the ordinance on traffic rules next week.

The full statement from the Mayor’s Office reads:

“Scooters were introduced in the city of Pittsburgh on July 9 following the state legislature passing an ordinance allowing Pittsburgh to implement a scooter pilot program with certain provisions. Mayor Peduto issued an Executive Order for a pilot scooter program on July 9, in accordance with the provisions in the state law, except for:

  • State law says scooter users must be 16 or older, the City increased the minimum age to 18.
  • State law permits electric scooters on roads up to 35 mph, the City decreased the maximum speed on the roads used by scooters to 25 mph.

These provisions and rules are posted on MovePGH’s website under ‘Scooter FAQs.’

The legislation presented to City Council this morning reinforces what has been outlined in the state law and the Executive Order and includes the parking rules that have to date been enforced by Spin as posted on the website and provided to users on their app. The legislation is an opportunity to codify it all locally to reinforce enforcement for transparency.

As of today, Spin has enabled 131,444 near zero-emission trips within 58 days and Spin offer a subsidy of over 50% price rides to low-income individuals who may not otherwise have a private vehicle or other reliable source of transportation.

Drivers licenses are not required to use the Spin scooters which allows those without a license to have access to an alternative transportation option. Scooters are permitted to ride on streets where the speed limit is 25 mph or lower, not just streets with bike lanes.”