St. Petersburg City Council approves e-scooter program

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Get ready to scoot through St. Petersburg. The city council approved on a plan to add electronic scooters to downtown city streets.

The council started studying Tampa’s rollout of electronic scooters this year.

Unlike Tampa, however, the scooters won’t be allowed on sidewalks in St. Pete.

Steve Kornell, the one and only city council member who opposes scooters, voted against it time and again, because of safety reasons.

“I think a distracted driver, a drunk driver, a driver that has a medical issue, that 18 inches of space is not going to work… to keep them safe. I have a real safety concern, other than that, I don’t have a problem with them,” Kornell said.

 Here are a couple of other rules to be in place:

  • They wouldn’t be in bike lanes and only on streets of 30 miles per hour or less
  • Only on the roadway to the Pier, not the Pier itself
  • They would also be allowed on most shared trails and none of the scooters would go beyond 15 miles per hour and you have to be at least 16 years old to ride

Some residents who live downtown hate the idea, like Naomi Spaivack.

“I live in this neighborhood and those scooters are very dangerous. People can get killed by using them,” she said.

Others disagree. They think scooters are a plus.

“I think it’s a good move around downtown without having to have a car all over the place,” Steve Ciarleglio told 8 On Your Side’s Rod Carter.

The city plans to have a one-year pilot program and the next step is to put out a request for a proposal, which company will indeed be the provider and when it will actually begin.

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