Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Future of dockless scooters in Oklahoma City in question

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Dockless scooters are now a reality in Oklahoma City, but for how long?

"It was fun, quicker than you thought it would be," said Michael Just.

Just is one of the first in Oklahoma City to take a ride on the Bird dockless scooters.

"I heard about it on social media, so we pulled up the app and found one a couple blocks away and went and grabbed it," said Just.

About 50 of the motorized scooters were dropped off close to downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday.

With the app, potential riders can see where they are, grab one and go, then leave them wherever they stop. Just says they are fun for travel and might make parking downtown easier on the pocket book.

"Park in public parking then ride one of those things in for two or three bucks and beat the $20 parking. I think it’s a great idea," said Just.

But are the scooters legal to ride in the city?

"We don’t have all the answers yet but it's something we are working very hard on," said Eric Wenger, Director of Public Works for Oklahoma City.

Wenger says the California-based company alerted the city less than 24 hours before they dropped off the motorized rides.

"With the deployment of the dockless scooters in Oklahoma City today, we're actually having to make some decisions very quickly," said Wenger.

Currently, it's not illegal to ride the scooters on sidewalks or in bike lanes, but the city says they need to review those laws.

"The city regulates the public right of way. We also regulate anything placed in that same right of way, and in the case of dockless scooters, it may be placing them in the right of way as well," said Wenger.

That's the catch - without docks, like the popular bikes that have been around for years, the scooters could wind up just lying around.

"Obviously if we find that there is a hazard in the sidewalk, something that makes the sidewalk unpassable, we need to address those areas, make sure they are open to the public. As for the ultimate decision on how we are going to address them in the the long term future, it just has not yet been made," Wenger said.

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