City council approves ordinance to impound Bird scooters until proper permits are filed

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Council approves an ordinance that would allow the city to impound Bird scooters until the company files a permit with the city.

“The council voted today to allow those scooters to be impounded beginning on Monday,” said Laura Johnson, assistant city manager for Oklahoma City.

The ordinance would also include storage fees for the scooters.

Our partners at OKCTalk said Bird dropped off approximately 40 scooters in downtown Oklahoma City and surrounding areas at the beginning of this month.

Bird is a company that allows visitors to rent electric scooters anywhere using their smartphone.

Users must download the app to their phone and use it to find where a scooter is located and to rent it. When they’re done, they simply lock the scooter and leave it for the next rider.

However, the company has been criticized for some controversial practices. Many communities have taken legal action against Bird for violating city ordinances and not obtaining the proper permits.

The issue in Oklahoma City stems from scooters being parked and rented on public right-of-ways around the city. The scooters have been parked in areas such as sidewalks and parks.

Johnson said the right-of-way is “pretty much from the building line to the street center. So, really what we’re saying right now is the sidewalk. If it’s left on the sidewalk, we’re going to look at impounding it.”

Bird, the company that owns the scooters, sent News 4 the following statement:

“Bird is proud to invest in and work with Oklahoma City as it undergoes a renaissance in its downtown neighborhoods. We are in the process of submitting a revocable permit application, which if approved will allow Bird to stay on the roads. We appreciate this opportunity and look forward to continuing a collaborative partnership with Oklahoma City officials.”