Birds fly away, Limes turn sour and Ovos are over
The Santa Clara
April 4, 2019
Santa Clara Transportation sent out a campus-wide email just before spring break informing the community that scooter and bike-share companies such as Lime Bikes and Bird scooters are not allowed on campus.
According to the email, the reason for the ban is because the university doesn’t have an established partnership with any of these companies.
The campus-wide email also highlighted that the use of e-scooters and bike-shares “will not be allowed until proper policy and procedures have been outlined to ensure the safety of people and property,” leaving a glimmer of hope for frequent users.
Millie Kenney, director for parking and transportation services on campus, said the ban of e-scooters on campus is to comply with the moratorium on e-scooters that the City of Santa Clara implemented in January.
Kenney said that since the university is within the city, it must comply with the moratorium.
The new city-wide rule was enacted to give the city some time to make a formal partnership with an e-scooter or bike-share company, to avoid the company placing the devices throughout the city without any government regulations.
Earlier this school year, Kenney was optimistic that a partnership between the university and one of the newly-popular companies would emerge.
“We’re working with the City of Santa Clara to see if we can decide together which company we’d go for,” Kenney said in an interview with The Santa Clara in September 2018.
Kenney said that the possibility of a partnership between the university and an e-scooter company is still a possibility and estimates one will be made by next fall.
The most important aspect of a potential partnership, however, is that it reflects the City of Santa Clara’s future partnership.
This means the university will try to partner with whatever company the city chooses, in order to allow riders to use the devices on campus as well as throughout the city.
In September the rules for e-scooters on campus were the same as for bikes and skateboards on campus, according to Kenney.
Some of the rules these various vehicles were required to follow included giving pedestrians the right of way at all times and limiting operation to roadways and parking lots.
Anyone walking around campus during class transition times can see that these rules are rarely followed.
The use of e-scooters as a form of transportation is rising around the country, and more and more can be seen around the Santa Clara community as well as throughout downtown San Jose.
Just like universities, cities can partner with individual e-scooter and bike-share companies in order for the transportation devices to be allowed in the area.
The need for these partnerships came after the scooters started popping up throughout cities overnight—literally.
In some cases, city officials were overwhelmed by the amount of scooters and how proper regulations of the devices were not in place by the time they showed up.
Along with cracking down on which companies can operate within their limits, cities like San Francisco have put caps on the amount of scooters allowed to operate at one time.
Santa Clara’s ban of the e-scooters on campus comes shortly after San Jose State University (SJSU) announced its prohibition of all e-scooters, despite the fact that the school was once an official partner of Lime, one of the biggest e-scooter and bike-share companies.
According to a February Mercury News article, SJSU’s decision came after the scooters caused numerous “collisions, trips, falls and blocking of fire escapes.”
SJSU officials told The Mercury News that all 81 of the scooters were confiscated in February and that “Lime and Bird will have to pay to get them back.”
The university’s new ban of the devices, however, had little to do with any hazards surrounding the scooters and more to comply with the city’s new ordinance.
Although the e-scooters are often seen around the perimeter of the university, throughout residential streets, the scooters themselves are rarely parked on campus. In terms of implementation of the new ban, Kenney says that any e-scooters or bike-share bikes found parked on campus will be impounded and the respective company will need to pick them up.
Kenney also said that if someone is riding the e-scooter through campus, they won’t necessarily be stopped by Campus Safety, but if a person is walking around with the scooter with the intention of parking it somewhere, university officials will tell them it has “no business here.”
While this ban may affect a few students who have been running late to class and were lucky enough to find a scooter to get them there quickly, it won’t be devastating for most people as the majority of Santa Clara students still walk or skateboard to class.
Contact Kimi Andrew at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.