Supervisor Barger Proposes E-Scooter Ban In Unincorporated County

L.A. County is considering banning e-scooters in unincorporated areas. Photo of Santa Monica e-scooter corral - by Gary Kavanagh
L.A. County is considering banning e-scooters in unincorporated areas. Photo of Santa Monica e-scooter corral - by Gary Kavanagh

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Revised 1/15 to note that “cease and desist” language was removed from the motion.

Tomorrow morning, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on an e-scooter ban motion proposed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The ban would apply to unincorporated L.A. County areas, except for Marina del Rey.

There are plenty of e-scooter bans in effect in L.A. County cities including Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Redondo Beach, and El Segundo. E-scooters operators are suing Beverly Hills seeking to overturn their ban.

Barger’s motion states that “e-scooters in unincorporated Altadena and East Pasadena” are a “nuisance” and raise “serious public safety concerns over their operation in public rights of way.”  If approved, the initial version of the motion would have directed the county to inform e-scooter companies “to immediately cease and desist their operations” in unincorporated L.A. County “until such time that regulations have been adopted” by the county.

A later version of the motion deleted the cease and desist language.

Countyrevisedescootermotionscreenshot
Barger’s revised motion no longer calls for banning e-scooters. Screenshot of revised motion

The motion further designates the county’s CEO to enter into any agreements necessary to implement “a pilot permitting program.”

The proposed ban would not apply to e-scooters in Marina del Rey. Those scooters are planned to be part of a pilot program that the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors is working to establish.

Unsurprisingly, e-scooter companies have been critical of “immediate” bans enacted as part of municipality votes. Typically for a municipality to ban something, an initial motion would direct legal staff to develop legally-binding ordinance language, which would then come back for later adoption. The county could send e-scooter companies letters telling them to cease and desist operations, but it may be difficult for the county to just cite the passage of the motion as a full-on legally-binding prohibition.

In late 2018, the County Board of Supervisors passed motions directing county agencies to study e-scooter issues, compile recommendations for best practices, and begin a formal e-scooter pilot. That work remains in process.

Barger’s motion will be heard at tomorrow morning’s 9:30 a.m. board meeting.

  • KB

    West Hollywood does not “ban” e-scooters, rather it bans their rental, so it’s illegal to pick up or drop off such e-scooters in the public right of way. As long as state law is obeyed, it’s perfectly legal to ride scooters in West Hollywood, and to park them there if they are privately owned.

  • LabMassiv

    Soon we’ll look back on the ‘dockless’ movement and wonder what were we thinking. Urban Planning 101.

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