Eyes on the Street: L.A.’s New Sidewalk E-Scooter Parking Zones

E-scooter parking on Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
E-scooter parking on Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
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Downtown L.A. has new e-scooter drop zones. The two observed by Streetsblog are on downtown L.A.’s crowded sidewalks. The one pictured above is on Figueroa Street at 7th Street, right outside the 7th Street Metro station, and next to the MyFigueroa’s bikeway.

Ideally, L.A. could learn from Santa Monica and place some e-scooter parking in the street, so parked scooters don’t impede pedestrians. Santa Monica has sidewalk spots, too.

LADOT is billing their dockless shared e-scooter/e-bike/bike-share device program as the largest in the U.S. – see their full press statement below.

Shared device parking spot on the Figueroa Street sidewalk in downtown L.A.
Shared device parking spot on the Figueroa Street sidewalk in downtown L.A.

(And, unfortunately yes, in the top photo, there are a pair of single-occupant private cars using the MyFigueroa bus-only lane. As told by earlier SBLA coverage and a recent L.A. Times article, Figueroa’s scofflaw drivers are rampant, costing delays to lots of bus riders, including folks impacted by Metro’s New Blue construction – not to mention safety issues for pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter-ists. Will Metro or LAPD ever prioritize enforcement of bus-only lanes?)

LADOT’s full March 22 e-scooter press release:

LADOT EXPANDS DOCKLESS SCOOTER AND BICYCLE PROGRAM TO BE LARGEST IN COUNTRY

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has begun to permit Dockless Mobility Providers (Providers) who applied to operate dockless scooters and bicycles in the City of Los Angeles. This is an expansion of the original Conditional Use Permit program launched in November 2018. To make sure people in Los Angeles have safe and comfortable transportation choices, LADOT created a pilot One-Year Permit to broaden the program and build on regulations for dockless mobility.

Through this One-Year Permit Program, LADOT is working to ensure safety, comfort, and equity for all who wish to use dockless scooters and bikes. In this phase, LADOT is also introducing “Parking Zones” and the new ability to report issues related to dockless scooters and bicycles to MyLA311.

For people riding in Downtown Los Angeles, LADOT has created conveniently located Parking Zones. Users are encouraged to park scooters in these areas to help keep sidewalks clear and accessible for everyone. Providers have Parking Zone locations in their apps. LADOT plans to install additional parking zones over the coming months. Community members who want to install a parking zone in their area may work with their Council Office to identify potential locations.

To obtain a One-Year Permit, Providers must meet a number of Council-directed requirements including insurance, liability, an equity plan, and a community engagement plan. The full application can be found here. Providers who applied for permits are required to comply by April 15.

LADOT has taken a phased approach to permits for dockless scooter operations. In November 2018, LADOT released a Conditional Use Permit to test the terms of the permit requirements. This iterative approach helps LADOT take a thoughtful, rigorous, public approach to regulations.

LADOT has awarded three companies with a One-Year Permit:

Lime: 5,500 total scooters, 2,500 of which will be located in “Disadvantaged Communities” (DACs)
Spin: 10,500 total scooters, 8,000 of which will operate in DACs
Bird: 6,500 total scooters, 3,500 of which will operate in DACs
Total: 22,500 total

The following companies will continue operating with a cap of 3,000 vehicles under the same terms as the Conditional Use Permit until April 15 while they work to comply with the One-Year Permit requirements:

Wheels: 3,000 total ebikes
Jump: 3,000 total (1,000 scooters, 2,000 ebikes)
Lyft: 3,000 total scooters

The following companies are still under consideration but not yet permitted as they work to meet requirements:

Bolt: 500 total scooters
CLEVR: 500 total scooters
Cloud: 500 total scooters
HOPR: 500 total bikes
Sherpa: 670 total scooters

  • Jason

    I like the basic idea of marked drop zones, but I worry that this is a prelude to eventually forcing users of dockless bikes/scooters to use these drop zones.

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