By Catherine Brown –

Electric scooters are a great way to get around campus. They’re fast, reliable and affordable. That being said – scooter users need to stop driving scooters through walking paths and leaving them in the middle of the sidewalk.

Bird, the company that provides electric scooters on Belknap Campus, clearly states on each scooter that the vehicle is not to be ridden on sidewalks. Still, students continually weave in between students on the sidewalks, causing frustration and a threat to safety. Riding scooters through high-traffic areas like outside the Belknap Academic Building or the Quad creates the danger of pedestrian accidents.

And when scooters are left out on walkways, they become an obstacle to the flow of foot traffic, especially when left lying down.

Furthermore, both U of L and Louisville Metro Council prohibit the use of electric scooters on sidewalks.

“That’s a dangerous habit – and it’s against the law in Louisville. Nobody of any age shall ride on the sidewalk downtown. Violations of the ordinance are punishable by fines of up to $50,” said Metro District 9 Councilman Bill Hollander.

U of L’s official policy on moped, scooter, and motorcycle use states that “The University of Louisville prohibits the operation of a moped, scooter, or motorcycle or other small-motorized transportation devices on any pedestrian walkways or sidewalks located on its campuses, in UofL buildings or other areas prohibited by UofL signs, state laws, or local ordinances.”

The policy also states that parked scooters blocking certain access areas – such as stairs, ramps and doors – could be fined.

Scooters can be parked anywhere: in designated parking spots, next to a building or off to the side of a sidewalk.

So why do people insist on parking their scooters in the middle of the sidewalk for everyone to have to walk around?

The inconvenience of trying to maneuver around a parked scooter is bad enough, but for students using wheelchairs or other mobility devices, the scooters are an obstacle.

The Bird app even incentivizes riders who use safety precautions, such as parking away from public pedestrian areas and wearing a helmet.

Riding an electric scooter or bike responsibly and in accordance with local laws creates a safer environment for all pedestrians who walk through campus. Please ensure to use scooters only in designated areas and to keep them parked away from walkways.

Photo by Catherine Brown // The Louisville Cardinal