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E-scooters to be put to the test on a busy first weekend

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 20:39:43-04

MILWAUKEE — The first weekend with e-scooters back in Milwaukee falls on one of the busiest event weekends of the year.

Lime’s 500 e-scooters have only been on Milwaukee’s streets for four days. This weekend may be their first true test in Milwaukee as hundreds of thousands are expected to flood downtown for various events.

Drive through downtown Milwaukee and it’s hard not to spot e-scooters zipping around every corner.

“It's fun; it goes fast. I almost crashed my first time,” said Rita Yasrob-Dousch of Shorewood.

The city’s e-scooter pilot program says riders are supposed to stay on the streets, preferably in bike lanes and off the sidewalks, but many are doing the opposite.

“I prefer the sidewalk. They don't go as fast as a car,” said Jade Liddeell.

Jason Rico already calls the city’s e-scooter experiment a disaster for public safety.

“We were coming down the street and someone came zipping around the corner and almost hit us, so I think that one of the big issues that I have with it is people get on these things and they don't realize they still have to follow the rules of like being on the sidewalk or being on the road,” he said.

Other cities across the country that have had e-scooters longer have seen plenty of issues. On Wednesday in Chicago, police said a man on an e-scooter hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk, then a short time later, that same e-scooter rider was struck by a vehicle. He remains in critical condition.

“I don't think the machines are dangerous, I think the people riding them are dangerous.” — Jacob Walls

Even worse, e-scooter chaos has been found on Atlanta’s streets where two have died. The latest fatality happened Thursday, when a scooter rider was run over by a transit bus. The city is responding by halting permits.

“I don't think the machines are dangerous, I think the people riding them are dangerous,” said Jacob Walls.

Lime is the only company allowed to have e-scooters in Milwaukee, but it could have some competition here soon. The Department of Public Works told TODAY’S TMJ4 that Bird and Spin scooter companies will meet with DPW officials as part of their application process.