Citing two scooter-related deaths in Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an executive order prohibiting the issuance of additional permits for shareable dockless mobility devices.
On Wednesday, July 19, a CobbLinc bus collided with a 37-year-old man at the intersection of 15th and West Peachtree streets. The man, who was pronounced dead on the scene, was identified as Brad Alexander and had been traveling from an Atlanta United match at the time, according to authorities.
The city’s first scooter-related fatality occurred in May when 20-year-old Eric Amis Jr. was struck by a red Cadillac SUV traveling south on West Lake Avenue while he was riding the scooter out of the parking lot of the West Lake MARTA station, Atlanta police said.
The driver of the Cadillac, Narcory Wright, was arrested in late May on misdemeanor charges of second-degree homicide by vehicle and speeding in connection with the deadly crash. Wright was booked into the Fulton County Jail on May 29 and released on a $10,000 bond two days later.
“Across the nation, municipalities are dealing with the sudden and unforeseen impact these devices have had on our communities,” Bottoms said upon issuing the executive order. “While some municipalities have banned the devices altogether, the City of Atlanta acted in good faith to work with the private sector to explore innovative solutions to ease existing commuting strains.
“However, as Atlanta has seen two scooter-related deaths, this complex issue requires a more thorough and robust dialogue.”
Bottoms’ executive action will not affect companies with existing permits, however the Mayor will introduce legislation at the Atlanta City Council meeting on Aug. 5 to address the long-term impacts these devices levy against the City of Atlanta’s infrastructure and public safety, and the compounded strain placed on the City of Atlanta’s public safety officials and first responders.
In January, the Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance banning the scooters from being operated on sidewalks, only on city streets, bike lanes and shared-use paths.
The Mayor’s executive order reads in full:
“As of today, July 25, 2019, the Commissioner of the Department of City Planning and his designees are authorized, ordered and directed to refuse to accept for review or consideration any application requesting a shareable dockless mobility device permit.
“The order will remain in effect through the August 5, 2019 meeting of the Atlanta City Council, at which time it is anticipated that the Council will introduce an ordinance repealing the authorization of the Commissioner of the Department of City Planning or his designee(s) to accept shareable dockless mobility device permit applications and to issue shareable dockless mobility device permits.