Electric scooter rental company Bird is interested in operating in Leesburg. The city is working on ways to regulate them.
LEESBURG, Va. — Leesburg could see new additions on the road over the next year.
Bird, an electric scooter rental company, is asking to locate up to 100 scooters in Leesburg in its first year in the city.
Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk said in the past 24 hours she had received an overwhelming response against the scooter company. plans deploy the motorized scooters in the city.
“Can I imagine them? Not particularly,” Burk said. “As I said, we have a very small footprint. It is easy to walk from place to place. You park your car and sort of leave it. I’m not sure this is the right choice for Leesburg. But it is something that we will discuss, we will continue to discuss.
The city may regulate the number of scooters that can be in a specific area. The permit process will also allow Leesburg to define certain places where scooters can be parked, where they can and cannot go, scooter speeds and fines when policies are not followed.
The city cannot prevent the company from placing its scooters in the city, however the company must have a permit based on the regulations the city offers.
“We have to work within the boundaries of what the General Assembly has designated for localities. We can regulate and we can set permit fees, but we can’t outright deny,” Burk said.
Some people who frequent Leesburg have said they are concerned about the lack of space on the main street for scooters, as well as the addition of scooters in such a pedestrianized area.
“I mean, I think the pretty good thing about Leesburg is that everything is walkable. So having like electric scooters rides. It will change the mood,” Posido Vega said.
The city council discussed scooters during a business session on Monday evening. A public hearing is scheduled for July 11 and another in September.
Seven tentative locations have been identified for scooters to dock in Leesburg, including Mervin Johnson Park near the stairs in front of Rouge, two locations at Loudoun County Government Center, Market Station, MacDowell Brew Kitchen and in front of Crescent Place.
Final locations will be approved through the permitting process.
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