A second season without bikeshare

e-scooter

Kelowna council has postponed a decision on regulating the use of e-scooters.

Community members have said it’s not safe to have electric vehicles on pedestrian pathways and the province hasn't decided yet if it will permit e-scooters on the roads.

Council looked at two options on Monday to either implement low-speed zones on the Waterfront Walkway and Bernard Avenue temporary closure or to ban e-scooters in those areas after the province makes a move.

Mobility Specialist Matt Worona said banning them altogether would have detrimental effects.

“In the interim they can’t use any other roadways; they would only be able to use this specific pathway. If an e-scooter rider who had their own personal vehicle was to navigate off of that they would be looking at potentially a $1,000 ticket from the RCMP it’s really, really big dollars.”

Council went back and forth with one side taking a hard stance on keeping e-scooters off pedestrian pathways and the other pointing out that bicycles are allowed on those corridors anyways and often move at a faster speed than e-scooters.

Mayor Colin Basran suggested the topic deserved further discussion.

“There are two things we can do. We can either try and forge through and make a decision or we can receive this report and have staff come back with a clearer recommendation and an alternate recommendation that are a little bit more clarified and council would make a decision at a subsequent meeting,” said Basran.

Whatever council decides, it won’t come into effect until the Province makes their decision on whether or not to allow e-scooters on roads.

That decision is expected sometime this summer.

Councillor Gail Given said “the fact that [we’re] waiting until the province provides the ability for folks to use roadways is really important because once we have other places for e-scooters to go, they will go other places. That in its self will change this from being just an entertainment factor on the waterfront to something that may actually become a transportation mode.”

Council received the report for consideration and instructed staff to come back with more comprehensive report.