New Calgary report shows complaints, injuries and destinations related to explosion in e-scooter use

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New Calgary report shows complaints, injuries and destinations related to explosion in e-scooter use
WATCH: A new report has been released showing just how popular e-scooters and e-bikes were for getting around Calgary this summer. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, city administration is recommending ways to address safety and parking complaints – Dec 14, 2019

A new report released by the city of Calgary shows there were 750,000 recorded e-scooter trips from July to October this year.

The city conducted a survey this fall looking for feedback. Over 9,000 Calgarians responded.

Over half of shared e-scooter and e-bike destinations were within one of the city’s business improvement zones like Kensington and East Village.

“We appreciate people travelling whichever way pleases them to come to shop and spend time in Kensington,” said Annie MacInnis, executive director of the Kensington Business Improvement Area.

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Approximately 60 per cent of e-scooters and e-bikes used the pathway network to get to a destination. The rest of the trip volume was on sidewalks and roads.

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“Around 30 per cent of the time, people said they would’ve used some form of car trip instead of a scooter trip and we think that’s great to reduce vehicle traffic, which ultimately reduces congestion,” said Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons in an interview with Global News on Saturday.

Lime and Bird Canada offered e-scooters in Calgary over the summer while Lime also had e-bikes.

Some bumps and bruises were recorded along the way. Thirty-three injuries were reported: 32 were scooter riders and one was a pedestrian.

“They’re pretty safe. They are about as safe as bicycles, if not a bit safer. Clearly, we would like the injury rate to be zero; that’s our goal to improve upon for next year. For our first year, for people just getting used to scooters, the injury rates were OK,” Lyons said.

There were 281 calls to 311 related to shared e-scooters this summer. The complaints included abandoned and improperly parked scooters, double riding, sidewalk riding and not yielding to pedestrians.

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Administration has a number of recommendations including low-speed zones in high pedestrian areas, designated parking zones in high demand parking areas, new bylaws and more education and enforcement.

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“One of the things that I’m pleased about is that there are some speed limits and there [are] also some parking limits. That was a bit of a problem. If the scooters ran out of juice, people just sort of left them in the middle of the sidewalk,” MacInnis said.

“We were a little concerned about the speed sometimes and two people on a scooter and inexperienced riders sometimes. So there was the odd precarious moment and so we did note it might be helpful if there were some lower speed limits and a few more regulations associated with that just for safety,” MacInnis said.

The report will go before council’s transportation and transit committee on Wednesday.

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