Hamilton’s public works committee has voted unanimously to allow personal e-scooters to operate within the city’s boundaries.
The decision will permit the use of the electric kick scooters, which can travel up to 24 km/h on municipal roads.
The city’s regulations will ban them from operating on sidewalks, as well as on trails and in parks, due to concerns about interactions with pedestrians and other users.
Ken Leendertse, Hamilton’s director of bylaw enforcement, says enforcement of those restrictions will be a challenge since “we don’t have the resources to proactively enforce this type of activity.”
That leaves Ward 5 Coun. Chad Collins feeling uneasy, since people use devices in areas where they’re not supposed to. “Historically, it’s been a problem. It’s something that needs to be addressed.”
A separate decision, about whether to allow commercial e-scooter operations similar to bike shares, will happen early next year.
Peter Topalovic, Hamilton’s program manager of sustainable mobility, says e-scooters can be beneficial because they reduce reliance on cars, connect people to public transit, and reduce air pollution.
Hamilton is one of many Ontario cities faced with deciding whether to allow e-scooters to operate after the province announced a five-year pilot project to allow them on roads if municipalities opt-in.