Electric scooters will be hitting the streets of Fresno once again. Clovis City Officials are now looking at the impact this return of ‘shared mobility devices’ will have on their city.
Last month Fresno councilmembers approved a six month trial with Lime Scooters. They’re expected to make a return this month.
City officials are looking to use what’s known as ‘geo-fencing’ which would essentially keep the scooters out. It works by slowing the device from 15 to 3 miles per hour, and alerting the rider they are in area where they are not currently allowed.
Councilmembers voted in favor of the motion, with the direction to staff to create a shared mobility device policy more specific to Clovis, and separate from Fresno’s.
In 2018 Bird Scooters showed up on Fresno streets. Corporal Curtis Shurtliff with the Clovis Police Department said right away about 40 them crossed over into Clovis and created a mess.
“People would drive them and they would just stop them anywhere. They were found in roadways, they were found in center dividers and they were found in piles on sidewalks,” he said.
Shurtliff said the city confiscated them and returned them to Bird after the company agreed to geo-fence the city. He said it worked, and no scooters crossed over after. Fresno soon issued a cease and desist order to the company, and they left.
Eric Rollins lives and owns a business in Clovis. He said he remembers the scooters last summer and doesn’t want to see a return.
“It was kind of chaotic. We already have a public transportation system, we have people who have bikes. I don’t really see the need for it,” he said.
Opinions from the community were mixed.
“I think it’s cool, I’ve used them in Portland” Josh Stanphill a resident who also works in Clovis said. He also said bikes might make more sense because the community is spread out.
“It’s something I would not be using personally but I understand there who need some sort of way of getting around because there’s people out there who don’t have a car,” Shane Davis who works in Clovis said.
Clovis councilmembers did not rule out scooter companies coming to town, but wanted to consider different options before bringing them.
Shurliff said it’s concerning from a law enforcement and safety standpoint.
“Every city that’s incorporated this type of business had a problem with blight conditions, accidents, some fatalities,” he said.
The council says want to take time to make sure policies are in place which are specific to Clovis. Before they move forward with any decisions.