Asheville city council banned electronic scooters on public streets and sidewalks. But lawmakers admit the ban won’t likely be permanent.
The Tuesday evening vote to ban e-scooters was unanimous, coming almost a month after scooters from the California-based company Bird first started popping up on Asheville streets and sidewalks. They only lasted a few days before a Buncombe County judge issued a cease and desist order which led to the scooters being removed. Those caught violating the ban face fines starting at $100. During Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Esther Manheimer said though this likely isn’t the last word on e-scooters in Asheville. “My sense of where Asheville is right now is that we’re not interested in another company coming here and using our community for their purposes," the mayor said. "If they have something to contribute that will benefit our community…if they see their product as a transportation solution for locals, that might be something Asheville is interested in having a conversation about.”
Just last week the city council in Greensboro approved allowing e-scooters on streets with speed limits under 35 miles per hour, a decision that came only a few months after that city had banned them in a similar fashion as Asheville.
City council Tuesday also increased certain fines for vehicle parking violations which will go into effect on February 1st, 2019. Fines for overtime parking violations at metered or non-metered spaces will rise from $10 to $20, with second or subsequent violations in a 24-hour period doubling to $40. The fine for parking in a loading or unloading zone will go from $10 to $30.