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Ban on scooters, e-bikes proposed for downtown New Phila

| June 5, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 6, 2024) – The downtown sidewalks could soon be getting safer. 

Council is considering an ordinance that would ban micro-mobility devices like e-bikes and battery-powered scooters in the same places where it’s currently illegal to skateboard, rollerblade, or ride a standard bicycle. Health, Safety, and Service Committee members met last Monday to discuss the proposal before voting to place it on the agenda for a first reading later that evening. 

“We currently have an ordinance which does not allow people to ride bicycles within about a block of the square on the sidewalks,” explained Councilman and Committee Chair Tom Simmelink. “The law director thinks we need to expand the ordinance to bicycles, skateboards, and low-speed micromobility devices.” 

Safety Director Greg Popham made the suggestion, citing recent complaints from downtown business owners, reports of near misses, and the scooters he had seen zipping around.

“Basically, going and looking at the ordinance that pertained to no bicycles within one block of the square, I couldn’t find anything that said anything about a scooter.”

The ordinance is scheduled for another reading at Monday’s city council meeting and a possible vote two weeks later.

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