JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The electric scooters in downtown Jacksonville seem to be all the rage, but for Alexis Lior, that excitement is met with some reservation.
“I think it’s an excellent idea to have a new way to transition around downtown, but there has to be some sort of order to it,” Loir said.
She is a downtown business owner and appreciates the increase in visitors. She also knows every reward comes with risks.
“My message to scooter riders and drivers would be to adhere to traffic instructions and directions and rules as much as possible,” Lior told First Coast News.
The city of Jacksonville agreed to a one year pilot program with four companies for 400 scooters. Councilman Rory Diamond was a co-sponsor in getting them here.
“We have to change the culture a little bit of downtown Jacksonville. We need to get used to these scooters," Diamond said. "So, drivers need to have their eyes out for them and those who are on them need to know that not everyone knows there are scooters out here yet. So, just be super careful."
Since the start of the month, one rider was hit by a driver who initially stopped, but drove away. Another rider was arrested for crisscrossing a double yellow traffic line. In the report, the sheriff’s office says that has “become a rampant and very dangerous problem.”
“I saw a fair amount of people kind of jumping out of the way and moving around so they wouldn’t get hit by people on scooters,” Lior said of her experience last weekend.
Lior says another problem is some riders aren’t returning the scooters to the 35 stations the city set aside. Instead, they are being left in the middle of a sidewalk, which we also noticed.
She’s urging everyone to slow down, especially around intersections and at night.
For more information about the city of Jacksonville’s pilot program, click here.