For People With Disabilities, Scooters Are An Obstacle – Literally
Electric scooters are a convenient way to get around San Antonio, until you can't get around them.
As their popularity rises, so do concerns regarding safety and accessibility for people living with disabilities.
Users often abandon e-scooters in areas that block curb cutouts for wheelchairs. Scooters are left strewn across sidewalks, creating a hazard for people who have low vision or are blind. Scooters emit very little noise – more of a soft hum– which can be dangerous for individuals with vision or hearing loss.
Scooters in San Antonio are part of a dockless vehicles pilot program implemented last year. Since their arrival, city council has resticted hours of operation, downsized the number of allowed scooters and prohibited use on sidewalks.
How can we better educate riders about the risks of poorly discarding e-scooters? What are the current rules for parkinge-scooters and are these enforceable offenses?
What can we learn from how other cities are regulating dockless vehicles? What are some best practices for dealing with issues related to e-scooters and accessibility inclusivity?
Are we doing enough to identify and address accessibility issues as San Antonio strives to be a multimodal city?
- Deborah Scharven, accessibility compliance manager in the City of San Antonio Transportation & Capital Improvements Department's Disability Access Office
- John Jacks, director of City of San Antonio Center City Development & Operations
- Melanie Cawthon, co-founder and executive director of disABILITYsa
- Athalie Malone, co-chair of the City of San Antonio's Disability Access Advisory Committee
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, July 15 .