SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Soon, you could possibly find people riding around on e-scooters in Springfield.
Popular scooter brands, like Lime and Bird, can be found in places like St. Louis and Columbia.
Recently, Springfield city officials have questioned why the scooters can’t exist here in Springfield.
“They can decrease the need for parking,” said Brett Foster, City of Springfield Traffic Engineer. “In a dense urban area, as we have between our downtown and our major colleges like OTC, Drury, MSU, that’s a corridor that we think there will be a lot of riders in that demographic that typically ride those and can use these as a transportation source.”
Foster said the topic of e-scooters now heads to the city’s Community Involvement Committee, where further details will be worked out. This is before the details head before the Springfield City Council.
“Since these devices are so new, our city code and structure for permitting and licensing these type of transportation modes really isn’t defined in our code anywhere, where we are allowed to really do so,” Foster said.
MSU students expressed excitement towards the potential idea.
“A lot of the time down here it gets really cold, and it would be a good thing to just get to places faster and like not have to pay for your own scooter,” said Joe Kohrs, MSU student.
Foster said he knows the scooters don’t bring all positive impacts.
“They are dangerous,” said Foster. “They’re dangerous to the riders, and can be dangerous to the pedestrians when they’re not operated correctly.”
He said if the discussion continues, the city plans on working with the scooter companies to determine where the scooters are safest to ride in town.
“There will be places they will be ridden on the street with traffic, much like a bicycle would be,” Foster said. “They’ll be required to move to the right side of the road and do different things and they’ll be other areas in town, say a residential neighborhood, where they could possibly be ridden on the sidewalks and not have much of an impact.”