Shared electric scooter program gets green light from city council | Chicago News

Shared e-scooters got the green light to return to the streets of Chicago this spring, including downtown and the 606 Trail, where they were banned in last year’s pilot program.

Chicago City Council voted on Thursday to approve the scooter-sharing project that will work similarly to the Divvy bike-sharing system. City officials hope two-wheeled vehicles will ease congestion and encourage the use of public transportation throughout Chicago.

The order would allow the three companies that obtain two-year licenses from the city to deploy a maximum of 6,000 scooters on the streets of Chicago once the impending winter subsides, officials said. Each company would have no more than 2,000 scooters at the start, and the program could expand to a total of 12,500 scooters.

Chairman of the transport committee Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Borough) said city officials “must walk and speak to speak” on efforts to improve Chicago’s environment.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th arrondissement) and Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) said they voted no because scooters, thrown randomly by bikers, turned out to be a nuisance in their neighborhoods.

Other aldermen, including Ald. Harry Osterman (48th arrondissement) and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd district) voted against the measure because they do not want scooters in their districts at all.

The city is expected to earn $ 4.4 million from permit fees for the 6,000 scooters in the first phase of the program. Drivers who rent the two-wheeled scooters would also pay the city’s rental tax of 9%, O’Malley said.

To prevent two-wheeled vehicles from becoming a nuisance to pedestrians, each scooter must be equipped with a system that sounds an alarm when traveling on Chicago’s sidewalks, according to the proposal. The alert would be similar to that issued by cars when a driver’s seat belt is not engaged, to alert both the driver and nearby pedestrians that the scooter is being used in the wrong location, officials said. .

Scooters must be locked to poles or bike racks at the end of a ride, according to the new rules. Companies would be allowed to build corrals for scooters, but not required to do so.

The only place electric scooters couldn’t be ridden in Chicago would be the Lakefront Trail. Companies would be required to ensure that a sufficient number of scooters are available on the south and west sides, according to the rules.

The two pilots in 2019 and 2020 banned electric scooters from the Central Business District as well as the Lakefront Trail and 606 Trail.

In another action, city council unanimously granted monument status to the North Kenwood two apartments where blues giant Muddy Waters lived for two decades.

Chandra Cooper, the great-granddaughter of music legend née McKinley Morganfield, spearheaded efforts to have the house named as a landmark to preserve the legacy of African Americans in Chicago and s ‘ensure that future generations recognize his great-grandfather as the father of the blues.

The brick structure of 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. is about to become a museum.

Read more: Legacy of Muddy Waters to experience at MOJO Museum

However, the city council took no action regarding a move that would have given the Chicago Police Board the power to quash the Chicago Police Department and remove a Chicagoan from an underdeveloped gang database.

Several aldermen blocked the vote after asking why they were asked to give new powers to the Police Council when it is not clear how the new database will work.

Two Ald measures were also prevented from moving forward. Anthony Beale (9th Ward), a frequent critic of the mayor. The move sparked a series of procedural maneuvers that highlighted just how divided Chicago City Council is currently.

One, blocked since March, is said to have stopped fining motorists traveling between 6 and 9 mph above the speed limit near parks and schools in Chicago monitored by cameras, while the other, who languishes in the legislative purgatory, would have allowed the city council to hire. his own lawyer.

Both measures were about to be sent to committees where they could have secured substantive hearings and votes, but Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd arrondissement) and Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th arrondissement) blocked this normally procedural vote.

This angered Beale, who quickly began blocking any measures introduced by his fellow city council members by sending them into legislative limbo. Reilly responded by working with Lightfoot to suspend normal city council rules of procedure to send the items temporarily blocked by Beale to their scheduled committee for review.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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