Electric scooters have been on the scene in Washington for more than a year, but they’re starting to raise safety and security concerns on Capitol Hill.
The two-wheelers have grown in popularity as a commuting option for congressional staffers, tourists and other visitors, especially as the weather warms up. Rep. Vicky Hartzler tweeted out her observation that scooters may be rivaling bikes in terms of two-wheeled transport.
But those scooters parked outside of a House office building might be out of bounds.
“The proliferation of electric scooters and other motorized devices for rent has become a safety and security concern for the Department,” said USCP spokesperson Eva Malecki. “They should not be parked and/or left unattended on Capitol Grounds.”
She said the department has seen injuries to scooter riders and to visitors walking across the Capitol campus as the result of scooters being left in high-pedestrian areas.
“We have been working to better educate users of the restrictions for using and/or parking scooters on Capitol Grounds as well as the various companies that make them available to the public,” said Malecki.
Scooter-users whizzing down sidewalks and bike lanes have already prompted some changes. Regulations introduced last year have slowed the scooters down to 10 miles per hour. The D.C. Department of Transportation estimated that close to 17,000 scooters could be on the streets in 2019 from companies Bird, Lyft, Skip, Spin and Jump.