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City of Goleta considers banning electric scooters

The City of Goleta will vote on an emergency ordinance on whether or not to ban electric scooters on Dec. 4, 2018.

The vote comes in the wake of numerous complaints from residents after scooters started popping up near businesses and neighborhoods.

“People find them annoying because they are preventing them walking with their kids in their stroller down the street, or they find them great because it allows a mode of transportation that is accessible and convenient for people who need something for a short trip,” said Valerie Cantella, Community Relations Manager for the City of Goleta.

If the emergency ordinance is passed, the ordinance would ban scooters for use anywhere in the city or operated in any public right-of-way or public property in the city, until council members decide to craft a new ordinance, according to Cantella.

A draft of the ordinance has been posted on the City of Goleta’s website. Click here to read it.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office officials said scooters being driven and abandoned on sidewalks is against the law.

“We encourage the use of alternative transportation, but it needs to be done safely and in consideration of everyone who uses the road,” said Sgt. John Maxwell.

Sgt. Maxwell said scooter drivers are subject to the same laws as motorists driving a vehicle.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the operator of a motorized scooter shall not do any of the following:

Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet, if the operator is under 18 years of age. Operate a motorized scooter without a valid driver’s license or instruction permit. Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to the operator. Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars. Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk. Leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.

Bird released the following statement through Mackenzie Long, a public relations spokesperson for the company:

“The people of Goleta have quickly embraced Bird as an affordable, reliable way to get out of their cars and more easily get around town. We’ve been having productive conversations with city leadership in the hopes of reaching an agreement that can work for everyone, and ensure we are able to continue to serve the community with Bird’s transportation solution residents have come to rely on.”

The City of Goleta wants the public’s input before council members vote on the ordinance on Dec. 4.

To make your voice heard visit to email officials or call 805-961-7500.


Bird launched its fleet in Isla Vista in September 2018. The company says their decision to launch there was to help meet the seaside town’s need for transit options that are cheap and reliable.

Bird says their e-scooters are an environmentally-friendly transportation option and recently celebrated 10 million rides on Bird scooters across 100 communities.

For more information, click here.

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