The pilot period for electric scooters in Nashville has come to an end after the tragic death of a man just one month ago. Brady Gaulke, a twenty-six year old man, was struck by a car while he was riding one of the e-scooters. After much push from the family to ban the e-scooters, mayor David Briley has finally come to the decision to put the e-scooters in Nashville to an end.
“Today, I notified Nashville’s seven scooter companies of my decision to end the pilot period and ban e-scooters from our streets.” Briley said in his tweet on Friday. “We have seen the public safety and accessibility costs that these devices inflict, and it is not fair to our residents for this to continue.”
Along with the tweet, Briley also posted his letter to the scooter companies.
“After much thought, I have decided to recommend to the Metro Council that the existing SUMD (shared urban mobility device) pilot program terminate,” Briley states in his letter. “And that all scooter be removed from the Metro rights-of-way immediately upon the enactment of the Council legislation.”
According to other sources, Briley had considered the ban on electric scooters about a month ago. The final push that brought him to ban the scooters though was the first scooter related death in May. Although investigations found that the man killed had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system and was in fact responsible for the crash, Briley still felt it was a push to ban the scooters.
Will the electric scooters see a return?
Many people in Nashville are fond of the e-scooters, saying that they use them as a primary means of transport and they’re much more efficient. Many residents are hoping that the scooters will make a return, including many Twitter users that replied to Briley’s tweet on Friday.
“Scooters were an improvement more than a detriment,” said Twitter user @pauljonesb, “I live in Germantown and getting to/from downtown has never been easier.”
“The scooters have problems, but they are literally the only affordable way for me to get to work downtown 5 days a week.” said another Twitter user, @ChumpyBumps.
Though it doesn’t seem like the electric scooters will be making a return any time soon, Briley did say this in another tweet, “If these devices return in the future, it will be after a public process, on our terms, with strict oversight for numbers, safety, and accessibility. I have asked the Metro legal team to draft this legislation, and I trust the Metro Council will move on it quickly.”
Nashville has grown to see as many as 4,000 scooters on the streets, so the ban of these electric scooters definitely effects many residents. Briley plans to allow one or two companies to return to the streets eventually, but in much smaller numbers.