While electric scooters are not a new concept, recent start-ups have enhanced the old scooter model through the addition of mobile apps. Electric scooters can now be found on nearby street corners through GPS tracking by using a smartphone. Since their introduction in 2017, these new and improved electric scooters have quickly littered city sidewalks. The scooters have been advertised as a substitute to driving and a solution to the “last mile” travel problem. While providing an alternative, cheap, and fun way to travel through a city, the dockless design of the scooters has allowed them to be left in a wide array of locations, such as across narrow sidewalks or parked on curb ramps. Unfortunately, the appeal of multiple, easily accessible scooters created hazards and made sidewalks inaccessible to those with mobility issues.
With cities facing an invasion of electric scooters, the question becomes—Who is responsible for keeping sidewalks accessible and scooter free? In response to the onslaught of scooters, lawsuits have arisen between cities, citizens, and scooter manufactures in an attempt to determine the responsible party. This paper suggests solutions for cities on how to ensure that their sidewalks remain compliant under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Jo Ann Mazoch, Comment, Scoot Over: How Electric Scooters Violate the ADA and What Cities Can Do to Maintain Title II Compliance, 72 SMU L. Rev. 871 (2019).