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E-scooters are zooming all over, but not in Corvallis: Here’s why

A young woman rides an e-scooter in a bike lane.

Just over a month ago, the City of Eugene initiated a one-year pilot e-scooter program, meant to help reduce fossil fuel use. Other Oregon cities, including Albany, also offer shared e-scooters, but Corvallis does not.

City of Corvallis spokesman Patrick Rollens told KLCC the reason stems from a 2019 city council ordinance requiring companies to provide docking stations and return scooters to those stations at the end of the day.

“As I understand," he said, "many of these e-scooter companies want their scooters to move organically around in the community and, you know, get left at intersections and street corners and things like that, to be picked up by other users. So the docking station requirement was a non-starter for most of these companies.”

Eugene’s scooters do not need to be returned to designated stations, but there is a one-dollar credit for returning scooters to a parking hub.

Corvallis city councilors had worried scooters would be tossed into creeks and rivers. According to an F-A-Q, the technology on Eugene’s Superpedestrian scooters prevents them from being parked within 200 feet of a waterway, including Amazon Creek.

Rollens said there is a carve-out for properties over 50 acres, such as the OSU campus, but as of yet, the university has not initiated a program. He said the city council intended to revisit the ordinance, but because of the pandemic, hasn’t done so.

Meanwhile, in early April, scooters were banned in Paris for causing injuries and public nuisance.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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