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As app grows in popularity, KC works to fit scooters into transportation scheme

In the last two weeks, the sleek black scooters lining downtown sidewalks have become Caleb Whiting's ride of choice....

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 12:11 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2018 12:11 PM

In the last two weeks, the sleek black scooters lining downtown sidewalks have become Caleb Whiting's ride of choice.

"They're just easier because you don't have to park anywhere," he said.

He now takes one to work almost every day.

"It's super easy," he said. "You just follow the traffic."

On Friday, he and his friend, Justin Opalek, were zipping through the crossroads to grab lunch in the river market.

"They're fun," Opalek said. "They're easy to maneuver."

Whiting stays in the bike lane whenever he can, but he's noticed that not everyone is following the rules.

"I think some people didn't read the directions and are riding on the sidewalk," he said.

The Bird app tells users to follow the rules of the road and encourages them to wear a helmet.

Beth Breitenstein works for Kansas City Public Works. She said the city is working with Bird to develop a set of rules for the scooters to help them fit into the city's transportation scheme.

She also said and that future bike-friendly initiatives in KC will make the streets safer for scooters, too.

"We discourage people from riding on the sidewalk altogether," Breitenstein said. "No matter what form of travel, whether you're riding a scooter or a bike, we can obey the rules of the road and coexist peacefully and be aware of your surroundings."

The city requires scooters to stay on the streets in order to avoid collisions with pedestrians.

Whiting believes people will eventually get used to sharing the streets downtown.

"People just need to pay attention to the rules before they ride," he said.

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