Bird to remove 1,700 scooters from Greater Lafayette

The scooter company Bird will remove 1,700 scooters from across Greater Lafayette in the coming days. West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the company apologized after it dropped off the scooters unannounced earlier this year.

Posted: Dec. 11, 2018 12:02 AM
Updated: Dec. 11, 2018 5:20 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The scooter company Bird will remove 1,700 scooters from across Greater Lafayette in the coming days. West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the company apologized after it dropped off the scooters unannounced earlier this year.

The scooters have been misused and mishandled and because of that, city leaders have come together to talk with Bird's management team about what steps can be done to fix that.

Mayor John Dennis says this problem needs to be handled now.

"There's always going to be that next best thing," said Mayor Dennis. "On our side there was no plan. We were not aware that they were going to use this as a test market for distributing scooters. We woke up one day and literally were given the bird."

Bird has 2,500 scooters in the Greater Lafayette area, and community members aren't happy.

"You just seem that all around town too and they are always knocked over," said Underground Printing Manager Derek Baker. "I think there are people that just kind of walk by and slap them and they fall down and it takes up a lot of space."

"I like the Birds," said Austin Anderson. "They are definitely convenient, but I mean there is a lot of them, and I think there is a lot of issues with them that need to be sorted out."

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is sorting out the issue by writing an ordinance that will be presented at the next city council meeting.

"We're going to make sure they abide by our ordinances," said Mayor Dennis. "We're going to make sure they are no longer a nuisance. Don't get me wrong I'm supportive of alternative modes of transportation and this is one, but it has to be done right."

Mayor Dennis said it will be done right by listening to the community.

"There's a lot of folks that are providing us guidance," said Mayor Dennis. "A lot of folks are telling stories of what they witnessed with the scooters and how they are being used. They are talking about how they block driveways. They block sidewalks."

The scooters are even blocking business. Employees told News 18 it's now part of their daily morning routine to move these Birds out of the way. They said it's a nuisance.

"Each morning when we come in to open up from the night before there is usually a pile of them out front blocking our door," said a bartender at Brothers Jackson Weir.

"There's an issue with hoarding so that's what you see here is the bird hoarding so they do start to stack up and they affect people on this road and definitely our business," said Anderson.

"There's just so many of them," said Baker. "You don't need that many bird scooters right there."

"Further down the road we want them to consider having areas like concrete pads where they would put the scooters and keep them as a permanent drop off and pick up point," said Mayor Dennis.

"Maybe having designated spots specifically for Birds I think would be great, but yeah I think they are a good option for people to ride around on," said Anderson.

"Definitely need designated areas," said Baker. "And maybe just less of them in general. Definitely off of sidewalks and away from foot traffic because it just gets so congested here with people in the way."

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