Thursday, August 13, 2020

One hundred Bird scooters impounded by MSU police

October 2, 2018
A Bird scooter sits on the corner of Division St. and Sycamore Lane.
A Bird scooter sits on the corner of Division St. and Sycamore Lane. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

A total of 100 Bird scooters have been impounded by the Michigan State University Police Department for parking violations, according to MSUPD Capt. Doug Monette. 

Since the arrival of Birds on campus, Monette said there have been consistent issues as many riders do not know how the scooters fit into public ordinances regarding parking and safety. 

“They’re obstructing vehicle passage as well as bicycles and pedestrians on the sidewalk when they’re left like that. The university ordinances have been enforced and they have been impounded,” Monette said.

Monette said there are only a few ways to use the scooters properly on campus. They can only be parked in paid metered parking or at moped parking spots with a proper parking permit.

The scooters that have been taken to the MSUPD impound lot were cited for being parked or ridden in bike lanes, impeding pedestrians and blocking bus stops, among other infractions.

The scooters are also not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks. Last weekend, there was an incident involving a Bird rider on the sidewalk who collided with a woman carrying a baby, according to Monette.

“The person operating the scooter ran into the baby ... It’s a safety concern. They don’t belong on the sidewalks," Monette said.

When asked if Bird had been cooperative with campus ordinances and safety procedures, Monette said he hadn’t heard from the company.

“I’m not aware of the police department having any conversations with the company at all,” Monette said.

Bird issued a statement in response on Tuesday, similarly worded to one used previously:

“The MSU community has embraced our last-mile solution as a way to more easily get around campus and access local businesses in the area," the statement reads. "As scooters are impounded on campus, Bird will partner with University officials to investigate each incident and take necessary action. We look forward to continuing our work with the school to build a framework that supports safe, affordable, and accessible transportation options for everyone in the community."


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