Rollingwood postpones vote on ordinance prohibiting 'motorized scooter use' within city limits and adding penalty of up to $500 for violators

Rollingwood City Council amended a city ordinance Oct. 16 to include a fine pertaining to use of dockless scooters.

Rollingwood City Council amended a city ordinance Oct. 16 to include a fine pertaining to use of dockless scooters.

Members of Rollingwood City Council agreed they support an ordinance banning motorized scooter use within the city, but there are still a few questions that need answering.

Due to what officials cited as safety concerns, among other reasons, motor-assisted scooter use within Rollingwood city limits may soon be prohibited, and violators of this ordinance could face up to a $500 fine, but not until after a public hearing and further discussion that could be set up as soon as next month's City Council meeting.

The amended city ordinance that was postponed during an Oct. 16 City Council meeting states it is unlawful for anyone to operate a motor-assisted scooter on any public sidewalk, property, park, way, street or highway within city limits.

That would also go for anyone who abandons a motor-assisted scooter on any public property within the city.

Pursuant to the Texas Transportation Code, “the city has the authority to prohibit the operation of a motor-assisted scooter on a street, highway, or sidewalk if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that the prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety,” the ordinance states.

Those in violation of these rules would be committing a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500, the ordinance states, and each violation would constitute a separate offense.

Council Member Wendi Hundley sought clarification on whether Rollingwood residents who have purchased motorized scooters already would not be grandfathered in, and all motorized scooters as defined by the new ordinance would be banned for use within the city.

"I would wonder if one more public hearing on the ordinance itself would be prudent," Council Member Amy Pattillo said. "I like the ordinance that we have in place, but I want to make sure it doesn't have any unintended consequences."

During the same meeting, Council also voted to postpone an amended ordinance regulating the use of dockless electric bicycles and bicycles equipped with GPS.

As it is written now, the postponed city ordinance would require the city of Rollingwood will only issue and aggregate a certain number of permits for dockless vehicles made available to the public by permit holders for a fee.

A person must obtain a permit agreement from the city and pay applicable fees prior to providing a dockless vehicle, the ordinance states, and an application for a permit agreement must be submitted to the chief of police.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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