Raleigh Looks to Ban Scooters from Wide Open Bluegrass Festival

It seems like the perfect storm: big festival crowd plus the electric scooters that have been zipping around downtown Raleigh streets and sidewalks since July.

That confluence could happen starting Friday with Wide Open Bluegrass, the street festival that typically draws six-figure crowds to Fayetteville Street and the surrounding area.

There’s no way to keep the scooters out of the festival grid, but there are plans to at least discourage their use in its vicinity.

Bird and Lime, the two scooter companies, work off mobile-phone apps. Michael Moore, Raleigh’s director of transportation, said the city has been in touch with both companies. The city is asking both to create a geo-fence that labels the festival grid as a restricted area.

“It will show up as a ‘no-ride zone’ on the app, and people can’t leave scooters within the area,” Moore said. “We hope people will be mindful of that and behave themselves.”

“While this setting won’t prevent riders from entering the festival area, the app won’t let them terminate their ride and log out there. If a scooter is left in the restricted area, it will continue registering time that the rider has to pay for.”

Representatives for Bird and Lime did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

No major problems with scooters were reported during either the Hopscotch Music Festival or La Fiesta del Pueblo, both with major crowds in downtown, according to city of Raleigh spokesman John Boyette. ...
— David Menconi - N&O
Brent Woodcox