'No-ride' zones for Bird scooters in effect around West Linn schools
A week and a half after the city of West Linn launched a yearlong pilot program to usher in the use of Bird e-scooters, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District requested that no-riding zones be implemented around West Linn High School and Rosemont Ridge Middle School.
District spokesman Andrew Kilstrom said schools have had to repeatedly remind students that the scooters are not allowed on campus, but added that there had been no major crashes or serious injuries caused by students on scooters.
The no-ride zones went into effect Monday, June 13, according to Bird officials.
Bird, which allows people to rent the scooters through an app, said it restricts riders to those 18 and over, but those rules do not seem to have stopped kids from accessing the motorized devices.
West Linn City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos said he recently met with district Chief Operations Manager Pat McGough and an account manager for Bird to discuss the district's concerns.
At a Monday, June 6, meeting of the West Linn City Council, Todd Jones, a city councilor and teacher at WLHS, shared his frustrations regarding the scooters with Gabrielatos and the rest of the council.
Jones said he was ready to end the yearlong pilot program the day after it began.
An email from Jones to other city officials, obtained through a public records request, read:
"Yesterday afternoon our administrative team at the high school showed me where a student made burn marks on our carpet and tile inside the building with a scooter, damage that will not be cheap to fix. One of the assistant principals told me he saw a child his son's age — 10 years old — on a scooter without a helmet."
Jones noted in a separate email, "School ends soon and teens will have time on their hands. I'm ready to vote for their removal right now if Bird can't guarantee they will not be in the hands of people under 18. We are one accident away from a tragedy."
According to Gabrielatos, the scooters were ridden 500 times in the first 12 days of the program's launch in West Linn.
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