If you’ve visited Denver lately, you’ve probably seen people zipping through the streets and sidewalks on electric scooters.  You’ve probably also seen the scooters abandoned all over the place—even in the middle of sidewalks.  Electric scooters, or e-scooters are now in Fort Collins for a 12-month pilot program between the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University (CSU), and Bird. Bird e-scooters are available for city residents, university students, and visitors via the Bird app. Now that e-scooters are available for the public it is important to know the rules of the road and the best practices for being a responsible Bird user.

The rules of the road for e-scooters will differ slightly between the City of Fort Collins and usage on the CSU campus. First, let’s discuss e-scooters in the City of Fort Collins. E-scooter riders must abide by the same Traffic Code regulations as bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles with a couple of exceptions:1) riders must dismount and walk e-scooters before entering a crosswalk, and 2) riding on natural areas or park trails is prohibited. E-scooter users are permitted to ride in bicycle lanes and roadways, but they can also ride on sidewalks outside of the dismount zones within the city. Riders will receive an alert if they are nearing a dismount zone. If a rider ignores the alert, the scooter will slowly come to a stop, which will force the rider to walk it through a dismount zone.

There are also unique parking requirements for e-scooters. An e-scooter must be parked upright on a hard surface in parkway zones (on the sidewalk up against the curb), beside bicycle parking, and in designated E-scooter areas. Parking is not permitted on blocks without sidewalks or in on-street parking spaces. Parking is also not permitted if it blocks the pedestrian zone, fire hydrants, or bus benches. Parked E-scooters cannot impede on the use of bicycle racks or news racks, access to transit/loading/disabled parking zones, street furniture, curb ramps, entryways or driveways, the use of window and sign displays, and access to buildings. Bird will use an automated communication system to notify customers when they are parking them incorrectly.

Many of the same rules for the City of Fort Collins apply to the CSU campus. However, there are several rules that are different. The main rule is that riding on sidewalks is not permitted on the CSU campus. If a rider is on-campus they can use the bike trails and the bike lanes. CSU will also have slow zones where e-scooter riders are required to reduce their speed to 8 MPH.

Now that you’re familiar with the e-scooter rules in the City of Fort Collins and at CSU, you’re ready to download the Bird app and take your first ride. When you download the Bird app, you will have to verify that you are at least 18 years old and agree that you will not drive while under the influence. You are only permitted to ride on city streets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer and 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the winter. Helmets are not required to ride, but they are highly encouraged. For further information, check out link to E-Scooter Rules from the City of Fort Collins here.

Hopefully you won’t be involved in an accident involving an electric scooter, but if you are we are here to help.