Milwaukee Ald. Zielinski: Council votes to push for change in state law to legalize motorized scooters

Ald. Tony Zielinski, (414) 405-1483

Today (Tuesday, July 31), the Common Council passed a unanimous resolution directing Milwaukee’s Department of Administration – Intergovernmental Relations Division to seek introduction and passage of state legislation to allow for the operation of motorized scooters. Lead sponsor Alderman Tony Zielinski has had contacts from the public urging the City to legalize the scooters but says state law inhibits local regulation on this matter.

“As we continuously look to attract and retain young talent in Milwaukee, the need to allow these scooters is obvious,” said Alderman Zielinski, noting the devices popularity among millennials. “These devices have shown their appeal and can improve our transportation network as a whole by increasing transportation options for individuals.”

The legislation (file #180652) would allow, on Milwaukee roadways, the operation of motorized scooters which are currently illegal on all public roads in Wisconsin due to existing state statute. Alderman Tony Zielinski adds if state law is changed to allow operation of these scooters, it’s vital for the City of Milwaukee to minimize public safety risks associated with their use.

He adds this could be a revenue generator as Bird Rides Inc. has expressed interest in the possibility of paying the City of Milwaukee $1 each day for each scooter located here, leading to possibly tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. “In a time when we must be forward thinking with potential sources of revenue, taking the path of least resistance in not pursuing a change in state law would be irresponsible.”

Alderman Zielinski says it’s vital to not be resistant to change: “There is no reason why Milwaukee cannot enjoy the prosperity that progressive cities across the nation have enjoyed. What it takes is the courage to embrace new and creative ideas to move this city forward while enhancing our quality of life. “

He adds motorized scooters have shown to be a low-cost method of transportation for the riders and environmental friendly by not exhibiting greenhouse gas emissions.

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