The Beltline trail network attracts some rather peculiar vehicles, from motorized unicycles, lie-down bicycles, electric skateboards, and even the occasional penny-farthing.
Some of those, however, are not allowed on the Beltline, and Atlanta’s new scooter share program, Bird, has given rule-breakers a new way to quickly travel the trails.
According to Atlanta Beltline, Inc., motorized vehicles are strictly forbidden from the multi-use pathways. Electronic wheelchairs are the only exception.
For what it’s worth, Bird is not advocating for scooter use on the Beltline. In fact, the map displayed in the cellphone app has a significant chunk of the Eastside Trail colored in red, marking the areas Birds are forbidden.
The scooters are also supposed to steer clear of places such as Piedmont Park and the neighboring botanical garden, Georgia’s statehouse, and AmericasMart Atlanta.
Nevertheless, riders seeking to make the most of Bird’s “last-mile” connectivity can be seen frequently traversing the Beltline.
And when this story was written, multiple Birds could be found ready for pickup right alongside the Beltline, at Ponce City Market. Busted!
In an emailed statement, ABI spokeswoman Jenny Odom told Curbed Atlanta that Beltline officials will meet with the Path Force Unit this week to discuss safe trail use.
“Because the Atlanta Beltline was created as a transit corridor to provide alternative and safe access to schools, jobs, housing, and amenities, we continue to look for ways to ensure that everyone can enjoy it safely,” she said. “As mobility options expand and technology evolves, safety remains an essential consideration in our planning and progress.”
So it doesn’t sound like a full-fledged Bird crackdown is in the cards for the Beltline. Yet.