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New app allows Atlantans to report illegally parked e-scooters

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Cellphone tool catalogues and reports e-scooters behaving badly

a picture of e-scooters in a pile
An example of improper e-scooter parking etiquette in Atlanta.
Contributed by Kristen Rogers

Four months after the Atlanta City Council passed legislation aiming to crack down on e-scooter misuse, it seems the new laws might not be enough.

New regulations adopted in January bar e-scooter riders from abandoning the dockless two-wheelers in public rights of way and threaten operating companies with fines when vehicles are illegally parked.

But scooters by Bird, Lime, Jump, and other companies can still be found littered about the Beltline, on sidewalks, in yards, and just about everywhere else they’re not supposed to be.

Pedestrian advocacy group PEDS claims the new ordinance doesn’t go far enough in the way of enforcement, according to GPB News.

So the organization on Tuesday released an app that allows people to tattletale on misplaced e-scooters.

Called “Clear the Clutter,” the tool lets people upload pictures of e-scooters blocking walkways, left knocked over, or misused in other ways.

“Scooters can be an excellent means of last mile transportation,” reads PEDS’s website. “But so, too, is walking.”

Under the new regulations, the Atlanta Police Department and the city’s Department of Public Works are supposed to enforce the e-scooter rules.

But city officials have told constituents to report issues directly to the e-scooter operators, according to GPB News.

PEDS’s Clear the Clutter, which can also be accessed via the WeDemandBetter cellphone app (available for iOS and Android), was designed to collect data on the location and manner of e-scooter misbehavior.

PEDS President Sally Flocks told GPB News the group initially planned to let the tool gather data for three months, after which advocates would present their findings to the city.

But, she said, just 30 days worth of data collection might be enough to illustrate the problems pedestrians are facing.

Meanwhile, Grady Memorial Hospital and other healthcare institutions are still treating e-scooter-related injuries en masse.