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New city program aims to crack down on Beltline e-scooter behavior

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Geofencing is the latest effort to get shareable dockless vehicle users to mind their manners

a photo of two people riding one Bird scooter on the Beltline
You’re still not allowed to ride two-deep.
Sean Keenan, Curbed Atlanta

Nearly seven months after the Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance that, among other changes, officially allowed e-scooters on the Beltline, it’s obvious some riders still aren’t minding their manners.

So, much like when City Planning Commissioner Tim Keane told e-scooter users not to be “knuckleheads” during the launch of the city’s Scoot Smart campaign, officials have created another program to help enforce dockless vehicle etiquette.

This one, however, won’t be voluntary.

As part of the #BeltlineCharm campaign, which encourages a sort of Southern hospitality along the multi-use path, the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Police Department, and Beltline officials are creating a “Reduced Speed Zone” on the most bustling part of the Eastside Trail.

Starting Friday, from Monroe Drive to DeKalb Avenue, a geofence will limit dockless e-vehicles to just 8 miles per hour—about half of their usual maximum speed.

The Reduced Speed Zone will be in effect weekday evenings Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and from Fridays at 6 p.m. until Monday at 6 a.m.—peak Beltline rush hours.

The geofence will also be enacted on state holidays, such as the upcoming Fourth of July.

In addition to slowing e-vehicles along the already people-congested path, the new program endeavors to stop people from littering e-scooters wherever they so choose.

“The city is working with device operators to concurrently update their apps to restrict parking outside of authorized zones,” according to a Beltline press release.

Part of that effort will include capping the amount of dockless devices that can be parked along the trail.