City of Franklin looks to ban e-scooter ride shares

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A proposition to bring ride sharing e-scooters to Cool Springs last fall was ill-received by Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen when presented. 

Now, the city has plans to ban on-demand scooters for good.

The ordinance language says the city bears, “the fundamental responsibility to ensure safe passage on public rights-of-way, to protect public health, safety and welfare in the public right-of-way.”

When the topic was discussed in November, residents and aldermen expressed concern for the lack of infrastructure to support scooters and potential accidents in the traffic-heavy Cool Springs area. 

Under the proposed ordinance, the Franklin Police Department could impound and charge a citation fee of $50 per day for on-demand scooters found in the city. This would not apply to scooters owned by individuals, but those operated by rideshare companies like Lyft and Lime. 

“I don’t want to see scooters all over our city, and I don’t want to see them downtown,” said Ward 1 Alderman Bev Burger, who instead clarified that she supported a pilot program allowing the scooters in a specific trail area  along Carothers between “some” of the offices building from Cool Spring Blvd. to McEwen down to Bakers Bridge . 

Burger was the only supporter for the measure during the previous discussion and said some Cool Springs companies have since contacted her and said they plan to bring in bicycles and a few scooters for their own employees to use. She said the companies would also provide their own docking stations.

Bikes and scooters owned by employers would be allowed under the ordinance, said city fellow Holland Schellhase.

“I can’t imagine anything more dangerous than that,” Ward 4 Alderman Margaret Martin said. “I think if companies want to set a standard like that, then they should be responsible.”

“The problem wasn’t that people didn’t understand,” said Ward 3 Alderman Dana McLendon, disputing Burger’s assertion. “The overwhelming sentiment conveyed to me was that people don’t want scooters regardless of who owns them and where they go.”

The ordinance will be on the board’s agenda for a vote at the next meeting in two weeks.

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