Sep 2, 2022 - News

FOIA Friday: More e-scooter request delays

FOIA Friday
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

We're digging further into the safety of e-scooters in this week's public records feature.

What's happening: The cost of learning about the danger of e-scooters across Detroit is $671.95.

  • But since the city's response to our Freedom of Information Act request was more than 10 days late, the cost was cut in half, to $335.97.
  • The city required a deposit of half the total cost by Sept. 30.So we paid $167.98. yesterday in order to proceed with our request.

Why it matters: The city began restricting scooter access within the Central Business District on summer weekend nights over safety concerns, but hasn't produced evidence that scooters are getting into accidents at all.

  • Some residents feel safer riding scooters to get home at night rather than walking or taking public transit.

Catch up fast: We requested all documented electric scooter — Lime, Bird, Spin and Link — accidents involving the rider, pedestrians and/or vehicles on June 21.

  • The city responded on June 24 saying it would need until July 15 to produce the records, but didn’t respond until Aug. 12, saying they would come with a cost.

Between the lines: Detroit City Council Member Angela Whitfield Calloway is drafting an ordinance to bring greater regulations to the electric scooter scene.

  • City Council's Legislative Policy Division released a memorandum last month outlining scooter regulations and a possible ordinance being crafted by the city's law department.
  • "If you're handicapped, disabled, using a walker or wheelchair, sometimes the e-scooter just blocks the sidewalk and it's hard for senior citizens in a wheelchair to move them," Peter Rhodes, a policy analyst for Whitfield-Calloway, told BridgeDetroit.

What's next: The city estimates the search and retrieval of our requested records by DPD will now take an additional three months.

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