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Letter: E-scooters are taking over downtown

Letter to the Editor Deseret News

In response to Art Raymond’s excellent article on the e-scooter ordinance, we must ask why anyone would choose to visit or live in downtown Salt Lake right now (“New rules for Salt Lake City e-scooters still parked as council, administration spar over approach” May 11). Consider the plight of downtown residents. We no longer enjoy the benefits of shopping, eating out and attending the wonderful cultural, athletic and religious events that made living downtown so desirable. Surely, we should be able to enjoy an occasional walk outside, maintaining correct social distance.

But on the sidewalk, conditions are hazardous. As the weather has warmed, e-scooters, bicyclists and skateboarders have increasingly taken over the sidewalks. This takeover started with the advent of scooters in 2018. It is abundantly clear that the lack of ordinance and enforcement over the last few years has shaped a new public perception: downtown sidewalks are places of fun and recreation with no restrictions.

The e-scooter ordinance offers a great opportunity to take back the sidewalks and to alter the thinking about our downtown environment. We urge our city leaders to rethink the life of our downtown with a focus on healthy, safe walking in the business district. We ask that they alert and educate the public about the e-scooter ordinance and strictly enforce the law that already bans bicycles and skateboards from downtown sidewalks. We must reestablish respect for others, a sense of civic responsibility and a new mindset about our great city.

We applaud our city leaders’ efforts and look forward to once again enjoying a healthy and safe downtown.

Margo Beecroft, Denise Taylor and Wayne Hilbig

Salt Lake City