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Editorial: E-scooters in Airdrie

Airdronians could soon be able to start scootin' around the city's downtown.
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Airdronians could soon be able to start scootin' around the city's downtown.

At their most recent meeting, Airdrie City council approved a two-year pilot project, as well as a few bylaw reviews, that will allow for a private company to introduce electronic scooters and other "micro-mobility" vehicles in Airdrie, sometime later this year. 

Airdrie is quite late to the game when it comes to approving the use of e-scooters. Other cities in Alberta that have long since given the green light for the electronically powered, miniature vehicles include Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. Smaller towns and cities have also undertaken e-scooter pilot projects in the last two years, such as Cochrane and Okotoks. 

Airdrie's council was – understandably – quite cautious in its approach to the topic during last week's discussion. Some members even appeared hesitant to speak in favour of the personal vehicles. But in the end, councillors all seemed to agree that with e-scooters available in nearly all comparable municipalities, their use in town is practically an inevitability. 

To be fair, there's plenty of reason to be heedful. According to an August 2021 report from the CBC, a study found 675 crashes on e-scooters that required an emergency room visit were reported in Calgary from May 28 to Aug. 24 of that year. The study found 138 of those crashes resulted in head injuries to e-scooter riders, who suffered face lacerations, jaw fractures, and concussions.

To keep users – and pedestrians – as safe as possible, there needs to be stringent regulations in place to ensure e-scooter riders in Airdrie are following proper riding etiquette, and strong penalties for those who operate the devices while intoxicated or not wearing a helmet.

Another factor to consider is the possibility of e-scooters being left strewn about, or even discarded in local canals or ditches. 

But despite some of these potential drawbacks, many Airdronians will certainly be looking forward to operating the e-scooters later this year. While admittedly a bit pricey to use, e-scooters can provide pedestrians a fun form of short-distance transportation.


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