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Transportation

Why Boulder Blocked Electric Scooters

The famously bike-friendly Colorado city has some of the best cycling infrastructure in North America. But electric scooters still aren’t welcome to use it.
Boulder, Colorado, has some of the most extensive bicycle infrastructure in the U.S., but for now, electric scooters aren't allowed to use it.
Boulder, Colorado, has some of the most extensive bicycle infrastructure in the U.S., but for now, electric scooters aren't allowed to use it.Courtesy City of Boulder

BOULDER, CO—When micro-mobility companies dumped hundreds of scooters and e-bikes in cities around the country seemingly overnight, city officials in Boulder, Colorado, watched warily, expecting their famously bike-friendly city to be a target.

In nearby Denver, for example, city officials swiftly ordered Lime and Bird scooters off the streets after hundreds of the tiny shared vehicles showed up last year. Then they crafted a series of regulations determining where and how the scooters could be used, parked, and collected. “The experience from the other cities where companies just dumped e-scooters overnight—we didn’t want to be faced with that dilemma,” said Dave “DK” Kemp, Boulder’s senior transportation planner. “We’ve seen the horror stories, and we’ve seen the success stories too.”