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Atlanta City Council Approves Legislation Regulating Shareable Dockless Mobility Devices and More at First Full Council Meeting of 2019

Post Date:01/08/2019 2:52 PM

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave., SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

CONTACT:
Sandra L. McGill
Communications Specialist, Office of Communications
Office: (404) 546-1477
Mobile: (470) 698-4656
Email: slmcgill@atlantaga.gov

January 8, 2019

Atlanta City Council Approves Legislation Regulating Shareable Dockless Mobility Devices and More at First Full Council Meeting of 2019

ATLANTA—At its first full council meeting of 2019, the Atlanta City Council voted in favor of placing greater regulations on the shareable dockless mobility device industry.

Ordinance 18-O-1322, drafted by Post 1 At-Large Michael Julian Bond and cosponsored by District 9 Representative Dustin Hillis, District 6 Representative Jennifer N. Ide, Post 3 At-Large Council member Matt Westmoreland and Post 3 At-Large Council member Andre Dickens, includes measures regulating both users and dockless-device operating companies.

Among users’ regulations are the mandate that dockless devices may only be ridden along the street, in designated bicycle lanes or along shared-use paths throughout the city (i.e., sidewalk riding is no longer permitted); a ban on holding wireless devices, such as mobile phones, while the dockless device is in use; parking the device upright in designated areas; and a restriction of one rider per scooter.

Companies operating dockless mobility devices must adhere to parking zones and no-parking zones established by the Department of City Planning Office of Zoning and Development; have a plan for educating users on proper parking, operations and other applicable laws; and encourage helmet usage, among other requirements. Importantly, the City reserves the right to reduce the number of shared devices under a company’s permit if their devices are consistently parked improperly. The standard one-year permit as outlined in the ordinance is $12,000 for 500 dockless devices per company fleet with a $50 fee for each additional device.

Two amendments were made to the original bill, which was recommended to the full city council as favorable by the Transportation Committee and favorable on substitution by the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee. The first of these amendments included payment measures that do not require the user to have access to credit cards or smart phones to operate the devices as well as discounted-price options for low-income individuals, while the second amendment requires a written report from the Office of Mobility Planning, submitted within 90 days of the ordinance’s effective date, to assess the current state of dockless mobility sharing in Atlanta in terms of companies’ fleet sizes. Both amendments were unanimously approved.

The ordinance passed 13–1.

District 11 Representative Marci Collier Overstreet, who supported the measure, felt that action needed to be taken now to regulate these devices, which have been on Atlanta streets since May.

“This industry has been unregulated for far too long,” said Overstreet. “Today’s legislation may need [subsequent] substitutions or amendments, but this is something we [as a legislative body] can work on. It’s time. We have to do our job as Council to protect the community’s wellbeing.”

The ordinance now moves to the mayor’s desk, which must be acted upon within seven days. Upon approval, it will take effect immediately.

Additionally, a personal-paper resolution was introduced by Council member Bond for immediate consideration to execute an intergovernmental omnibus tax allocation district (TAD) agreement with Atlanta Public Schools.

“This piece of legislation represents the legend of the Atlanta way made real,” said Councilman Bond. “This is how we should operate all the time with our sister government, working cooperatively for the benefit of all of our citizens and all of our children for our best economic interests. This legislation allows all votes via these TADs to work as they are intended, and it also treats the school system fairly by giving them the adequate return and the budget certainty that they need to provide for our children in the way of the educational system.”

Cosponsors included Council members Ide, Hillis, Westmoreland and Overstreet as well as District 1 Representative Carla Smith, District 4 Representative Cleta Winslow, District 8 Representative J.P. Matzigkeit, District 12 Representative Joyce M. Sheperd, District 10 Representative Andrea L. Boone, District 2 Representative Amir Farokhi and District 5 Representative Natalyn Archibong. The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved the measure and moved it post haste to the mayor’s desk for approval. If approved, it will take effect immediately upon its adoption.

Other legislative items discussed by the council included:

  • An ordinance (Legislative Reference No. 18-O-1778) by Council members Shook and Ide establishing specific guidelines and eligibility criteria to govern the award of bonuses to employees. The bill was unanimously referred back to the Finance/Executive Committee for further discussion.
  • An ordinance (Legislative Reference No. 18-O-1774) by Council members Hillis, Westmoreland and Dickens authorizing the City to transfer by quitclaim deed property located at 1605 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway (formerly Carter G. Woodson Elementary School) to Atlanta Public Schools. The bill was unanimously adopted.

Finally, Council member Bond presented Governor Nathan Deal with a proclamation honoring his work and service as Georgia’s 82nd governor. Deal’s eight-year term ends Monday, January 14.

Atlanta City Council

The Atlanta City Council is the chief policy-making body for the City of Atlanta: it acts by considering and enacting all laws that govern the City. The council also approves the operating and capital budgets for the City as recommended by the mayor, and it continually monitors revenues and expenditures for local government operations. The Atlanta City Council reviews and has final say on many land-use and zoning matters. Major economic development projects for the City also fall under the council’s consideration.

The Atlanta City Council is comprised of 12 districts and three at-large posts. Council representatives include: Council President: Felicia A. Moore; District 1: Carla Smith; District 2: Amir Farokhi; District 3: vacant; District 4: Cleta Winslow; District 5: Natalyn Mosby Archibong; District 6: Jennifer N. Ide; District 7: Howard Shook; District 8: J.P. Matzigkeit; District 9: Dustin Hillis; District 10: Andrea L. Boone; District 11: Marci Collier Overstreet; District 12: Joyce M. Sheperd; Post 1 At-Large: Michael Julian Bond; Post 2 At-Large: Matt Westmoreland; and Post 3 At-Large: Andre Dickens.

Council information, committee agendas and more may be found on the Atlanta City Council website here. Video archives of the council’s regularly scheduled meetings, committee meetings and work sessions may be found here.

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