Fairfax County plans to roll into the new year with regulations for motorized scooters.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance for shared mobility devices on Tuesday (Nov. 19) after the General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year allowing localities to regulate scooters and motorized skateboards.
The county’s Department of Cable and Consumer Services will regulate the operators of the shared mobility devices. The operators will be required to submit permits and keep their fleets at certain sizes.
At first, operators can have fleets with up to 300 devices, with the possibility of going up to 600 devices if they can demonstrate the demand for the higher limit.
Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that he supports having operators start with a lower number of devices that can then be raised.
Starting Jan. 1, people riding scooters in Fairfax County won’t be able to go above 10 miles per hour.
During a public hearing on Tuesday before the board voted, two people testified in support of motorized scooters.
Ronit Dancis, speaking on behalf of the Tysons Partnership, told the board that motorized scooters can help solve the first-to-last mile commuter problem and
Dancis said that Tysons Partnership is worried that the absolute maximum of 600 scooters “will not be sufficient to meet Tysons’ needs” and that the 10 mph speed will be overly restrictive.
Dancis added that county staff said Fairfax County is working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to create scooter parking docks at the Metro stations.
Paymon Hadjiesmaeiloo, one of the co-owners of the Tysons Biergarten, told the board that motorized scooters are a cost-efficient transportation option for a rapidly growing part of the county. He added that increased mobility from scooters will benefit local retailers and businesses.
Braddock District Supervisor John Cook also summarized feedback from a constituent who said that — while useful devices — motorized scooters have become a nuisance from being abandoned around the Braddock District.
In addition to the shared mobility device regulations, Fairfax County plans to create a complaints process for improper use and abandonment of the devices, according to the county.
“Staff will coordinate [the] implementation of the complaint process with bordering jurisdictions and present a summary in the first year of SMDs in early 2021.”