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City staff warns Bird to remove scooters from sidewalks in snow

Columbia city staff intend to send a warning to Bird, one of the companies behind the rentable electric scooters that dot Columbia, stating the company violated its agreement with the city.

A city ordinance regulating the scooters states “the scooters must be removed from the right-of-way when there is snow on the sidewalks and roadways,” city spokesman Steve Sapp said.

Sapp said Deputy City Manager J.J. Musgrove contacted a local Bird representative “and stated they were in violation of the agreement and if scooters were not removed within two hours the scooters could be subject to impoundment and penalties.”

The scooters were not removed in two hours, and Sapp said the city is drafting a formal warning letter to the company as a response.

The letter will describe the violation, “the inaction to correct on their part, and indicate that we expect no future occurrences of the violation,” Sapp said.

Lime, another rental electronic scooter service in Columbia, was not the subject of any complaints of scooters in the right-of-way of sidewalks or streets, Sapp said.

The city would not send the company a notice unless someone complains about Lime scooters being in the way.

Lime does not have a formal agreement with the city outlining certain expectations, as Bird does.

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