The Johnson City Commission approved on first reading a resolution that could open the door for e-scooters and bikes in the city.
But, the vote came with a promise from commissioners to study what other cities are doing to improve safety measures and add restrictions as needed.
A city survey revealed most people would use rental bikes and electric scooters for leisure purposes.
“At this point we do not see that they would be a significant transportation source,“ said Preston Mitchell, City Director of Developments. “However, that could change because they are not here.“
The measure would not only make e-scooters and bikes accessible, it would also establish operating regulations and a permitting process.
“Other cities who have allowed them to come in with no regulations or anything or no restrictions have seen a lot of problems with them, said Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock. “So we are looking at trying to learn from other cities.“
As it stands right now, the city would impose a scooter speed limit of 10 miles per hour, bikes would have to use a bike lane, if available, and the city would like to cut off all mobility services after 11 pm.
The city is exploring the idea of allowing companies to come here after several have reached out expressing interest.
The resolution will need to pass on second and third readings in order to become law.