WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Several city crews rounded up dozens of Bird scooters in Winston-Salem Tuesday, following a decision by city council to impound the scooters until further notice.
Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne said that council decided to remove the scooters until more regulations were passed to keep riders and drivers safe.
“Since they’re not legal in the street, they’re not legal on the sidewalk, they really don’t have a place in the city at this time,” he said.
Dequenne said city staff have received numerous complaints about riders not obeying traffic laws and scooters being left across the sidewalks.
He added that at city council's public works committee Tuesday night, staff will present information for council to develop ordinance moving forward.
“Staff and council both understand this mode of transportation will be here in the future, so the ordinance is being presented and designed based on the permanent return on this type of transportation,” Dequenne said.
Riders said they were disappointed by the announcement, but understood the need for more regulation.
Adam Tocci said riders should be careful to comply with rules to keep the scooters available.
"You can do it very safely, and also when you return them, put them some place that’s responsible. That’s only going to help the cause to keep the Birds on the street,” he said.
A spokesperson for Bird provided the following statement following the announcement:
"In the time since Bird first landed in Winston-Salem, people throughout the city have embraced our service as a way to get out of their cars and more easily get around town. It is deeply concerning that despite the popularity of Bird, and its contribution to the local economy, that City Council has decided to force a pause of our service. Bird's transportation solution has helped the city reduce traffic and carbon emissions, it is a service residents have come to rely on, and it is provides opportunity for individuals to earn supplemental income through our charger and mechanic programs. An abrupt end to this service needlessly disrupts a system that was working well for the people of Winston-Salem. We hope that city officials will remedy this decision and ensure Bird remains part of the city's fabric."