Bird scooters migrate to Speedway and land in impound


SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WTHR) - Bird Scooters have landed in Speedway, dozens of them, but right now you can't ride them, can't even see any of them.

That's because they're locked up in a garage at the police station.

Town Manager Jacob Blasdel said the scooters appeared in town earlier this week. "We have an ordinance. They're not supposed to be on the sidewalks so we started picking them up," Blasdel said.

That's the same thing Indiana University did when people started leaving scooters where they shouldn't have.

Blasdel said he and other town officials aren't opposed to scooters, or a least giving them a trial run but "we'd like to work out an ordinance on where they can be ridden and used, and how they should be parked, those things Indianapolis was able to do."

He said they're still waiting to talk to Bird about that.

While the scooters were not on the move for very long in Speedway, people did notice.

Don Pirtle said, "I saw a couple the other day and was surprised to see them...sounds dangerous or can be."

Like elsewhere, there are those who love them and those who don't."

MariAnne Donahoe said, "Honestly, I would like to be on one. I have no worries about it."

But a man who declined to give his name said, he didn't like them "at all... I know they're cool on the IU campus, the kids get around down there on them, I get it, but you gotta watch them or they'll run you down."

Last weekend several fans took scooters from Indianapolis to the Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The scooters made their Indiana debut before this year's Indy 500.

Donahoe hopes the scooters are round for next year's race.

"That would be cool, then you'd have then for everyone to go around on and it'd be easier and faster and traffic wouldn't be as bad," she said.

Blasdel said the town has worked to accommodate Lyft and Uber by adding "a designated area where they can park and corral and send people back and forth," and he said he hopes they can work to accommodate scooters.

"Of course,we want to see it done in the right way, so you don't have people arriving and piling scooters up in the wrong place," he said.

That wasn't a problem in Speedway Friday as a woman and her son visiting from New Albany found out. Hoping to try a scooter, Kelli Tuner pulled up the Bird app and went to the map showing where the nearest Bird scooters were.

"There's all the birds," she said pointing a large mass on the screen. "It looks like there's 20-plus...we're going to go rent one and have fun."

That is, until she noted the location of the scooters, "so it says it's right next to the police station?"

After being told the scooters were locked up there, she asked, "so, I guess we won't be riding today? Can we get them out?"

When told no and why, she laughed and said she and her son would probably head to Indianapolis to find scooters.

Blasdel said the scooters would remain locked-up until Bird paid the $20 per scooter, per day fine, which he hoped was soon, noting "they take up a lot of space and we need the room."

He also hoped it wasn't long before Speedway could talk with the scooter companies and craft a new ordinance.

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