By Derrick Blakley


CHICAGO (CBS)– The first weekend is in the books for the city’s new scooter rental program with supporters emphasize the pleasures, while critics focusing on the problems.

There are now 2,500 scooters on the streets as part of a pilot project that covers part of the north and northwest side.

But critics say, some problems are already evident.

“We’ve been getting lots of calls and messages about people flying around streets,” Bryant Greening, of legal ride share. “Cars not knowing how to handle people on the road, and pedestrians getting showed out of the way by riders.”

Greening is an attorney who represents ride share drivers, bicyclists, and scooter riders as well as those injured by them.

For now, Chicago’s scooters can only be used in a zone bounded by Irving Park Avenue, Harlem, Halsted and the Chicago River on the east and the river again on the south, outside that zone, they automatically shut off.

“I can see the danger in them, especially as long as you’re on the street,” scooter rider Tim Ortman said. “But, I think if everybody pays attention to traffic, you should be ok.”

The scooters can be left anywhere, a privilege already abused. Scooters have been seen in crosswalks, on curbs and in tangled messes that pose a potential hazard for pedestrians.

<blockquote class=”imgur-embed-pub” lang=”en” data-id=”WDAlOb5″><a href=”//imgur.com/WDAlOb5″>Logan Square embracing the new scooter program</a></blockquote>//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

Critics suggest a different approach.

“Other cities have been trying to set up spots where the scooters can be left, setting up zones where scooters can be dropped off at night, but a lot of the time that’s unenforceable,” Greening said.

The city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection called the scooter rollout “safe and successful, with more than 11,000 rides this weekend.

As for problems, the city said it will explore all options for improvement based on resident’s feedback. But also says,  it’s too soon for changes yet.

Derrick Blakley