LEESBURG, Va. — Leesburg could see some new additions on the road within the next year.
Bird, an e-scooter rental company, is requesting to locate up to 100 scooters in Leesburg during its first year in the town.
Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk said over the last 24 hours she has received an overwhelming response in opposition to the scooter company’s plans to deploy the motorized scooters within the town.
“Can I picture them? Not particularly,” Burk said. “As I said, we have a very small footprint. It's easy to walk from one place to the other. You park your car and you kind of leave it. I'm just not sure that it's the right fit for Leesburg. But that's something we will discuss we will continue to discuss.”
The town can regulate how many scooters can be in a specific area. The permit process will also allow Leesburg to set certain locations where scooters can be parked, where they can and can’t go, scooter speeds, and fines when policies aren’t met.
The town can’t deny the company from placing its scooters in the town, the company does however have to have a permit based on the regulations the town comes up with.
“We have to work within the bounds of what the General Assembly has designated for localities. We can regulate and we can set permit fees but we can't outright deny,” Burk said.
Some people who frequent Leesburg said they were concerned about a lack of room on Main Street for the scooters to drive on, as well as adding scooters into such a walkable area.
“I mean I think what's kind of nice about Leesburg is everything's walkable. So having like electric scooters kind of zipping around. It'll change the vibe,” Posido Vega said.
Town Council discussed the scooters during a Monday night work session. There is a public hearing scheduled for July 11 and another for September.
Seven tentative locations have been identified for the scooters to be docked in Leesburg, including Mervin Johnson Park, near the stairs in front of Rouge, two locations at the Loudoun County Government Center, Market Station, MacDowell Brew Kitchen, and in front of Crescent Place.
The final locations will be approved as part of the permit process.