CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Bird scooter was everywhere around Cleveland Friday.
Cleveland was less than thrilled, to say the least, and we found that these birds have all but flown the coop.
The dockless, shared-use scooters can be rented for a $1 through an app, and users can pick them up and drop them off where they please, or so the company hoped.
On Friday evening, Cleveland Law Director Barbara Langhenry delivered a blow when she ordered that all 100 scooters be removed from the city's public streets and sidewalks.
Langhenry noted that safety risks and a lack of permits drove the city's decision to slam the brakes on the program.
Read Langhenry's full statement to Bird Rides below:
On Friday, August 10, 2018, Sam Reed notified the City of Cleveland that Bird Rides has started a demonstration pilot of its electric, shared-use scooter service in Cleveland, starting with a fleet of 100 scooters in the downtown, Flats, and Ohio City neighborhoods of Cleveland. We have seen these scooters parked unattended on the sidewalks of the City. Please be aware that Bird Rides, its agents, or customers, are not permitted to place property on the sidewalks of the City without obtaining a permit. There are no permits for the scooters placed throughout the City. We believe that you would agree that the placement of unattended, commercial, electric scooters on City sidewalks raises important safety issues that need to be fully explored and properly addressed with the City. Please remove any scooters from the public rights of way, which includes streets and sidewalks, and other public property tonight, August 10, 2018. Based on your representation that the scooters are removed nightly, this should not be a problem. Because your business model depends on the scooters being left unattended on the sidewalks of the City, please do not "reintroduce" the scooters to the public sidewalks or public parks in the morning. Unattended scooters on the sidewalks are subject to removal and impoundment.
The scooters were supposed to be out of here Saturday morning but Cleveland 19 News found several of them scattered in downtown Cleveland.
There's mixed feelings about the Bird.
"I'm from Minneapolis, all kinds of controversy, they banned them for several months and now they're back in operation again. I think they're kind of cool," said Bruce Williams.
"You gotta go through the permitting process and if it doesn't work out then in a month or two, you always worry about people getting hurt but it's no different than a bicycle right," said David Steffes.
A statement from Bird Rides, Inc. says:
"Bird scooters are helping cities meet their ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions and cutting car traffic. We are encouraged to see the people of Cleveland embrace our vehicles, and we are hopeful that Bird will help the city continue to thrive. We have reached out to local officials and look forward to working with the city of Cleveland to develop a framework that permits our affordable and convenient transportation option."