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Off The Beaten Path: Technology Will Slow E-Scooters That Enter Austin Parks

An e-scooter in Waller Creek
Julia Reihs
A discarded e-scooter lies in a creek bed near downtown.

Starting Friday, geofencing will reduce the speed of rented e-scooters when they enter restricted areas in Austin. Riders will be alerted before they enter an area where scooters are not allowed, such as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.  

The City of Austin has been working with scooter companies to limit their use on parkland. It says the goal of the new geofencing is to protect parkland, while allowing people to use scooters to get to and from the parks.

The city says the decision follows increasing concern about safety and inappropriate use of electronic scooters in parks. The devices will continue to be allowed on paved park roads and paved trails.

The city started a pilot program in January to find out if scooters and parkland are a good fit. It was intended "to examine how micromobility vehicles impact the comfort, mobility, and safety of trail users as well as trail integrity."

Feedback is being collected here until Sept. 15. Findings will be released later in the fall. 

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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