Dear City of East Lansing Pace Director Eldon Evans and City Manager George Lahanas
(cc: East Lansing Police Cadet M. Moore) (Open Letter on Public Response):
There is a Bird scooter blocking the sidewalk (to prevent a bike or wheel chair from being able to make safe passage down the street).
The street is a high traffic area at the corner of Abbot Rd and Whitehills Dr where many school children walk home. See picture. Please ask a Pace Officer to remove it.
I called to asked if the scooter would be moved by the City of East Lansing Pace Officer.
The County Dispatcher said East Lansing has instructed the County Dispatch that East Lansing asks citizens to call the private company — Bird — that owns the scooter to remove it.
I asked the County Dispatcher if an East Lansing Pace or other Officer could fine Bird and move the scooter.
I politely explained that it was Blocking safe passage (e.g. for students coming home from school or someone in a wheel chair).
The dispatcher said there can be no fine levied because the owner who left the bike is not known.
I said to the Dispatcher the owner of the bike is Bird. He said East Lansing does not fine Bird — and, instead lets Bird police removing the scooters blocking the sidewalk.
I got transferred to Pace (finally). The East Lansing cadet told me to call Bird. He and I then repeated essentially the same conversation I had with County Dispatch.
The Pace Officer then said he’d ask a Pace Officer to move the scooter. But he said Pace would not impose any fine on Bird for its violation of law (Blocking the Sidewalk).
I asked the East Lansing cadet to make sure Bird is paying the cost of removal by being levied a fine (ticket).
I know Pace tickets individuals who leave their bikes or motorized scooters in middle of the side walk.
A corporation should not get special treatment (and, in effect, cause East Lansing taxpayers to pay a “tax” — cost of the Pace Officer to move their bike. Bird profits from use of City streets.
If East Lansing pays to move scooters blocking a public right of way, then the Company (Bird) will warm profits on its scooter rentals without bearing the full cost of the operation. Bird can pass along any fine to users.
Also, Bird should pay a fee to rent the use of City streets — but only if they can use them to store their scooters safely on City streets without blocking the streets and sidewalks and other rights of way.
Are you charging Bird rent to use the streets?
Are you recouping the costs to the City of moving scooters blocking the public right of safe passage along sidewalks?
The County Dispatch Officer (Officer 34/35) is telling people who report scooters blocking the public side walk to call Bird (to move its bike from the middle of a public side walk). Is East Lansing telling the County Dispatch to re-route calls to Bird? Doesn’t this abdicate the City’s duty to police its sidewalks to protect the piblic by removing obstacles to safe passage?
The County dispatcher said he was instructed to tell me to call Bird to remove a scooter from blocking a public right of way.
Please confirm if East Lansing Police told the County Dispatch to refer such complaints to Bird, not directly to Pace in these situations.
Please confirm that East Lansing will not fine Bird for leaving its scooter in the middle of a public right of way—thereby blocking it.
I would like any written memos, emails, documents, complaints filed or communications with Bird about its scooters being left on City streets.
The request I am making is for any and all documents between Bird and the City about any aspect of its use of City streets or regulation of use of City streets as a place to leave scooters.
Patrick Levine Rose, Esq.
310 Oxford Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823