Don’t be too concerned about Lime scooters careening through your basketball game during Hoopfest weekend.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Lime scooters and bikes are prohibited in shutdown streets downtown and Riverfront Park.
“So if people think, ‘If I can’t drive a car there, I probably can’t take a scooter there,’ ” Director of Strategic Development at Lime Northwest Jonathan Hopkins said.
The no-service service area will be in place through 10 p.m. Sunday.
Once a bike or scooter enters the no service area, users won’t be able to check out or park them.
To enforce the no service area, recently debuted “Lime Patrols” — employees on scooters wearing helmets and white “Walk Your Wheels on Downtown Sidewalks” shirts — will be on duty reminding users about the no service area and showing them where to park their vehicles.
“Our Lime Patrols are just going to help people know what the rules are,” Hopkins said.
Preferred parking areas north of downtown will be south of the Spokane Arena on West Mallon Avenue; near North Monroe Street and West Broadway Avenue; and near West Cataldo Avenue and North Calispel Street. Parking areas south of downtown include West 1st Avenue and South Monroe Street; near the Steam Plant on South Lincoln Street; east of the Holley-Mason Building on South Stevens Street; and near the Globe Bar & Kitchen on North Division Street.
Police will also be on patrol, according to City of Spokane bicycle and pedestrian planner Colin Quinn-Hurst, but he could not speak to their enforcement methods.
After Hoopfest weekend, Lime Patrols will become a regular fixture of downtown Spokane during peak ride hours from midday into the evening. Patrol members will be responsible for fixing improperly parked vehicles, reminding users not to ride on downtown sidewalks and showing people how to ride.
“People love scooters and bikes here, and ridership has been extremely high,” Hopkins said. “ … And a lot of these people are trying scooters for the first time.”
In the first month since Lime vehicles returned in mid-May, users took more than 130,000 rides and traveled more than 130,000 miles, Quinn-Hurst said. In that span, only three or four crashes have been reported, mostly with curbs as a result of user error, he added.
Hopkins said Lime could hire more employees for the patrols based on data and user behavior changes. Los Angeles and Paris are also looking at adopting similar patrols, he said.
Quinn-Hurst said to expect a no-service area in Riverfront Park during Labor Day weekend for Pig Out in the Park.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.