Safety precautions encouraged for scooters and bicycles on campus

Johns Hopkins University asks students, faculty, and staff to be aware of policies regarding motor vehicles, especially rental scooters, which have become increasingly popular in Baltimore and Washington, and to do use good judgment when traveling on scooters or bicycles and leaving them parked on the JHU campus.

A Johns Hopkins policy developed with feedback from more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students prohibits the operation of motorized devices on campus sidewalks, but allows them on campus roads where other vehicles are routinely used.

“If you are using a scooter or other personal motorized transportation, please keep it out of campus aisles and away from pedestrians,” Johns Hopkins Public Safety and Johns Hopkins Transportation Services wrote in an email to the Hopkins community.

Johns Hopkins policy applies to all personal motorized transportation devices, except mobility aids such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters required by students, patients, visitors and staff with disabilities. Also excluded from this ban are vehicles and devices belonging to JHU and JHH, such as Segways, motorized trolleys and other equipment, which are used by staff in the performance of their duties, and motor vehicles registered with the state.

Johns Hopkins has also received numerous reports of unattended scooters or bicycles blocking the entrance to a building, trail, ramp, curb, or route accessible to people with disabilities.

“We need members of our community to be aware of the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities and to park scooters and bikes in designated areas,” said Kevin Shollenberger, vice-president of health and education. Student Welfare and Acting Vice-President, Student Affairs. “People should also make sure not to lock their bikes to handrails or other items that need to be clear to be useful,” he said.

For the Homewood campus, the university has identified 17 areas where you can park a scooter before continuing to walk around campus. A map is available on the JHU Transportation Services website. The university has also worked with scooter companies to set up a perimeter – marked on the map – within which rental scooters will stop working.

The post also reminded readers that City of Baltimore laws do not allow scooters to be driven on sidewalks except on streets where the speed limit is 30 mph or more. The city’s website reminds scooter and bicycle users to always ride slowly, carefully, and courteously on city sidewalks.

“We appreciate everyone’s support in creating a safe, inclusive and pedestrian friendly environment on our campuses,” said Shollenberger.

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Susan W. Lloyd

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