Bike and scooter ordinance changes take effect in Scottsdale

Changes to Scottsdale’s bicycle ordinance that address parking and operating impacts of the increasingly popular bike-share and electric scooters are in effect. The ordinance changes, created through an extensive process with review and comments from the public, make the rules and expectations clear for the companies that own the devices and individuals who operate them.

While most attention is currently directed toward bicycle- and scooter-sharing services like Lime, Razor and Bird, the ordinance specifically restricts the parking and operation of all bicycles, electric bicycles, motorized bicycles motorized skateboards, motorized play vehicles, and stand-up electric mini-scooters regardless of ownership.

Rules for parking and riding

The ordinance provides these rules for parking these devices:

Keep sidewalks open for pedestrians: Do not park devices on public sidewalks in areas that obstruct the portion used primarily by pedestrians.

The owner is required to keep devices properly parked: The owner – whether an individual or a company – is responsible for making sure their devices are parked properly. Devices should be parked in racks or designated parking areas.

Devices should be operable and used: The ordinance makes it illegal for devices to remain at the same location on public property for more than 72 consecutive hours. Improperly parked, inoperable or abandoned devices may be impounded.

Don’t park too many devices together: To reduce the amount of visual clutter, the ordinance seeks to properly space parking of devices – a maximum of 5 devices from the same owner can be parked within 200 feet of each other.

Respect private property: Devices can only be on private property with permission of the property owner (except in commercial or multi-family residential properties within common area bike racks and designated bicycle parking zones).

The ordinance also clarifies the rules about how and where to ride motorized bicycles and scooters legally. All bicycles and scooters, electric or otherwise, must obey traffic laws, including always yielding to pedestrians. Scooters and bicycles can be ridden on a public sidewalk, multiuse path or roadway if it is at a safe speed to avoid colliding with people, cars and objects around them.

Motorized scooters are prohibited on streets (including bike lanes) with speed limits of 40 miles per hour or greater, and class 3 electric bicycles are prohibited on sidewalks and multiuse paths.

The revised ordinance also prohibits riding electric bikes and scooters while under the influence of alcohol or recklessly. Persons violating these new ordinance provisions are subject to arrest and possible jail time. 

Reporting issues

If there is a persistent problem with unsafe riding in a particular area, please call the police non-emergency line at 480-312-5000 and the call will be prioritized for response by the police department.

The fastest and most effective way to report devices that are parked improperly is through the city’s Scottsdale EZ website. Once there, type "bike" or "scooter" into the search box and follow the prompts to make a report. The application will forward your report to staff or to the private bike- and scooter-sharing companies.

People can also report parking issues to 480-312-7433 (312-RIDE) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Parking issues can also be reported directly to the owner companies:

Download a list of questions and answers about operating bikes and scooters in Scottsdale here (PDF).

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