Electric unicycles, scooters and skateboards are competing with cars and pedestrians on roads and sidewalks. (mobbo)

Electric unicycles, scooters and skateboards are competing with cars and pedestrians on roads and sidewalks. (mobbo)

B.C. to experiment with scooters, unicycles on roads, sidewalks

Electric skateboards another option already hitting the road

The B.C. government is changing regulations to allow local pilot projects for electric scooters, unicycles and skateboards on streets and sidewalks.

The devices are becoming popular in some urban regions, joining conventional skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, mobility scooters and bicycles that compete for space street and sidewalk space with vehicles and pedestrians.

The transportation ministry plans to authorize pilot projects as part of its “active transportation strategy,” with the goal of doubling the number of trips taken that involve physical activity.

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“Establishing the authority to conduct pilot projects gives government an local communities the ability to effectively address changing public mobility needs and expectations,” the ministry said in a statement Friday. “It will also let government find effective solutions for devices that are not yet permitted to operate on highways or sidewalks.”

The ministry expects to be ready to invite community proposals in January 2020.

The B.C. community of Chase is one of the first to allow golf carts on streets, similar to resort communities in the U.S. Chase council made it permanent in 2018 after a pilot project, and local officials gave a presentation at the Union of B.C. Municipalities on the benefits of golf carts for tourism and retirement living.

Victoria council voted in 2015 to allow skateboards on downtown streets, after a 25-year prohibition.


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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