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Riding Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk - Is it Allowed?

Last updated on: 10/2/2023

Hey there, ever wondered if it's okay to zip around on electric scooters along the sidewalk? Well, you're not alone! Many folks are curious about whether it's allowed or not.

In this article, we're going to break it down for you in simple terms. So, fasten your seatbelt (or helmet), and let's dive into the world of riding electric scooters on the sidewalk!

man with helmet

Sidewalk or Street?

Confusion About Where to Ride Electric Scooters

Electric scooter riders often grapple with uncertainty when it comes to choosing their riding location. This perplexity arises due to the intricate web of electric scooter laws, safety concerns, and practical considerations.

  1. Bike Lanes: One common source of confusion for scooter riders is whether they can use bike lanes. While these lanes are designed to accommodate non-motorized vehicles like bicycles, the rules about electric scooters in bike lanes can vary by location. Some cities allow scooter riders to use bike lanes, while others do not.
  2. Motor Vehicles: Another aspect of confusion is the interaction between electric scooters and motor vehicles. The fear of sharing the road with cars and trucks at higher speeds can lead some scooter riders to opt for sidewalks, even when it may not be legal or safe.

Highlighting Common Misconceptions

electric scooter on the road

source: Pixabay

Dispelling misconceptions is essential to ensure that scooter riders make informed decisions and adhere to electric scooter laws.

  1. Electric Scooters Legal: One common misconception is that electric scooters are always legal on sidewalks. In reality, many cities have banned electric scooters on sidewalks due to safety concerns. Riders should be aware of their local regulations to avoid violating the law.
  2. Speed Limit: Some scooter riders might believe that they can ride at any speed they like on sidewalks. However, many places have established speed limits for electric scooters to maintain pedestrian safety.
  3. Privately Owned Electric Scooters: The distinction between privately owned scooters and those from scooter-sharing services can also be misunderstood. In some areas, privately owned electric scooters may have different rules and regulations than shared scooters.
  4. Bike Lane: Misunderstandings can arise regarding the use of bike lanes. While bike lanes are intended for bicycles, some cities allow electric scooters to use them, while others do not.
  5. Banned Electric Scooters: In cities where electric scooters have been banned, some riders may be unaware of the restrictions or believe they won't be enforced.

To navigate this confusion effectively, scooter riders should familiarize themselves with local electric scooter laws and regulations. This way, they can make informed decisions about whether to ride on the sidewalk, in bike lanes, or on the street while prioritizing safety for themselves and pedestrians.

Are Electric Scooters Allowed on Sidewalks?

escooter concern

No, in many cases, you cannot ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk. The reason is quite clear. Electric scooters have been causing problems in many cities, with stories highlighting the dangers they pose to pedestrians when they clutter sidewalks as obstructions.

Riding e-scooters on sidewalks can jeopardize the safety of pedestrians. Because of these concerns, most cities in the U.S. and many across the globe have enforced rules that prohibit electric scooters from being used on sidewalks.

Why aren't Electric Scooters Allowed on Sidewalks?

Electric scooters are typically not allowed on sidewalks due to various safety and practicality concerns. Here are some of the main reasons for this restriction:

  1. Safety for All: Sidewalks are designed primarily for walking, and introducing electric scooters can lead to safety hazards for everyone involved. The higher speeds of electric scooters can make maneuvering around pedestrians challenging, increasing the risk of accidents.
  2. Accessibility Concerns: Allowing electric scooters on sidewalks can hinder the accessibility of these spaces for people with different mobility needs, such as those using wheelchairs or mobility aids. It can also create obstacles for individuals pushing strollers or moving slowly.
  3. Potential for Conflicts: The presence of electric scooters on sidewalks can lead to conflicts between different users of the space, causing discomfort and potential misunderstandings.
  4. Traffic Flow Disruption: In some cases, scooter riders may disrupt the flow of foot traffic at intersections, potentially causing congestion and delays.
  5. Local Regulations: Many cities have established specific regulations to address these issues. These rules often prohibit electric scooters from being ridden on sidewalks and provide guidance on where and how they should be used.
  6. Promoting Safer Alternatives: To enhance safety, cities encourage riders to use bike lanes or designated scooter areas when available. These alternatives offer a more organized and secure environment for electric scooter travel.

Alternatives to Sidewalk Riding

For e-scooter riders looking for safer and more suitable riding environments, several alternatives to sidewalk riding exist. These options align with local laws and prioritize safety for all scooter users.

  1. Bike Lanes: Utilizing bike lanes is often a viable and legal alternative for e-scooter riders. These dedicated lanes provide a designated space for non-motorized transportation, making it safer for scooter users to navigate without interfering with pedestrians.
  2. Designated Scooter Areas: Some cities have introduced designated scooter zones or areas specifically designed for electric scooter riders. These zones are typically marked and equipped with infrastructure to ensure the safety of e-scooter users.
  3. Multi-Use Paths: Many urban areas offer multi-use paths that accommodate various forms of non-motorized transportation, including electric scooters. These paths are separated from motor vehicle traffic and provide a safe and efficient means of travel.

Benefits of Bike Lanes and Designated Scooter Areas

bike lane for scooters

source: Pixabay

Utilizing bike lanes and designated scooter areas comes with several advantages, both for e-scooter riders and the broader community.

Understanding the alternatives to sidewalk riding, such as bike lanes and designated scooter areas, is crucial for e-scooter riders. These options not only align with local laws but also prioritize safety and improve the overall urban mobility experience for scooter users and pedestrians alike.


Electric scooters are often not allowed on sidewalks due to safety and accessibility concerns. This article has clarified the confusion surrounding this issue and emphasized the importance of following local regulations.

Safer alternatives like bike lanes and designated scooter areas provide a better riding experience for all while promoting urban mobility. Remember to ride responsibly and stay informed about local laws when using electric scooters.

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