Knowing the City of Milwaukee is piloting dockless scooters, the Marquette University Police Department led a thorough review about the impact of such motorized vehicles on campus safety, which included input from leaders across functions and consultation with Marquette University Student Government. As a result, Marquette University is prohibiting the use of motorized scooters on campus property, effective immediately, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Joel Pogodzinski announced today.
Under the new policy, all motorized scooters — including the rentable dockless variety operated by companies such as Lime, Bird and Spin — are banned from use on any campus property, including walkways and sidewalks within the campus. The new policy also applies to other personal motorized vehicles, including but not limited to electric bicycles, electric skateboards, hoverboards, Segways and mopeds.
“While we support the city’s position of making more transportation options available, safety on campus must be our first concern when evaluating whether new services like the dockless scooters now available in downtown Milwaukee are appropriate for our campus,” Pogodzinski says. “Ultimately we are upholding our tenet of cura personalis by prioritizing the safety of our Marquette community by prohibiting scooters or any other personal motorized vehicles on campus.”
MUPD will enforce the new policy. Additionally, MUPD will enforce all city ordinances and traffic laws related to motorized scooter operations, particularly their use on public sidewalks, which is strictly prohibited.
The City of Milwaukee ordinance related to operating on sidewalks reads: “No bicycle or electric scooter shall be operated upon any public sidewalk, any pedestrian path in the public parks, or upon any public school grounds or public playgrounds.”
The fine for violating this ordinance is $86.20.
“There is increasing evidence on the dangers of operating motorized scooters, and as a police department, it is our duty to promote and protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests,” says MUPD Chief Edith Hudson. “As a campus community, we must all agree to respect one another’s safety and pedestrian rights. Prohibiting motorized scooter use on campus is in everyone’s best interest.”
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 249 people were admitted to two urban emergency rooms over the course of the year in connection to scooter collisions. About 92 percent were riders; the rest were pedestrians. About 30 percent had fractures, and 40 percent suffered head injuries.
In addition to the new policy, the Office of Residence Life has an existing policy in place prohibiting students from charging the dockless scooters in their residence hall rooms or university-owned apartments.
Employees are reminded that motorized scooter use during business hours is a workplace liability issue for the university.
MUPD will work with the Milwaukee Department of Public Works to impound any motorized scooter left unattended on university property.