Although none are in business there yet, bike, scooter and skateboard rental programs in Middleburg will soon be subject to town regulations.
The Town Council on Thursday night voted unanimously to adopt a new town ordinance that regulates the use of shared mobility systems—rental programs for transportation devices including bicycles, electric bicycles and scooters and motorized skateboards. The ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1, gives Town Administrator Danny Davis the sole authority to issue businesses licenses for such businesses to operate in the municipality. The action was prompted by a new law approved by the General Assembly earlier this year that set the deadline for localities to adopt restrictions on those operations.
Davis said that while the town doesn’t expect to see any such rental companies open in town anytime soon, it wants to be prepared for their arrival.
Under the new ordinance, which Town Attorney Martin Crim drafted using the framework of a similar ordinance in the Town of Blacksburg, anyone who offers those devices for rent without first obtaining a permit is subject to a $1,000 fine. There will also be a 20 mph speed limit throughout town and operating a device while texting or while intoxicated is “strongly discouraged.”
Operators will additionally be required to provide the town with a monthly report detailing the number of their total active customers, the number of trips they’ve documented in town each month, the average times of those trips, the number of devices they have in service, GPS tracking data for every trip route, and crash, injury and complaint data.
While Middleburg’s ordinance will go into effect in January, the Town of Leesburg is cutting it a bit closer with a scheduled Dec. 10 public hearing on its plan to adopt a similar ordinance.