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The shared electric scooter company Bird Rides Inc., has voluntarily withdrawn its request for Fridley to allow micromobility devices and create a license structure for micromobility device rentals in the city. The company expressed interest about resubmitting the application in the future. (Photo courtesy of Bird)

Bird Rides Inc. recently withdrew its request to update Fridley’s city code to allow for use of micromobility devices, such as the company’s rental electric scooters, in the city.

The Fridley City Council unanimously approved the withdrawal of the California-based company’s application Monday, Aug. 23.

City Manager Wally Wysopal said Bird voluntarily withdrew its application Thursday, Aug. 19, due to “some code enforcement issues,” which was in reference to a Fridley resident who was working as a manager for Bird’s Minneapolis fleet by operating a charging station out of a private Fridley home — in violation of city code.

Earlier this summer, Bird sought an amendment to Fridley’s city code governing motorized vehicle rentals to allow for micromobility devices and create a license structure for micromobility device rentals in the city.

Bird sought to operate its electric scooter rental business in Fridley. The company currently operates in Golden Valley, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the city of Brooklyn Park recently approved a license to allow e-scooters.

Fridley Environmental Planner Rachel Workin defined micromobility devices as small, lightweight vehicles that operate at speeds below 15 mph. Examples of micromobility devices include scooters and electric bikes — both of which Bird offers for purchase and rental.

The City Council held a first reading on the proposed change June 28. Then on July 29 the council chose to delay voting on the ordinance after the issue with Bird’s fleet manager came to light.

With the withdrawal of Bird’s request, Wysopal said, the city code on motorized vehicle rentals will remain as is. Bird will not be refunded for city fees related to the request, he added.

Bird has expressed interest in revisiting the topic of micromobility devices in the future. Wysopal said the company would have to start from the very beginning with the application process if it choose to do so.

 

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