The Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department Director recommends that City Council approve an ordinance amending Chapter 26 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances (“Code”) to add new sections relating to the prohibition of using parking spaces for the principal purpose of renting goods or services and of placing a motor assisted scooter on public property for rental purposes and Chapter 45 of the Code relating to operating a motor assisted scooter.
The City regulates the use of public parking spaces for the benefit of the public by managing the appropriate use of the limited number of parking spaces. Approving the ordinance will create a new section 26-101 and authorize ARA’s ParkHouston division to issue citations to vehicles or motor assisted scooters parked in any public space, including a parking space, for the principal purpose of renting goods or services. Section 26-101 does not apply to a commercial vehicle loading zone; where a person has obtained a temporary restriction of access permit under division 2, article III, of chapter 26 of the Code and is renting goods or services as part of a special event pursuant to chapter 25 of the Code; or where a person has an agreement with the City that authorizes the person to park a vehicle on public property and rent goods or services. The ordinance also will create a new section 26-102, which makes it unlawful for any person to stand, park, offer to rent, exhibit or display a motor assisted scooter on a sidewalk, right-of-way, or any public space, for the principal purpose of renting such motor assisted scooter.
Chapter 551 of the Texas Transportation Code sets forth certain limitations and restrictions on the operation of bicycles and motor assisted scooters. Chapter 551 authorizes the governing body of a municipality to prohibit the operation of a motor assisted scooter on a sidewalk if the governing body finds it is necessary in the interest of safety. If approved, the ordinance will add to the Traffic Ordinance (chapter 45 of the Code) the same restriction and requirements upon any person riding a scooter as someone who riding a bicycle in the city. The ordinance will prevent a person from riding a scooter upon a sidewalk in the business district, authorize the traffic engineer to erect signs on any sidewalk outside a business district prohibiting the riding of scooters thereon, and requires a person riding a scooter upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
On March 4, 2021, ARA presented the proposed Code amendments to the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee. On March 5, 2021, ARA posted the proposed Code amendments to ARA’s website for 10 days. The public provided comments using an online comment form.
Departmental Approval Authority:
Tina Paez, Director Other Authorization
Administration & Regulatory