Please Sign Up to Tell Mississauga on June 15 and London on June 21 Not to Allow Electric Scooters Because They Endanger Safety and Accessibility for People with Disabilities, Seniors and Others

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities Web: https://www.aodaalliance.org
Email: aodafeedback@gmail.com
Twitter: @aodaalliance
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

June 8, 2022

SUMMARY

It is time to jump into grassroots action again! It is inexcusable that Ontarians with disabilities must continue to battle to protect themselves from the dangers that electric scooters create for their safety and accessibility. Please help us prevent these dangers by signing up to speak at virtual hearings in Mississauga on June 15 and in London Ontario on June 21, 2022. Here in short is the information you need:

You do not have to attend either of these meetings in person. To sign up to speak from your computer or cell phone to the City of Mississauga General Committee on the morning of June 15, 2022, send a request to Dayna.obaseki@mississauga.ca

* Below we set out a form that Mississauga would like you to fill out and submit.
* The London Civic Works Committee will meet on June 21 at 12 noon. To apply to speak to the City of London Civic Works Committee, send an email to cwc@london.ca

The request to speak to them should be in no later than 9 AM, Monday, June 20. You can also send a written submission to them at the same email address and before Monday, June 20.

You can apply to speak at either or both of these meetings. We need you at both, if you can. You don’t need to live in either city. You are encouraged to speak if you have experience to share, or if you might wish to visit one or both of those cities and don’t want to be seriously injured by a joy-rider racing silently at you on an e-scooter. For example, people living in Ottawa have already faced two years of this danger. They should warn London and Mississauga to avoid Ottawa’s disregard of the safety and accessibility needs of people with disabilities, seniors and others.

We have no assurance that either city will use an accessible platform for its virtual meeting. For any city to use a platform with accessibility barriers flies in the face of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Despite this, we have taken part in several municipal committee meetings that used virtual meeting platforms that have known accessibility barriers.

The city staffs of London and Mississauga will each present their own report and recommendations to their City Council. However, even this close to these meeting dates, neither Mississauga nor London city staff have made public their reports and recommendations. We will make them public for you as soon as we get our hands on them. It is unfair to make people with disabilities and others have to rush at the last minute to address such an important topic.

We are certain that the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter companies will be at these meetings. Please ensure you are there too. If you are part of a disability community organization, get your organization to make a presentation. Speaking to these committees is far more effective than sending in written submissions that the City Council members may never read.

It is significant that the City of Ottawa has delayed its third year of e-scooters until at least July, according to media reports. Below we set out the June 7, 2022 CBC News report on this delay, which refers to disability concerns with e-scooters.

It is also significant that Ottawa City staff are not consulting the disability community before deciding whether any of the e-scooter rental companies meet their safety and accessibility needs. Indeed, the City staff have taken it upon themselves to decide unilaterally what specific safeguards are sufficient. This is deeply troubling, given the City staff disregard of the strong recommendation of Ottawa’s Accessibility Advisory Committee that no e-scooters be allowed at all. It is not sufficient for Ottawa City staff to simply consult Ottawa City Accessibility Officials. Below we set out the April 21, 2022 email from Ottawa City staff on this issue to the Ottawa chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. AEBC had sent very specific inquiries to Ottawa City staff. The Ottawa City staff response was far too vague and troubling.

To learn more about this e-scooters issue, including the dangers they present for people with disabilities and the efforts that people with disabilities have made to protect ourselves from these dangers, visit the AODA Alliance website’s E-scooters page.

MORE DETAILS

City of Mississauga Form to Send in if You Want to Speak to the Virtual Meeting of the Mississauga General Committee Deputation (Request to Speak)
at Mississauga Council or Committees of Council
City of Mississauga, Legislative Services

Personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the Council Procedure Bylaw 139-13 and the Agendas Policy 02-01-04. The personal information will be used for processing your request to speak at the Council or Committees of Council. Your personal
information may become available when the meeting is televised or streamed online. It may also become part of the public record which is available at the meeting, the O?ce of the City Clerk, and/or on the City website. Questions about this collection should be directed to the Access and Privacy O?cer, O?ce of the City Clerk, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, ON L5B 3C1, Telephone 905-613-3200 ext. 5952.

Use this service if you wish to address Mississauga City Council or Committees of Council and make your views known on a particular issue. If your request relates to a matter scheduled for the Planning and Development Committee, please email: Angie.Melo@mississauga.ca Meeting Information
Meeting Type: Accessibility Advisory Committee
Meeting Date Requested (yyyy-mm-dd): ?????
Speaker Information
Name of Speaker(s): Enter Name of Speaker
Position/Title: Enter the Speaker’s Position/Title
Organization/Person Represented: Enter organization/person represented. Street Address of Contact: Enter street address.
Phone Number: Enter phone number.
Email Address: Enter email address.
City: Enter city.
Province: Enter province.
Postal Code: Enter postal code.
Meeting Topic
Subject Matter to be Discussed
Enter title and a summary of subject matter to be discussed. I am submitting a formal presentation to accompany the deputation. Please note:
* Your request must be made eight (8) business days prior to the meeting at which you are requesting to speak.
* The final determination of Committees of Council will be made by the Office of the City Clerk. You will receive an email confirming the committee meeting date and additional details within five (5) business days of your request. Presentations will be limited to a maximum of two (2) people.
* Presentations will be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes at Council, and ten (10) minutes at Committees of Council.
Council, General Committee, Planning and Development Committee, Budget Committee, and Governance Committee Meetings are streamed, available online and recorded minutes are produced. Council Meetings are televised.

CBC News Ottawa June 7, 2022

Originally posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/scooters-ottawa-summer-2022-delayed-1.6477597

E-scooter program delayed in Ottawa, possibly until July

City waiting for companies to prove they can prevent riding and parking on sidewalks Michelle Allan

The City of Ottawa imposed stricter regulations on e-scooter companies in 2022 to cut down on sidewalk riding and improper parking. That’s at least part of the reason for a delayed start to this year’s launch of the program.
The pilot project, which was extended for its third year by city council in March, had seen the e-scooters booted up on city streets around late May in 2021 and mid-July in 2020. This year, however, work continues to sort through new rules.

Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leipersaidany company planning to launch in Ottawa has to use technology that can “significantly reduce, if not eliminate, sidewalk riding.”

Leiper, who voted against the pilot project, saidthe city will select two companies to continue the pilot if they canprove their software is adequate, but he remains concerned about safety.
“I am cynical that the technology will work as advertised,” he said.
Leiper said he believes the scooters will return by early July, but noted the city will see fewer of them compared to last summer.

Fewer companies, fewer scooters
Last year,Bird, Lime and Neuron operated e-scooters as part of the city’s pilot, but it’s not clear which of those two will return this summer. None of the three companiesoffered any clarity when contacted by CBC.

Accessibility advocates also remain skeptical about software upgrades protecting pedestrians.

The president of the Ottawa-Gatineau chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, who is also blind, saidhe worries people with disabilities will be “used as guinea pigs” as companies test out new technology.

Wayne Antle also said concerns about sidewalk riding and parking have been ignored and advocates weren’t allowed to provide feedback during the testing phase of the program.
“I don’t trust this process,” said Antle. “When you go to three pilots of something that puts vulnerable pedestrians in danger, you know, I think that that’s a problem.”

Wayne Antle, who leads the Ottawa-Gatineau chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, says he’s worried the updated scooter software won’t solve issues like sidewalk riding. (Submitted by Wayne Antle)

The City of Ottawa’s program manager of neighbourhood calming, Heidi Cousineau, said the accessibility advisory committee was consulted and “significant time was involved” to make improvements for the 2022 season.

Phillip Turcotte, chair of the city’s accessibility advisory committee, says they were disappointed the city didn’t take stronger action to protect pedestrians.
“We felt that the only way to really prevent people from leaving e-scooters where they shouldn’t be is by creating designated spaces for e-scooters.” Turcotte said. “That’s something that we were asking the city to do because it was completely within their power as a regulator.”

Cousineausaid the city is currently selecting companies for the summer and it will have an update in the coming days.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Allan
Reporter
Michelle is a reporter with CBC Ottawa who has previously written for the Globe and Mail. You can reach her at michelle.allan@cbc.ca.

^Text of Email from City of Ottawa Staff to the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians Ottawa Chapter

From: “Cousineau, Heidi”
Subject: RE: E-scooter Next Steps
Date: April 21, 2022 at 10:04:17 AM EDT
To: Wayne Antle
Cc: “Richards, Megan” , “Forestell, Kathleen” , “Heiss, Kevin” , Escooter / Trottinetteselectriques

Wayne,
Thank you once again for your patience regarding a fulsome response to your submitted questions about the status of the e-scooter pilot and RFP process. Please find below a response to each of your questions.

Please be advised the Jessica Lloy is now on maternity leave. Kevin Heiss (copied here) will be the new lead coordinator this season.

We look forward to engaging with you further as the next steps progress.

Best regards,

Heidi Cousineau P.Eng.
Program Manager | Gestionnaire de programme
Neighbourhood Traffic Calming | Modération de la circulation dans les quartiers Transportation Planning | Planification des transports
Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department | Direction générale de la planification, des biens immobliers et du développement économique

City of Ottawa | Ville d’Ottawa
(613) 580-2424 ext.| poste 33355
heidi.cousineau@ottawa.ca

1. What is the timeline for the RFP process to select the successful companies?

The RFP has now been posted. The entire process will take about 2 months. The first step of the evaluation process, the evaluation of their written proposals, is to narrow down the proponents to a qualified list. The second step will include a demo/viability test of required components to validate aspects of the written submissions. The final selection of preferred proponents is currently expected to be completed by the end of May. There are a few internal City steps for selected providers to complete before they would be allowed to operate, which is currently targeting June.

2. Do the successful providers have to provide only e-scooters that have the technology to prevent sidewalk riding and mis-parking?

Yes. It is stated in the RFP that all e-scooters in their fleet must meet the mandatory requirements.

3. Will the technology used to detect mis-parked e-scooters allow the providers to continually bill the client until the e-scooter is properly parked, or cancel the riders account?

The selected providers must implement mechanisms that prohibit users from ending the ride unless it is parked in a permitted area. They must also be able to identify riders who have mis-parked and be able remove riders from their app for repeated instances. As part of their proposal, the potential providers must describe and will be evaluated on how their technologies and other strategies will address compliance issues, including any incentives and/or penalties (such as fines or extended billing).

4. Will the City require that the technology to prevent sidewalk riding and mis-parking be independently verified to be effective under varying real-life conditions?

Yes. As part of the RFP process, following the evaluation of the proposals against the rated requirements, there will be a Demonstration/Viability Testing phase. City staff will test the proponents e-scooters and app to ensure compliance with the specifications in the RFP and the proponents submission. This test will occur in person, in Ottawa, under real-world conditions.

5. How will staff determine that the technology promoted by the e-scooter companies will be effective in eliminating the risks posed by sidewalk riding and mis-parking?

The proposed technologies must be demonstrated and will be tested by City staff as part of the provider selection process. Additional assessments will be undertaken throughout the season. The City will also be collecting data through observations and traffic cameras at strategic locations. Benchmark measures to evaluate Contractor performance throughout the 2022 season will assess progress during the pilot period and could impose penalties or terminate a contract with an e-scooter provider. Some of the benchmarks include criteria such as: response times to address complaints, number of relocations of mis-parked e-scooters undertaken by By-law staff and number of e-scooter impoundments undertaken by By-law staff.

6. Since no consensus was reached last year to identify a sound that could be easily heard above the noise of busy streets, what type of sound will the e-scooters emit, and at what volume level, to alert pedestrians of oncoming e-scooters?

The RFP requires that each e-scooter must have a continuous noise emission and that the noise profile must be capable of being modified throughout the season. Based on feedback and observations from last year, the City has mandated that the sound must have two distinct components. The first component, known as the baseline sound shall have a lower frequency/pitch that creates a distinctive, undulating or grumbling sound (like a motor sound). The second component, known as the alert sound shall have a higher frequency to create a repeating bell, chirp, or similar sound. A series of minimum criteria for each component is defined in the RFP regarding the volume, frequency/pitch and repeat rate. The selected providers will be required to make adjustments prior to the season launch to ensure that sounds from each company are as similar as possible to each other. The initial sound profile may also be adjusted at the start of and throughout the season, as required to address stakeholder and community concerns.

7. If the technology is not shown to be effective during the RFP process, is it possible that no company will be able to operate e-scooters in Ottawa?

The pilot will not proceed if there are no companies that adequately meet the requirements of the RFP.

8. Will there be an opportunity for vulnerable pedestrians to see how the technology would work to eliminate the risks, before the successful companies are selected?

The formal evaluation process will not include consultation from the accessibility community, however staff from the Citys Accessibility Office will be part of the evaluation committee. The Terms of Reference also indicates that the selected providers shall participate in consultations with the accessibility community throughout the season as requested.