Does zipping around downtown on an electric scooter sound like something you'd like to do? It could be a reality in Sioux Falls.

According to Dakota News Now, the Sioux Falls City Council is looking at passing an ordinance that would allow commercial electric scooter rentals downtown.

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Companies like Lime and Bird could allow people to rent the scooters from an app on their phone and then drive them around wherever they want to within a specific area in Sioux Falls.

“We want this to be basically a pilot program to say, ‘Hey, what does 15 scooters look like? What does 30 scooters look like in DTSF?’” Sioux Falls City councilor Alex Jensen said.

The area downtown would likely not include the busy section of Phillips Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets.

The scooters could appear as soon as this summer. This was made possible after the South Dakota Legislature passed House Bill 1192 which amends state law to add the use of "motorized foot scooters" to the shortlist of vehicles that are allowed on sidewalks in the state. Bicycles and "electric personal assistive devices" are currently allowed in state law. HB 1192 also defines what a "motorized foot scooter" is.

motorized foot scooter, means a wheeled conveyance, with handlebars, designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and powered by an electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion, and that has no more than two twelve inch or smaller diameter wheels and has a motor that is capable of a maximum speed of fifteen miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than one percent grade in any direction when the motor is engaged. An electric bicycle is not a motorized foot scooter.

HB 1192 will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

Hoverboards, it appears from the reading of the new law, are not legal on sidewalks currently, but will be in July. So my kids have been committing class 2 misdemeanors for two years, I guess.

Interestingly, and appropriately, electric bicycles are specifically prohibited from public sidewalks. They can ride in the street, it's fine.

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