Aug 22 — HIGH POINT – High Point Market guests will have a new way of getting around the downtown showroom district at this fall’s trade show.
The city council last week passed an ordinance allowing electric scooters in the market district from seven days before the event officially opened on October 16. The devices will be limited to a defined area where most of the showrooms are located and are expected to cease operations when the fall market closes on October 20.
“This is something that we have received requests from customers in the market,” said Tammy Nagem, director of operations for the High Point Market Authority, which has asked the city to allow the use of scooters. “As you all know, our biggest strength and our biggest weakness for this market is that we are 13 blocks wide. So while we do provide a fairly extensive transportation system, on sunny days, it doesn’t there is nothing better than walking the streets, and that would give additional customer service to our market visitors. “
Electric scooters are not allowed in other parts of the city or in the city center outside of market dates.
Some cities, including Greensboro, have passed ordinances that allow them in their downtown areas.
“It’s kind of a pilot program,” said City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle. “If that doesn’t work, we’ll come back and consider changing or canceling it.”
Nagem said the market authority is working with a supplier who will supply 50 of the scooters for the fall market.
“They will be paid for by the guests of the market,” she said. “They’ll scan their credit card on a QR code, and when they get close to the limit, they’ll start beeping and slow down. So they’ll be warned when they’re at the limit.”
Nagem said his agency was working with the city and the seller to establish procedures regarding the use of scooters on streets or sidewalks.
“There are issues with both, but also with making sure our guests know where to ride. We are aiming for a top speed of 12 mph (speed),” she said.
The seller will be responsible for collecting and loading the scooters each night during the market.
“This is just an extension of our customer service for people coming to High Point, and we’ll see how it goes,” Nagem said.
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