Scooters stock art

When it comes to an onslaught of scooters, it appears likely that the city of Franklin won’t be rolling in the same direction that Nashville has gone.

That was made clear at Tuesday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session, when the subject of scooters in downtown Franklin was briefly addressed. City Administrator Eric Stuckey and Holland Schellhase, management fellow, gave a short presentation on why city staff is recommending an ordinance prohibiting on-demand scooter services in Franklin. These are companies such as Lyft, Lime or Bird whose electric scooters can be found throughout Nashville.

“A number of cities across the country experience a situation where scooter companies come in and dump a large number of scooters, and they just start operating,” Stuckey explained. “We didn’t have anything on our books to necessarily address that.”

Discussion was light on the topic, but aldermen appeared unanimous in favoring the ordinance. They will vote and make it official at an upcoming board meeting.

The subject of scooters in Franklin came up in November when aldermen were presented with the idea of an electric scooter pilot program in a particular area of Cool Springs. From reaction of aldermen, the decision was made not to pursue additional research regarding such a program. 

In reviewing the city’s existing ordinances, it was determined that there was no prohibition of a company starting an on-demand scooter service on Franklin streets and rights-of-way. Therefore, city staff drafted an ordinance to prohibit the operation of on-demand scooter services in the city of Franklin. 

However, this ordinance would not prohibit an individual from owning or operating an electric scooter as long as they adhered to traffic regulations (i.e. no riding on the sidewalks.)

“The direction we thought we heard was, we don’t want this in Franklin,” Stuckey said. “So that’s why we put this in the ordinance.”

If the ordinance is indeed passed, there will be a fine of up to $50 per on-demand electric scooter per day if found within the city of Franklin.

Aldermen learn more about 2019 On the Table

Also at Tuesday’s work session, Franklin Tomorrow released the final survey results from its 2019 On the Table initiative that was held in November.

This is the second year Franklin Tomorrow has hosted On the Table, following its debut in the fall of 2018. In preparing the 2019 report, Franklin Tomorrow worked with Elevate Consulting, located in Nashville, to compare and analyze both the 2018 and 2019 On the Table reports.

In 2019, Franklin Tomorrow implemented its second series of On the Table sessions to engage the community in intentional conversations around Franklin. The results of the survey largely coincide with the results from 2018 as well as with the National Citizens Survey (NCS) that was produced by the city of Franklin in March 2019.

“We are so happy to be able to share the results of On the Table with the leadership and citizens of the city of Franklin,” Franklin Tomorrow Board President Allena Bell said. “The results of the survey showcase what Franklin is doing right and what we as a community can do to enhance the quality of life for those who call Franklin home.”

Bell served as co-chair of the 2019 On the Table initiative alongside Patrick Baggett, Mary Lee Bennett and Jim Roberts.

“The On the Table events were an effective way for people who might not normally connect to come together, learn from each other, and create a space where individuals could discuss issues and changes for Franklin,” Franklin Tomorrow Executive Director Mindy Tate said. “I am happy to publicize these results and start working on initiatives to strengthen the city of Franklin and the community here.”

In both 2018 and 2019, participants of On the Table had an overwhelmingly positive view of Franklin, with reports of high levels of attachment, 71% in 2019 and 69% in 2018, and rating it as an excellent place to live, work and visit. The group that participated in 2019 is also actively engaged in the community, with 52% of respondents saying they are actively involved in the issues they care about.

More information and the complete report can be found on the Franklin Tomorrow website.