Block Island Times

Council approves moped ordinance changes

The Town Council held two meetings on rental mopeds on March 4. At 7:00 p.m., the council unanimously approved license renewals for the five current moped rental businesses in less than 10 minutes.
At the noon public hearing on proposed amendments to the moped ordinance, however, the attorney for those businesses asserted the changes “are legally impermissible” and threatened legal action if the council adopted them.
The council did approve the amendments immediately after the public hearing, to take effect “upon passage,” meaning they apply to the 2021 licenses renewed that evening.
The vote to adopt the amendments passed 3-2, with Second Warden Sven Risom and Councilors Keith Stover and Mark Emmanuelle in favor, and First Warden André Boudreau and Councilor Martha Ball against.
The amendments specify the location and type of training that moped renters must undergo before going on the road, and shorten the hours that mopeds may be operated.
Currently, most moped training takes place on a public street, Weldon’s Way, and is a frequent impediment to the flow of traffic there. The change in rules requires the moped owners to submit a site plan with their license applications that specifies a “vehicle proficiency area”

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