University Place to hold public meeting on motorized scooters and pocket bikes

The University Place Community Oriented Public Safety (COPS) committee will hold a public discussion about regulating the use of pocket bikes and motorized scooters on Thursday, April 7 from 6-8 p.m. in Town Hall, 3715 Bridgeport Way W.

Pocket bikes look and act like real motorcycles, but are roughly one-eighth the size. Common features include a small two-stroke gas engine (between 40 – 50 cubic centimeters in size), front/rear disc brakes, racing tires, fairings, a sturdy yet light weight aluminum or aluminum alloy frame. Performance varies depending on the model and horsepower. Lower-priced models are capable of speeds of more than 25 mph, while some “racing” models can achieve 40-45 mph. Manufacturers recommend against riding these bikes on streets or sidewalks as they are not designed for this purpose.

A motorized scooter is usually a thin metal board, about 3 inches to 4 inches wide, with two small wheels, one in front and one in back. Attached to the front of the board is a tall vertical metal bar with a horizontal “T” bar at the top, functioning as a handlebars. The scooters are typically equipped with either a small two-cycle gasoline engine or an electric motor and a battery. Depending on the type of engine, speeds can range from 8 mph to 28 mph.
University Place currently requires riders of pocket bikes and motorized scooters to wear helmets while riding and restricts the use of these vehicles in city parks. Citizens will be invited to share their thoughts on whether more stringent requirements should be put in place.

The recommendations of the COPS committee will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration.