MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For many, e-scooters are a fast and fun way to get around. But for people with disabilities like Noah J. McCourt, those two wheels are terrifying.
“When they come hurdling at you … it makes me feel like I am going into meltdown mode,” McCourt said.
He lives with autism and developmental coordination disorder, and says the scooters cause him major anxiety, and are impossible to get around.
“I don’t know how someone with a wheelchair or someone with a mobility impairment or someone with even a vision impairment is supposed to get groceries. What are people with disabilities supposed to do?” said McCourt.
The disability rights advocate is now suing Lime and Bird scooters, as well as the city of Minneapolis. In the lawsuit, he alleges the city and those private companies have failed to maintain accessibility of the city’s public sidewalks, curb ramps and cross walkways for people with disabilities.
“People with disabilities deserve to use the sidewalks as much as anybody else,” said McCourt.
He tells WCCO he has reached out to city leaders about his concerns, but hasn’t heard anything back. McCourt insists the goal of this lawsuit isn’t money — it’s change.
“I hope we can work together to come to a solution, but there does need to be a solution,” he said.
WCCO did reach out to all the parties involved. The city of Minneapolis isn’t commenting on the lawsuit at this time.
Bird also doesn’t comment on litigation, but has not operated in the city since November of last year.
A Lime spokesperson provided the following statement:
While we can’t comment on active litigation, Lime is committed to finding a solution that works for everyone. Dockless micromobility significantly improves the quality of life for millions of people around the world, but as we run into challenges, the onus is on us to innovate and educate. That’s why we’ve engaged disability advocates and continue to educate riders and the community about proper riding and parking etiquette to ensure scooters are parked in an orderly, respectful way.