By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 31, 2018 at 11:56 AM

This morning the Milwaukee Common Council took up the issue of Bird dockless scooters in Milwaukee and voted, 12-2, on an ordinance to soft ban the scooters, based on state law prohibiting their use.

The new law allows the city to impound the scooters, and while the ordinance includes no fines for riders, Bird will have to pay $100 per confiscated scooter to get them out of impound. However, according to Urban Milwaukee, the legislation, introduced by Ald. Bob Bauman, "also creates a clear pathway for the scooters to become legal," or a pilot program, if state law is changed, an idea that Bauman had previously floated. 

Alds. Khalif Rainey and Tony Zielinski cast the two dissenting votes.

Zielinksi was lead sponsor of a resolution, in the words of a council press release, "directing Milwaukee’s Department of Administration - Intergovernmental Relations Division to seek introduction and passage of state legislation to allow for the operation of motorized scooters."

That resolution passed unanimously.

Bird, which delivered dozens of scooters to Milwaukee just in time for Summerfest in June, had urged supporters to attend the Council meeting and some showed up, but the turnout was not huge. Based on reports and photographs, it appears that around 20 supporters, some holding hand-lettered signs, were on hand.

Next, the ordinance goes to Mayor Tom Barrett to be signed. After that, the City could begin impounding the scooters. 

For more background, read this op-ed by Ald. Bauman and this one by a supporter of Bird scooters.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.