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Bird scooters now officially welcomed at Country Club Plaza after safety concerns

Experience riding a Bird scooter in downtown Kansas City

Reporter Luke Harbur straps three GoPros to his body to show you how to ride the new Bird scooters in downtown Kansas City.
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Reporter Luke Harbur straps three GoPros to his body to show you how to ride the new Bird scooters in downtown Kansas City.

The Bird ban at the Country Club Plaza has been lifted.

Bird Rides Inc., the Los Angeles company that in July suddenly dropped electric scooters on the streets of Kansas City, placed a notice on its app earlier this month asking people not to ride or drop the scooters off on the Plaza.

Plaza General Manager Meredith Keeler at the time said safety instances “resulted in numerous customer and tenant complaints.”

But on Thursday, the app advisory was gone.

City officials also announced it Thursday morning at City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing.

“Following recent conversations with representatives of the Country Club Plaza and Plaza area business owners regarding rider education programs, Bird is lifting the ‘No Ride Zone’ distinction for this area,” the company said in a statement.

Bird added that it is inviting the Plaza to partner on a helmet giveaway event and it offered to deploy “safety ambassadors” in the area.

Keeler issued a brief statement.

“Plaza officials met with Bird and conveyed our concerns over the safety of our customers,” it said. “We will continue to encourage Bird and City representatives to do all they can to ensure pedestrian and passenger safety.”

Keeler offered no details.

Bird did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In late July, Bird and the city reached an agreement that allows the company to place up to 500 scooters in Kansas City. Riders are supposed to stay off sidewalks and observe the same traffic laws as bicyclists do.

Bird users locate scooters with a smartphone app, pay $1 to unlock them and then 15 cents per minute until they reach their destination. Bird employees use GPS to retrieve the scooters, recharge them and place them in designated “nests” for the next users.

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