Generally, Manhattan City Commission candidates approve of e-scooters, but are putting an emphasis on safety for both riders and pedestrians.

The eight candidates voiced their thoughts about this topic and more Monday at a public forum sponsored by Downtown Manhattan, Inc.

Vincent Tracey said 20 mph is more than enough for a speed for riders. He suggested riders wear helmets.

Although Linda Morse does not support the e-scooters on Poyntz, she said she does support them generally.

“There’s a place for them,” she said.

Kaleb James said he does not think downtown is a good place for e-scooters, but other places, like Kansas State University, he supports.

Aaron Estabrook and Mary Renee Shirk expressed that e-scooters are a good option for another form of transportation.

“Any decrease in car use improves the lives for all of Manhattan,” Estabrook said.

Shirk suggested e-scooters be treated like bicycles.

“That’s why I’m for better sidewalks, more bike lanes,” Shirk said.

Sarah Siders said K-State and the city should be aligned in implementing policies.

She said safety is the first priority.

Siders said e-scooters can contribute to quality of place in Manhattan.

Maureen Sheahan said she hopes the Riley County Police Department is able to monitor riders, but also recognized that RCPD may not always have time to ticket people who are not following the rules.

“So providing safe spaces for people to ride bicycles, e-scooters, et cetera is a better alternative than more law enforcement,” she said.

Mark Hatesohl said he loved riding the e-scooters in Santa Monica last summer.

He said he thinks there’s a place for them, especially on the K-State campus.

Hatesohl also told a story about when his wife, who was pregnant at the time, was hit by a bicycle in Aggieville 20 years ago. He said the bicyclist was ticketed immediately because there was a police officer nearby.

“There’s just a place for bicycles, there’s a place for e-scooters,” Hatesohl said. “It’s never on the sidewalk in a commercial area.”