Walla Walla parking enforcement scooter goes green

The city's parking enforcement officer has a new set of wheels: a quiet electric scooter.



City of Walla Walla Parking Enforcement Ofc. Liz Stroe drives the city's new electric scooter along Alder Street. The vehicle went into service early this month, replacing the old gas-powered tricycle cart used for parking enforcement. (Dec. 29, 2010)

WALLA WALLA -- A venture into green technology by the city of Walla Walla is humming right along.

A new all-electric parking enforcement scooter is now prowling downtown streets. It has replaced the gas-powered cart which had been in service since 1999, said Police spokesman Tim Bennett.

The 2010 GEM Utility scooter went into service on Dec. 7. The near-silent cart has a top speed of about 25 mph and can go about 30 miles for 60 cents worth of electricity. The 72-volt battery system is recharged by being plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet.

"It scoots around pretty good. It corners on a dime," said Liz Stroe, city parking enforcement officer. The four-wheeled vehicle is also more stable than the old tricycle cart due to the weight of the batteries slung underneath the vehicle.

The city purchased the cart from the Kennewick-based Paul Parish Limited company. The firm was the low bidder with a price of $14,059.36, Bennett said.

Stroe said she uses the scooter primarily to patrol the city's three, two-hour limit parking lots and along Alder Street, alternating driving it with foot patrols.

U-B writer Vicki Hillhouse contributed to this report. Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.


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