Vote on ban in Paris: Life without e-scooters is possible
It’s quite nice to cruise around on electric scooters. But there are also good reasons against the companions. Paris is now voting on them.
E-scooters are the fast food of mobility. You can borrow them quickly, reach your goal quickly and get rid of them quickly. For longer distances, the same applies as when you are very hungry: the electric standing roll is not really fun when enjoyed beyond measure, but it quickly becomes really expensive. Also, other people like to wrinkle their noses.
Which has reasons. When not in use, these things get in the way ugly and get in the way, when used they are often even more annoying, namely when people – mostly men, as always – lurch with them back and forth across sidewalks. In this case, the silence of the scooters, which is otherwise thankful, ensures absolutely unnecessary moments of shock.
For some, this is more than just annoying: especially those who cannot see well, their trouble with the scooters, which are unexpectedly lying on the sidewalk, sometimes piled up and tilted like steel anti-tank traps. The German Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired protested for a long time against the supposedly smart vehicles, just like the pedestrian lobby association Fuss e. V
So there would be good reason to question the existence of the Companions, as is happening in Paris right now. This Sunday, people in the French capital will vote on whether or not e-scooters should continue to exist.
In this country, politicians are meanwhile trying to regulate things. The private providers with the imaginative one-syllable names should be given the chance to save their business model, in particular by preventing disorderly parking. There are now many rules and sometimes also return zones, outside of which a check-out is technically not possible.
A lot of trips are only made at all because it’s nice to jet around a bit electrically
In practice, this works poorly. There are far too few parking zones, and many users are not interested in the fact that the scooters are not allowed to stand in front of the subway exit or should leave a defined width of footpath in meters. Some supplier companies make a mobile phone photo a condition for the return, in reality it is also completely blurred – and who is actually supposed to control everything?
The providers themselves are eagerly waving the flag of the traffic turnaround when it comes to e-scooters. “Sustainably changing mobility” is the slogan of one of the companies, which raves about how smoothly the rolling batteries, brimming with climate-neutral electricity, move towards “seamless” city traffic. Many German city administrations happily bite at this bait.
The joke: one Study by the Federal Environment Agency has shown that the use of e-scooters replaces trips by public transport and bicycle or footpaths in the vast majority of cases, and very rarely by car. And a lot of trips are only made at all because it’s just nice to jet around a bit electrically.
Like I said: fast food. For that also applies that in individual cases it can be quite tasty or actually satisfies an elementary need. And just as it would seem absurd to many to ban food just because it is unhealthy, the Paris vote on the future of “scooters” now seems completely exaggerated to some.
Incidentally, this would probably be clearly in favor of the scooters if tourists could take part. They probably benefit most from the fact that in Prague and Madrid, Lisbon and London you always find the same providers and a low-threshold opportunity to explore the city.
On the other hand, there is also an EU country, the Netherlands, in which the vehicles are not permitted at all due to a loophole in the regulations. And that in Amsterdam, for example, visitors stay away because they can’t curve around (or into) the canals while standing hasn’t been heard of before. Life without a scooter is possible.