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Choose your sideThe idea behind the Rift is simple: for each topic of debate, we provide you with an expertise based on a pro-con approach, written by competent and legitimate experts. We want to help you make your own opinion, and guide you on first steps to civic engagement.
Sidewalks: spaces of high risk!
President, 60 Millions de Piétons (60 millions of pedestrians)
Current observations are edifying: cyclists, drivers of motorized two-wheelers, e-scooters circulate and park with impunity on the sidewalks, to the detriment of serenity and security of pedestrians, visually impaired and deaf persons, children, parents with strollers, elderly persons and others. Sidewalks are a real jungle. Besides, their speed is incompatible with the normal speed of a pedestrian, which is less than 4km/h. Walking through a town became a real combat route, to which we must add all the other issues: uncontrolled parking, urban properties, abusive terraces, car park studs, parking meters, flower boxes, trash bins, movable advertising panels… The space devoted to pedestrians narrows dramatically.
It brings disabled and frail people to to stay confined to their homes
The feeling of security of pedestrians when they are on the sidewalk is transforming into anxiety, because of an invasion of this part of traffic. It generates accidents and brings disabled and frail people to to stay confined to their homes. Aging population is increasing, and it must be taken into account.
In the current context of galloping accidentology linked to a lack of awareness of users of this e-scooters, which are violating national traffic laws, I cannot imagine that a Mayor would take the responsibility to authorize these motors to circulate freely, with crazy speed, on spaces reserved for pedestrians. I would like to highlight at this occasion that medical professionals are worried about serious injuries suffered by pedestrians and provoked by these accidents, and that they have alerted the authorities on this issue. There have been deaths to mourn since the beginning of this year. In case of accidents with pedestrians linked to municipal authorizations for e-scooters circulation on the sidewalks, the Mayor’s legal responsibility will be triggered.
On the contrary, if this practice remains illegal, naturally the offender is held responsible for his acts.
Security of pedestrians comes with a real definition of the sidewalk
Moreover, these vehicles are not registered, which encourages offenders to leave the scene in case of an accident, so finding the responsible person seems impossible.
Security of pedestrians comes with a real definition of the sidewalk, and with a continuous repression of infractions. Walking is the most common way of transport, we must promote it!
E-scooters are synonym of modern cities
Europe Middle-East Africa Chef Operating Officer, Wind mobility
GGE-scooters should not be banned. In recent years, e-scooters have become synonymous with modern cities, not just in Europe but across the globe. You only need to look at cities such as Bordeaux and Nice to see there is public demand for micro-mobility solutions that offer a more enjoyable and efficient way of getting around.
It’s crucial to work collaboratively rather than banning
However, as some critics have pointed out, there is a need to introduce e-scooters in a responsible way. Here at Wind, we believe it’s crucial that local authorities keep up with this pace of change and work collaboratively with innovative start-ups, rather than banning them due to a fear of the new. In Barcelona, city officials told us that scooters discarded on the pavements was an issue, so we worked with local partners to introduce designated parking bays close to the city centre.
Similarly, we are aware that some people have reservations about the safety of e-scooters. As with any new form of transport, innovation is the key to improving safety measures. For example, we recently invested in developing our new scooter model to include bicycle-style handbrakes which allow the ride to stop more smoothly, and two bright lights to increase visibility.
Scooters also offer a solution to the ever-increasing number of cars on our roads, providing an environmentally-friendly alternative to reduce air pollution significantly.
Scooters provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to reduce air pollution
As long as city officials are open to working with e-scooter companies, and the companies themselves continue to prioritise safety and sustainability, e-scooters have the power to solve many of the financial and environmental transport problems that modern cities face. E-scooters will be a fixture in the world’s most vibrant cities for many years to come.