Friday, 01 March 2019
The commune of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode took the decision, on Tuesday, to clamp down on electric scooters which block the streets, by prohibiting chaotic parking which has occurred up to now. The information, first reported by several media sources, was confirmed by the commune’s Mayor Emir Kir. Through passing a communal law, marked out areas will be set up to free pavements of scooters at the Place Saint-Josse, Place Rogier, Esplanade Madou and near the Botanique metro station. The new regulations will be discussed in the forthcoming Saint-Josse communal council, which meets on March 13th.
Given the resounding success of scooters in the development of so-called “soft mobility”, the Mayor considers it necessary to establish a framework to regulate their use. “Obviously everyone is in favour of pollution-free alternatives, but there are increasing numbers of electric bikes and scooters on the pavements here. They prevent pedestrians in general and persons with reduced mobility from easily passing. Such people are also put at risk when these bike and scooter users ride on the pavements at high speed.”
The problem is common in Saint-Josse, given the commune’s high density. There are a multitude of small streets in the area with straight pavements, thereby increasing such users’ need for speed.
The Mayor also says that safety in public spaces is the commune’s responsibility. “It is perfectly acceptable at a given time to take measures to safeguard the safety and conviviality of public spaces, whilst providing for identified locations to park bikes and mopeds,” says Emir Kir. “The public has no right as such obstruct the pavements.”
When the new regulations are adopted, scooters left on the pavements will be confiscated and violations of the law more widely penalised. The Communal Administrative Penalties (SACs) go up to €350. Users may thus see their improper behaviour sanctioned. However, in addition, companies such as Lime, which make scooters available must also pay fines to recover such vehicles belonging to them.
The Brussels Times