Some of the e-scooter drop zones in Schaerbeek, Source: Schaerbeek Municipality

Brussels residents feel squeezed out by new e-scooter drop zones

Brussels residents feel squeezed out by new e-scooter drop zones

In the municipality of Schaerbeek, the new designated parking spots mean 1000 m2 less public space for pedestrians

Last week, it became compulsory to park e-scooters and bicycles in designated drop zones in the Brussels region. In that regard, the municipality of Schaerbeek was quick to announce that it had created 185 such drop zones. This, however, has raised a wave of complaints from the grassroots as citizens’ organizations are now criticizing the location of the e-scooter parking spots.

According to The Brussels Times, what residents discovered was that most of these drop zones were placed on the sidewalks and not on the roads. As a result, this immediately meant less public space for pedestrians. In fact, the estimate goes that some 1000 m2  of sidewalks have been lost for the purpose of parking two-wheel vehicles.

"The municipal council does not dare to touch parking spaces, and is therefore holding back the modal shift," said Wiet Vandaele of 1030/0, a local citizen collective committed to road safety.

Activists say drop zones should be at the expense of cars

The estimate was easy to calculate because each drop zone represents a demarcated rectangular box of six square metres. Another way to think of this, by comparison, is that this space is equivalent to 70 parking spots for cars.

Residents are not against the new regulations on compulsory drop zones per se, however, they feel cheated by the fact that it had to come at the expense of pedestrians rather than the expense of cars. In a sense, that feels like a lost opportunity to accelerate the transition from cars to soft mobility or public transport.

The Schaerbeek Municipality, on the other hand, brings up the point that the drop zones have actually made the sidewalks more walkable again since it has decluttered them from abandoned and badly parked e-scooters.



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