On 2 April, Paris residents will have the chance to decide whether e-scooters should go extinct from local streets, Source: Depositphotos

Paris to decide whether to ban e-scooters with referendum

Paris to decide whether to ban e-scooters with referendum

Could this be the first major city to turn its back on the soft mobility option that has taken the urban landscapes by storm?

More than four years after first introducing them, Paris might have had enough of scooter-sharing services and the resultant issues that come in their wake. Quite surprisingly, this past weekend, Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that she will let citizens decide on whether to continue having the two-wheelers on the city’s streets or whether to ban them.

This will happen through a special voting session to be held on 2 April. Personally, Mayor Hidalgo told Le Parisien that she wants the e-scooters gone but ultimately it is something that the residents ought to decide as the issue is quite divisive.

To scoot or not to scoot, that is the question

E-scooters have taken major cities around the world by storm, offering unprecedented access to cheap and easy mobility options, especially in modern crowded urban spaces. Plus, they are considered part of the burgeoning future sustainable face of transport, which is quiet and friendly to the atmosphere.

Still, it turned out that they also come with their set of problems, given their dubious safety records, which has caused countless accidents, injuries and even deaths. What’s more, they are competing with pedestrians and bicycles for the sidewalks and parking spots – improperly parked scooters have proven to be a hurdle to deliveries or even safe passage on the pavement.

These very issues have also been plaguing Paris, where the local administration has tried various means to rein in the chaos caused by the electric two-wheelers. For one, the licenses to offer such services were cut down from 12 in 2019 to now only 3 companies offering scooter-sharing in the French capital.

Additionally, the administration limited the scooter speed limits and imposed rules about their parking. Yet, complaints keep piling on. The issue is divisive, though as there is a segment of the population, such as young people who are quite keen on using the service, and the same goes for many tourists.

This will be the first local referendum organized by the French capital since the constitutional revision of 2003. And only one other French city has held a voting process on the question of transport policy. This was the case with Strasbourg in 2011, which asked residents whether to limit vehicle speed to 30 km/h. The voters said ‘no’ in that case.



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