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#CityNews: Berlin to tackle the e-scooter epidemic?

Will dedicated parking spots save the day? (Photo: Jonas Jacobsson)

Berliners, rejoice: e-scooters may be getting their own parking spots. Finally.

News from the land of e-scooters, those rechargeable jokes of the sharing economy. Since June they’ve arrived in Berlin — and with them, trouble. So far they’ve been involved in 38 traffic incidents across the city, there’s shaky tandem-usage everywhere — not to mention the grotty conditions for workers who charge the scooters at home. But, a small piece of good news: they can now no longer be abandoned at Brandenburg Tor or the Holocaust Memorial. Berlin’s Green Party Senator for Transport, Regine Günther, has declared these spaces an e-scooter exclusion zone. And, from 2020 onwards, the kerbs will stay scooter-free, too. Too often these vehicles are left lying around, blocking the way.

Instead, district councils want to establish dedicated parking spaces for e-scooters on the streets. On the one hand, this is understandable as the scooters annoy pedestrians and become tripping hazards. And carelessly-left scooters endanger people with disabilities or with pushchairs. But, on the other hand, not having to look for a parking spot is a significant part of the rental e-scooter’s allure. Sadly it seems that another promising idea is failing thanks to careless usage.

Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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