Paris bans parking of electric scooters on pavement

An official moves electric scooters from car parking spaces into those for motorcycles on a road in Paris.
An official moves electric scooters from car parking spaces into those for motorcycles on a road in Paris.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Paris authorities on Thursday (June 6) announced a ban on parking electric scooters on the pavement, in a new crackdown on the fashionable two-wheeled contraptions as pedestrians complain of growing safety risks.

Scooters "must be left in parking spaces designated for cars and motorised two-wheel vehicles", the city's mayor Ms Anne Hidalgo said in a press conference.

She also banned scooters from parks and gardens in a string of measures which will start coming into force from next month.

Apps such as Lime, Bolt, Wind and Flash - whose scooters have invaded streets in recent months - should also cut speed limits to 20kmh around the capital, or 8kmh in pedestrian areas, Ms Hidalgo said.

Around 20,000 electric scooters have appeared on the French capital's streets since last year, causing tensions that have also been seen in cities worldwide from Madrid to Los Angeles.

Fans have embraced scooters as a quick and cheap way to get around, since the "dockless" devices are unlocked with a phone app and can be left anywhere when a ride is finished.

That is exactly the problem, critics say, pointing to scooters strewn across the city's stately squares or abandoned in piles littering narrow sidewalks, to the bane of people hauling groceries or pushing prams.

Paris has already introduced fines of €135 (S$207) for riding electric scooters on the pavement.

They have also been used as makeshift weapons by protesters, who have hurled them at police in the weekly "yellow vest" protests which erupted last November.