The municipality of Uccle wants to ban the parking of shared e-scooters on its territory temporarily. So says the newspaper Le Soir. Mayor Boris Dilliès (MR) and his municipality seek the appropriate legal remedy.
The mayor is tired of the delay in Brussels legislation. Mr. Dilliès has already demarcated several zones where the steps may be left. But to make their use obligatory, however, implementing decrees is required by a Brussels ordinance, which has been waiting for four years.
Mayor Boris Dilliès no longer wants to see the shared e-scooters on the pavement everywhere. E-scooters are handy for those who want to move around in the city, but a significant disadvantage remains in how many users ‘park’ the devices after use.
Often this is done haphazardly on the pavement, without considering the danger and inconvenience this causes to other pavement users. Having an Olympic diploma in ‘Obstacle Avoidance’ or ‘Slalom’ in your pocket can be helpful, so the speak.
To end this practice of wild parking, the Brussels Region wants to introduce drop zones where users of e-scooters will be forced to leave the vehicles at the end of the ride. An ordinance harmonizing the use of e-scooters on the regional territory was, therefore, adopted in March 2022 by the Brussels parliament.
However, the municipality of Uccle does not want to wait any longer for the region’s response since the Brussels government has not yet translated the text into implementing decrees. Therefore, it plans to ban all parking of shared e-scooters on its territory.
According to Le Soir, the main operators recently received a letter of formal notice. In this letter, Uccle demands the removal within ten days of all their scooters on the municipality territory. The municipality also asks them to ensure that no machines remain parked within its borders. The measure does not apply to e-scooters owned by private individuals or to journeys through the municipality.
Waiting for ordinance
Uccle was already removing badly parked machines. However, its mayor believes that this policy has reached its limits. “This does not solve the basic problem,” mayor Boris Dilliès says in Le Soir. “It’s not the job of a municipality to collect e-scooters because users are uncivilized, and the operators don’t care at all. We are, therefore, examining the most solid legal formulas while waiting for the Region to take action and put a definitive end to this problem.”
According to the office of Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen), the decrees will be put on the agenda of the Council of Ministers at the first reading this month. It offers municipalities three possible choices: a total ban, freedom, and regulation.
But because the executive has not yet issued the necessary implementing orders, some municipalities are setting up their own systems. In Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, for example, e-scooters are removed from public spaces where the pavements are not very wide, costing 75 euros.
The municipality of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe has mapped out 30 or so zones, and the operators are fined for e-scooters left outside the zones. And Auderghem also has started to create its own drop zones.
Inertia vs. the risk of having to do it all over again
At the same time, the newspaper La Derrière Heure is wondering whether all this fuss and bother by the mayor of Uccle – his political party is in the opposition in Brussels – is pertinent.
According to the newspaper, since the beginning of this year, the municipality has had 19 badly parked e-scooters removed from its territory and 188 in total in four years. However, nothing prevents the city from setting up more specific drop zones for free-floating e-scooters. “It’s a bit easy always to attack the Region and hide behind its own inertia,” says opposition councilor Emmanuel De Bock (Defi).
At the request of the Brussels government, the maximum speed of e-scooters has been lowered to 20 km/hour in the region and 8 km/hour in the pedestrian zone.
Some operators, like TIER, have also introduced parking restrictions for their users. These cover certain areas in Woluwe, Koekelberg, Berchem, Evere, and Uccle.
And François-Xavier, city manager of TIER in Brussels, Liège, and Roubaix, is clear: “Drop zones are the solution. The ordinance is there. What’s missing is the translation into government decrees. But we understand that the municipalities will not embark on infrastructure or painting work immediately: they risk having to start all over again.”