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Ixelles flooded with electric scooters after Uccle parking ban

09:47 14/04/2023

The Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles has found itself flooded with electric scooters after bordering municipality Uccle issued a ban on them being parked.

Ixelles residents are finding their streets and pavements clogged with the discarded scooters, especially on roads that border Uccle, RTL reports.

While users can drive them through Uccle, they are no longer permitted to park them there on public roads.

Because of this difference in regulations and the municipalities’ refusal to cooperate on the issue, residents say the situation is getting out of hand.

“Two years ago, we started removing badly parked scooters from the public space and impounding them,” Arnaud Carlot, chief of staff of the mayor of Uccle said.

But the problem persisted, so in September 2022, the mayor announced the end of parking electric scooters on public streets there.

Other Brussels municipalities are facing the same issue of pavements that are cluttered with scooters, impeding mobility especially for pedestrians, the elderly, and people in wheelchairs.

But most are aiming to address the problem by setting up drop-zones (designated areas in which a scooter must be parked) with violations subject to steep fines.

“The study that was appointed by the region told us that we had to provide 350 parking spaces for scooters – this is nonsense,” Carlot said.

“Moreover, if we want these spaces to be subsidised, we will have to remove 350 parking spaces in the municipality of Uccle.”

Carlot said that in other cities, the creation of drop zones has not necessarily improved the situation: “The city of Paris has set up drop zones, but despite this, it's still chaos.”

Paris has since banned shared scooters entirely in the French capital.

But for Ixelles, mayor Christos Doulkeridis said municipalities cannot go about solving the problem alone.

“I believe that the solution comes from a strategy that is common to the entire Brussels region and not from isolated strategies,” Doulkeridis said.

“Unfortunately, when a municipality decides to go its own way and work alone, this has an impact on the other neighbouring municipalities.

"If I too did what Uccle is doing, making rules on my own, there are six other municipalities surrounding Ixelles. This would mean that the six other municipalities would be affected because people would park their scooters there.”

Some residents are fed up. “I've already seen scooters left in front of garages, in front of my front door, and so on,” one such resident told RTL.

“I feel sorry for the mums with prams. It's a bit of a mess sometimes. We expect users to take more responsibility.”

Ixelles and other Brussels municipalities are planning to create parking areas for scooters that do not inconvenience others.

“The process has been under way for a month now,” explained Doulkeridis.

“Each of the municipalities is drawing up a place where scooters can be parked. In our case, the plan has already been drawn up. Now we have to draw it on pavements.”

Ixelles hopes to have functioning drop zones by the end of summer.

“In the meantime, I have also asked the police to be attentive and to regularly fine scooters that are badly placed,” the mayor said.

Written by Helen Lyons