Check out the A&B portal!

Parking lots for scooters - a novelty in the city space. It makes sense, but the taxpayer will bear the cost.

05 of April '23

Poznan, unfortunately, no longer has a public bicycle system. Instead, it plans to arrange parking spaces for electric scooters and bicycles for hire. On the one hand, this is a good thing, as the issue of scooters needs to be regulated. On the other - the city will bear the cost generated by private companies. Meanwhile, Paris will completely ban commercial scooters. Maybe this is a good solution?

"Hop@go" - under such a banner, "micromobility points" are to operate in Poznan from September. Only within a large area of the city will it be possible to park an electric scooter or bicycle rented from one of the private companies. The points are to be arranged primarily in places where there were previously stations of Poznań Municipal Bicycle, which - after eleven years of existence and development - ceased operations last November.

Stanowisko hop&go - koncepcja

Hop&go station - concept

source: © ZDM Poznań

The decision by Poznań officials is a reaction to a well-known problem with scooters in almost every major city. The unicycles placed (or even laid) across narrow sidewalks and within transfer points are a danger to people with disabilities (especially the blind and visually impaired ) and seniors. For other pedestrians, especially in busy and heavily trafficked areas, they are a nuisance.

Hulajnogi zostawiane są w silnie uczęszczanych punktach przesiadkowych

Scooters are left at heavily trafficked transfer points - Poznań, Półwiejska/Królowej Jadwigi Street

Photo: Jakub Głaz

because regulations are holey

Unfortunately, scooter rental companies have so far not been too concerned about the problems created by reckless use of their equipment. In Poznan, however, they have managed to convince their representatives of a solution that can be considered a compromise: the city will create mini-parking lots, and service providers will modify the system so that the vehicle cannot be put down outside the "micromobility point." A renter who fails to comply with these rules will continue to pay as if he had not returned the scooter to the operator.

Hulajnogi są duzym problemem na wąskich chodnikach

Scooters are a big problem on narrow sidewalks - Poznan, Strzałowa Street

photo: Jakub Glaz

Such a solution will certainly civilize the issue of abandoned where or vehicles. It should be noted, however, that the costs will be borne by the local government, not by the company making money by renting scooters or bicycles. This is another case of privatizing profits and socializing costs. Why is this happening? The matter is commented on by Dr. Michal Beim, a specialist in urban transportation from the University of Life Sciences in Poznań.

Unfortunately, there are no legal regulations in Poland to enforce the participation of private companies in the costs of the infrastructure serving their vehicles. Despite demands, such a solution has not been introduced along with sensible regulations on the movement and parking of scooters. Therefore, one must appreciate the ways being worked out now to civilize the issue of the operation of these vehicles in the city space.

He adds that he is not aware of the topic of participation being taken up again by government legislators and parliamentarians. He also points out that the issue of charging electric vehicles is asking for a systemic solution . It is currently placing an increasing burden on managers and designers of office buildings and residential buildings.

they will choose in the summer

How many "electromobility points" will be built in Poznań? Ultimately, 170. Their use will be mandatory in the entire area covered by the limited parking zone, that is, in general, in all historic districts with traditional outlying buildings. In addition, the locations after the urban bicycle stations will be supplemented with a pool of parking spaces suggested by vehicle operators. Analysis and selection of these sites is expected to take place in the summer.

Stanowisko hop&go - koncepcja

Hop&go station - concept

Source: © ZDM Poznań

So the situation will be brought under control, as it were. It is a pity, however, that it is, as it were, at the expense of the eliminated city bicycle. The city abandoned this once very popular service, explaining that it had already played its role in encouraging residents to get around by bicycle. The number of renters has also been declining in recent years, however, as a result of the rapid deterioration in the quality of the bikes, problems with renting them, and the abandonment of free access to vehicles for the first 20 minutes of a ride. Instead of forcing an improvement in quality, the city deleted the system, which had been under development for a decade (unlike, for example, Warsaw, where Veturilo bicycles from the same operator as in Poznań will operate this year in a renewed and more efficient version).

Stanowisko zlikwidowanego roweru meijskiego

The stand of the decommissioned Meijski bicycle - Poznań, Dmowskiego Street

some with electricity, others without

So Poznan has given up the muscle-powered, the most environmentally friendly means of transportation, while Paris has gone the other way. As a result of a referendum, it intends to ban rental scooters altogether. Although this was decided by a small number of residents (the turnout was only over 7 percent), the result is binding. Is this a good decision? Michal Beim comments on the decision of Parisians as follows:

Paris can afford such a solution because it operates in a different legal order. Nevertheless, it seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Properly used and parked scooters and electric bicycles enrich the offer of urban mobility. Rather than outright bans, effective ordering should be pursued .

Nevertheless, in Paris, as of September 1, it will no longer be possible to rent a scooter. However, it will remain permissible to move your own equipment of this type.

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast