Instead of cramming cities with ever newer means of transport, transport politicians should finally dare to redistribute spaces – at the expense of the car.
It was high time for e-scooters to be allowed in Germany as well. Because the electric scooters are a low-threshold offer to cover short distances in inner cities. In the best case not only fast, but also with a certain fun factor. But by the admission alone, it will not be more relaxed to move in the city. For scooter drivers need the necessary space. Transport politicians must finally dare to redistribute traffic areas. In the end, this can only be at the expense of motorists, who have to take parking lots or entire lanes away.
The place in the cities is limited. Existing bike paths are often so narrow that a cyclist has to get out onto the road to safely overtake an e-scooter. In many places, it is almost impossible for motorists to comply with the prescribed overtaking distance to a two-wheeler. That the scooter is allowed into the subway is a good thing. But when at peak times the doors of the train are barely closing in front of a crowd of people, this is not getting any better with e-scooters in their luggage.
Therefore, the fears are justified that it will come to more conflicts when motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in the future, the public space must also share with scooter riders. A peaceful coexistence can only exist if there is a spatial juxtaposition. If two-wheel drive is to be safe and comfortable, it needs wider, separate bike paths. And not only at specific points, but nationwide. For this, parking spaces or even car tracks have to give way. Those who can not or do not want to travel on two wheels need affordable and reliable ride-sharing services – and intelligently managed suburban traffic that provides enough capacity at peak times to provide enough space for people and scooters.
But instead of fundamentally changing the infrastructure with the approval of new means of transport, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer practices symbolic politics. Here is a new traffic sign for cyclists, there a higher fine for motorists when they park on bike paths. But the construction of cycle paths is always about new construction projects, for example along federal highways. Where it would be much more urgent – with existing roads in the cities – even after successful wheel decisions associations and initiatives still laboriously to fight for every small piece of space that motorists should give up in favor of two-wheeled drivers.
What use are higher fines for the parking of bike paths, if in the end no one controls? What do e-scooters do when they block sidewalks because providers are flooding cities but no parking space has been created for them? Subsequent sanctioning produces nothing but frustration. And that is directed against the wrong: against the allegedly evil scooter riders, the reckless cyclists or the brazen taxi driver. He should, however, turn against the traffic politicians. They always tell the fairy tale that you do not have to take anything away from anyone, and yet everyone could be more relaxed. They break smart concepts for new forms of mobility.
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