Cyclists and e-scooter riders will be allowed to park for free in car parking spaces in Berlin, Germany from January 1st 2023.
The aim is to tackle improperly parked light electric vehicles that block pavements and was announced by Berlin Senate’s Transport Administration.
Berlin-based micromobility operator Tier welcomed the decision but voiced one concern.
“In general, we welcome the Berlin Senate’s decision to ensure a more equitable allocation of space in the city,” Tier’s Head of Corporate Communications Florian Anders told Zag Daily. “However, we see the implementation of the new regulation as problematic, as it could lead to new conflicts with car drivers.”
Anders suggested that creating dedicated parking spaces for micromobility vehicles instead would tackle the problem “directly and permanently”.
The new policy was put forward as part of a wider change in the city’s parking fees, which are due to increase for the first time in 20 years.
By exempting micromobility users from the fee, the Berlin Senate wants to encourage them to use car parking spaces more often to increase traffic safety in pedestrian areas.
There will be a transitional period until e-scooters are no longer allowed to park on pavements, but instead must be parked at collection points or in parking lots on the street. Bicycles on pavements, however, will continue to be tolerated.
“The goal behind it is very clear: I finally want bicycles, scooters, and other small vehicles to disappear from the sidewalks, where they have been legally tolerated until now,” said Mobility Senator Bettina Jarasch to the public German broadcaster RBB.
“The goal of our entire mobility revolution is that we distribute public space differently: more space for the environmental association, less space for cars. Parked cars simply take up too much space in such a dense city.”
This is the latest example of European cities’ efforts to regulate micromobility operations. Recently, Vienna introduced a range of radical regulations in the city and operators suggested major changes in Paris.