‘Inherently unsafe’ – Why Paris readers want e-scooter rental schemes banned

E-scooters - an essential new part of the Paris' transportation landscape or a dangerous menace to pedestrians and motorists alike? Readers of The Local weighed in on whether the city should ban rental schemes.

'Inherently unsafe' - Why Paris readers want e-scooter rental schemes banned
Rental electric scooters are seen on a sidewalk in Paris, on September 4, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

A menace to public safety or a handy to get around the city? As Paris’ city hall contemplates banning trottinnette (electric scooter) rental schemes, The Local asked readers what they think of these zippy transportation alternatives, and whether they should stick around.

Over 80 percent said they would be in favour of banning the E-scooter rental schemes, with several respondents focusing on how they pose a danger to both the riders and nearby pedestrians.

You can see the survey results below:

Credit: The Local, screenshot from Typeform

Of the 76 respondents who voted “Yes,” many felt strongly that the devices ought to be banned, like Alex Thanos who said that “they are dangerous to both users and pedestrians. The machines often litter our sidewalks and streets many users are lawless and put innocents in potentially harmful situations.”

Another respondent, Erinn Ma, said she was in favour of a ban: “Paris is a busy city with enough traffic issues and scooter riders are often adding to the danger by not following basic safety rules.”

Ma and Thanos may find common ground with Paris’ mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who was reportedly leaning toward banning the free-float E-scooter fleets, currently represented in Paris by three brands: Dott, Lime, and Tier.

The ban would not affect people who buy their own trottinettes, but would affect the fleets of scooters that are available throughout the city to hire by the hour through an app.

Despite the anti-scooter sentiments, these devices have risen significantly in popularity in recent years. According to data compiled by Euronews, “free-floating E-scooters [were] used by over 450,000 people in Paris in September alone.”

Some enjoy the devices because they are seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to cars. One respondent, Stephen Coulter from Australia said that “they create more transport options which are sustainable.”

Meanwhile, others enjoy them simply because they facilitate getting around the city more quickly, and they help to avoid congested public transportation. 

Gaël Grasset, who lives in Paris, believes the city council should vote to keep E-scooter rental schemes because there is “not enough public transport, too many traffic jams.” For Grasset, these devices represent “one of the few ways to get around the city smoothly.”

Thousands of Paris residents felt similarly to Grasset, and have signed an online petition to make their voices heard.

The petition argues that the E-scooter rental schemes are necessary because of difficulties “piling up in public transport, strikes, fuel shortages” and that it would be “counterproductive to take away electric scooters,” particularly as Paris transforms itself into a bike-friendly and less polluted city.”

One petition respondent said that as a woman, access to E-scooter rental schemes “is a very good way” to travel, “especially at night after work. Night time is dangerous, and what’s more it’s easy, less polluting, sustainable, noiseless, without causing congestion or emissions, I thought that’s all Anne Hidalgo wants for Paris.”

As of November 21st, the petition had garnered over 18,000 votes in favour of keeping E-scooter rental schemes in Paris.

But one primary concern of city hall is that as the scooters have become more popular, there has also been a rise in accidents and deaths. AFP reported that there were 22 scooter-related deaths in 2021 – an increase from the seven deaths in 2020.  

Like other large metropolitan areas, Paris is navigating the best way to keep both riders and pedestrians safe – including asking companies to come up with measures to limit reckless riding, according to AFP. In 2019, the city made it so that electric scooter fleets – or trotinettes eléctrique – could only be rented out by three companies, in an effort to better regulate the devices.

Paris also added E-scooters to the French highway code, making them subject to rules of the road including speed limits and a ban on more than one person per scooter.

Nevertheless, many survey respondents still felt the devices remained too dangerous to remain in use in Paris. In fact, 38 of the 94 respondents either used the word “unsafe” or “dangerous” to describe the scooters. Specifically, many readers noted the fact that riders often do not wear helmets and sometimes go on the sidewalk rather than the street. 

One Paris resident, Tad Frizzel, has had more than one E-scooter related accident, as a pedestrian. “The whole situation is a complete bordel [nightmare],” said Frizzel. “I’ve been hit by them twice in a single day!”

Another city resident, Sandra Polaski told The Local that “the rentals are used by people who don’t know/don’t care about the rules. They pose serious dangers to pedestrians. I don’t know how many times I have jumped out of the way of a young man riding very fast on the sidewalk.”

Some respondents also expressed frustration over the devices being left “in the middle or the street and not parked appropriately.”

Yet, according to E-scooter operators, this issue has been mostly remedied. About 96 percent of the devices are now parked where they should be – meaning most of them are not lying on sidewalks or impeding pedestrians.

On November 16th, Paris deputy mayor David Belliard, who has responsibility for transport in the city, said that a decision regarding the fate of electric scooter rental schemes will be “announced in the coming weeks.”

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French films with English subtitles to watch in June 2023

The cinema club 'Lost in Frenchlation' is back with more screenings of French films with English subtitles in June. Here's what's coming up in Paris, Biarritz and Nice.

French films with English subtitles to watch in June 2023

Lost in Frenchlation is a cinema club that offers English speakers who may not be fluent in French the chance to enjoy French films, by screening new releases with English subtitles to help viewers follow the story.

With four screenings planned for the month of June, as well as an opportunity to take part in the Champs Élysées Film festival and several Q&A’s with cast and crew, this month has plenty to offer for those in the Paris area.

And for those who are located outside of the capital, Lost in Frenchlation has also expended to other locations, such as Biarritz, Caen, Lyon and Nice. This month, there will be screenings in Biarritz and Nice. You can keep up to date with events both inside and outside of Paris on the Lost in Frenchlation website, HERE.

Here’s what’s on this month in Paris:

Quand tu seras Grand – When a nursing home is forced to share space with students at a nearby school while their cafeteria is being remodelled, generations mix and things get a bit complicated. Yannick, a nursing home employee, tries to cope with a lack of funding, as day-to-day life in the nursing home changes for everyone with the addition of the students. Over time, Andrea Bescond and Eric Metayer’s heartwarming film showcases the inter-generational friendships that begin to form between the lonely, elderly residents and the boisterous schoolchildren.

The film will be screened on Thursday, June 8th at 8pm at the Luminor theatre in Paris’ 4th arrondissement. You can arrive early for pre-drinks at 7pm. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with the director. 

Tickets range from €7-€11, depending on whether you qualify for any reductions. You can book in advance here

Disco Boy – Directed by Giacomo Abbruzzese, this is a film about Aleksei, who leaves his home-country of Belarus and joins the French Foreign Legion. He is sent on a mission to the Niger Delta, where he encounters a revolutionary named Jomo, who opposes the oil companies that have taken advantage of his village. Their paths cross when Jomo kidnaps French nationals, and a commando of the Foreign Legion intervenes, led by Aleksei.

The film will be screened on Friday, June 16th. Arrive early for pre-drinks at 7pm and to hear a short introduction by the film crew before the start of the screening at 8pm, at L’Entrepôt Cinema in Paris’ 14th arrondissement.

Tickets range in price from €7 to €8.50, depending on your situation. You can find them online HERE.

You can watch the trailer with French subtitles below:

Champs Élysées Film Festival – While the film screening is still to be announced, you can mark your calendar for June 23rd because starting at 6:30pm you can come take part in the 2023 Champs Élysées Film festival, held at the Publicis Cinema overlooking the avenue and offering an unforgettable rooftop view of the Arc de Triomphe. 

The event will begin with a cocktail hour and then a film screening will take place at 7:30pm followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. 

Tickets range from €30 to €35, and this price gives you a seat in the theatre, as well as unlimited drinks and appetizers during the cocktail hour before. You can reserve HERE. Tickets are only available online.

Hawaii – A film by Melissa Drigeard, “Hawaii” tells the story of a group of French friends vacationing in Hawaii. Everything changes when they all receive an alert that a ballistic missile is coming for the island. Convinced they are going to die, the friends tell each other their “four truths” – confessing to things they had never told anyone before. Once they realise it was a false alarm, the damage has already been done and it’s too late to turn back. 

The film will be screened on Thursday, June 29th at the L’Arlequin Cinéma in the 6th arrondissement, with tickets available online from €13-€15. Arrive as early as 7pm for pre-drink and a stand-up comedy show by Hugo Gertner and Fred Eyangoh. “Hawaii’ will be screened at 8pm.

Hawaii-FA-SANSDATE_VOSTen_Mix-INTERNET-ST_H264-10000_HD_Rec709G24_EV-FA_24ips_20230404 from Lost in Frenchlation on Vimeo.

In Biarritz this June

Jeanne du Barry – Directed by French cinema start Maïwenn, this period piece tells the story of Jeanne, a young working-class woman hoping to climb the rungs of the societal ladder. Once she becomes a favourite of King Louis XV, scandal and drama ensures as she moves to Versailles.

The screening will take place on Thursday, June 22nd at the Cinéma Le Royal at 8 Av. du Maréchal Foch in Biarritz. Tickets range from €4.50 – €7, and you can find them online HERE.

Arrive early at 7pm for pre-drinks, and the screening itself will start at 8pm. 

In Nice this June

Jeanne du Barry – You can find the description for the film above. 

In Nice, the “Jeanne du Barry” will be shown at the Cinéma Rialto theatre (4 rue de Rivoli) on Friday, June 30th, with pre-drinks starting at 7pm and the screening starting at 8pm. 

You can find tickets online at the theatre’s website. Tickets range in price from €7 – €8.50.