E-scooters moved away from East Melbourne corner after being “stacked” onto footpath
E-scooters have been excluded from parking at an East Melbourne intersection after concerns were raised of the devices being “stacked” along a footpath during an AFL night match at the MCG.
Residents had reported several e-scooters overflowing onto the footpath at the corner of Jolimont Terrace and Jolimont St after footy fans attended a Friday night season-opening clash between Collingwood and Geelong on March 17.
Global electric scooter company Lime, which is running a 12-month trial of e-scooters in the City of Melbourne, said it was made aware of the issue and had implemented a “no parking zone” to “prevent this from occurring again”.
“Based on the parking on Saturday and Sunday’s match (of the opening round), this issue has now been resolved and parking has moved away from this corner. We have also moved to designated parking zones in this area to help control parking when there is an influx of visitors to the MCG,” a statement from Lime said.
The no parking zone will be built into Lime’s app, and alert riders when they are entering the corner of Jolimont Terrace and Jolimont St.
“If a rider attempts to complete their trip outside the parking zone, a pop-up message will appear, informing them of the parking requirements and prompting them to move the vehicle to a designated parking location,” the statement said, adding there were 13 designated parking locations surrounding the area, which avoided any obstruction of footpaths.
“Until the rider moves the vehicle to a parking zone, the rider will not be able to end their trip, providing guidance to ensure parking compliance success.”
In accordance with the trial rules, e-scooters must not be ridden on footpaths and instead only on bicycle lanes, shared paths, and lower-speed roads (up to 50km/h).
The no parking zone measure was welcomed by residents and the East Melbourne Group (EMG), the local residents’ group, with the issue resolved within 24 hours.
“Recently we were made aware of the ‘stacking’ of scooters on footpaths in Jolimont prior to the AFL game between Geelong and Collingwood. When made aware of this careless and dangerous parking of scooters on the footpaths, blocking pedestrians, we immediately contacted the providers and had the matter rectified,” the EMG’s planning convenor Greg Bisinella said.
Mr Bisinella noted the EMG had been supportive of the e-scooter trial being run by Neuron and Lime, which “have conducted themselves in a mostly responsible manner”.
“However, at times, customers of these companies have been acting unlawfully and somewhat recklessly. We have all witnessed dangerous riding on footpaths, accidents, failing to wear helmets, and inappropriate parking of scooters,” he said.
“We would like to see more adequate parking facilities for scooter made available at the MCG and a police presence pre and post major events at the MCG to ensure rider compliance.”
Victoria Walks executive officer Ben Rossiter said there were still many problems with the current e-scooter trial with footpaths in general still made to “feel much less safe for many in our community”.
“One of the e-scooter trial’s fundamental flaws is that it allows and actively encourages parking on footpaths, meaning most trips start or end with illegal footpath riding,” he said.
There are many people who rely on walking to get places in Melbourne, including older adults, people with vision impairment and parents and carers with young children. Everyone has a right to feel safe in the city.
Lime said when parking, riders should park to the side of the footpaths.
“Riders should not park in the middle of footpaths, cycleways or on the road in a way that would hinder pedestrians. We continue to educate and audit our riders’ parking to ensure that they are doing so appropriately,” it said.
“Lime continues to work with riders to ensure parking compliance increases and is looking to expand designated parking zones, which is a key goal we share with the city and other e-scooter operators. We continue to make progress and are always pushing for further change and innovation.”
Victoria Walks reported two incidents in recent months of pedestrians being seriously hurt, however this did not occur within the City of Melbourne.
One woman, 57, of Abbotsford, suffered a hairline fracture after attempting to move a hire e scooter out of the way, while another woman, 59, broke her wrist after she tripped over an e-scooter parked over a Brunswick tram stop. •