Copenhagen to borrow ideas from Aarhus in bid to tidy poorly-parked scooters

Rental electric scooters are often easy to spot in Copenhagen – they are commonly left parked on the pavement.

Copenhagen to borrow ideas from Aarhus in bid to tidy poorly-parked scooters
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

That has resulted in authorities in the capital considering a strict approach to scooters that fall out of line with traffic regulations.

But the Ministry of Transport has asked Copenhagen to listen to advice from second city Aarhus, which has tackled the two-wheeled issue differently. The large quantity of rental bicycles and electric scooters on Copenhagen’s streets has been a source of frustration in the capital, newspaper Politiken reports.

A majority in the Copenhagen Municipality environmental and city planning committee (Miljø- og Teknikudvalget) voted in favour of consulting the transport ministry with a view to implementing a new approach to managing the rental electric scooters, taking into account the experience of Aarhus, the municipality confirmed in a press statement.

Aarhus has looked to implement limits, allowing only one company to operate a maximum of 500 rental bicycles, and one company to operate a maximum of 150 electric scooters in the city.

In Copenhagen, eight different companies currently intend to operate rental electric scooters, while five companies intend to operate rental bicycles, Politiken writes.

“We will be facing genuine chaos if the city’s sidewalks and public spaces suddenly need to fit in eight competing systems for electric scooters and five for bicycles,” Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) party, who heads the municipal committee, told the newspaper.

“That’s why I’m pleased that a majority in the committee has decided to follow the Ministry of Transport’s recommendation to look to Aarhus for inspiration,” Hedeager Olsen added.

Use of the electric scooters on cycle lanes became legal earlier this year, but the scooters are often left in areas of Copenhagen where they do not have permission to be parked, resulting in frustration.

When a user parks the scooter on areas such as pavements or squares, and a subsequent user picks up the vehicle from the same spot, the operating company is renting from public ground without permission, according to the municipality’s assessment.

Three companies currently operating in the city – Voi, Tier and Donkey – have until March 22nd to register objections with the municipality before it orders them to remove their electric bicycles and scooters from streets, Politiken reports.

But the municipality is also responsible for coming up with a plan on how to accommodate the rental light transport in the longer term, the Ministry of Transport has said.

The ministry is generally in favour of the companies, since they fit with an overall political desire for green, shared transport options, the newspaper writes.

READ ALSO: Up to 200 electric scooters to appear on streets of Copenhagen

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Zurich to take action over soaring number of bicycle accidents

The number of accidents involving bicycles in the city of Zurich has doubled in the eight years prompting officials to announce safety measures.

Zurich to take action over soaring number of bicycle accidents
Inadequate infrastructure has been identified as a cause of bike accidents in Zurich. File photo: Depositphotos

A total of 541 bike riders were injured in the city in 2018 – 73 more than in 2017 and up from 264 in 2011, according to figures released by Zurich’s traffic department on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the number of accidents involving e-bikes last year rose to 89, which is 24 more than a year earlier.

“Bicycle accidents and their consequences are an unsolved problem in Zurich,” said the traffic department in a statement.

Officials attributed the rising number of bicycle accidents to the increasing popularity of cycling in general and to the fact that current infrastructure was not designed for such a large number of bike riders.

But the department said “incorrect behaviour” and lack of vehicle control on the part of cyclists and other road users were part of the problem.

Zurich now plans to focus on improving safety for cyclists by identifying and redeveloping bicycle accident hot spots and by running targeted public awareness campaigns.

In a separate statement on Thursday, cantonal police in Zurich said there had been a total of 1,353 accidents involving bicycles or e-bikes across the whole canton of Zurich in 2018. This was up from 1,267 a year earlier.

Cantonal police said the warm, dry summer last summer was partly responsible for the rise in the number of these accidents.