Local Round-Up: Scooters officially back, but at what cost to the suppliers?

The Naked Cowboy is also launching a comeback … and he’s been promoted to the role of sheriff

A transport expert doubts scooter firms Voi and Bolt will be able to turn a profit following their green light to launch operations in the capital region today. 

According to the terms of their tender, the two companies can collectively operate 3,200 scooters, but there are severe limitations on where people can end their journey. 

Strict rules in busy areas
Unless you are making a temporary stop with the ‘meter running’, it is illegal to stop using a scooter in a ‘busy urban area’, so the entire city centre is off-bounds, along with large parts of Vesterbro, Østerbro, Amager and Christianshavn. 

In these four city districts, it will only be possible to leave a scooter in a designated zone. 

Should a scooter be abandoned in the off-bounds areas, the supplier will be fined 338 kroner, even if the scooter is taken over by another rider.

Too many overheads
Harry Lahrmann, a traffic researcher from Aalborg University, thinks the scooter firms face the same challenge as the bicycle companies. 

“These kinds of rental businesses never do well economically because they require a lot of people to service them. It’s insanely expensive,” he told DR.

However, scooters might have a future in Denmark, as Lahrmann could not rule out more private individuals buying their own.

World War II bomb found during prep work for Lynetteholm
A World War II bomb, discovered near the proposed site of the man-made island of Lynetteholm, was last week defused by Danish Navy divers. It was found on the seabed between Refshaleøen and Nordhavn by a team using a magnetometer, which locates magnetic objects. The bomb was a German ‘Wasserbombe’ and contained 60 kg of explosives.

Copenhagen one of the worst municipalities for sports in Denmark
Skive Municipality in mid Jutland has the best sporting infrastructure, according to a DIF survey, with Roskilde, Vallensbæk Nordfyn and Thisted completing the top five. The municipalities were assessed according to 21 different parameters across four main areas: volunteering, facilities, financing and policy. Among the notables, only Gentofte (11) performed well, with Frederiksberg (46) Lyngby (68), Aarhus (88) and Copenhagen (93) all performing poorly. 

Handful of municipalities to raise their taxes next year
Ten municipalities will raise their taxes in 2022, while six will see a reduction. The net gain across the country’s municipalities will be 122 million kroner. Gentofte leads the way with a 0.37 percent rise, followed by Fanø (0.2) and Lemvig (0.15). The biggest falls can be seen in Norddjurs and Kalundborg (both -0.2). 

Dannebrog row at City Hall
A row has broken out at City Hall over whether the Dannebrog should be hung in its main meeting room. Dansk Folkeparti would like to see it displayed, but red bloc quartet SF, Enhedslisten, Radikale and Socialdemokratiet are against the idea. Socialdemokratiet reasoned that the decoration, which includes a photo of the mayor and the tree of life, is pleasing enough without the flag. The municipalities of Frederiksberg, Roskilde, Tårnby, Køge and Helsingør all have the flag, as does Parliament, DF argues back.

Cocaine discovered at Valby kindergarten
Three bags of cocaine have been discovered at the Isbjørnen kindergarten in Valby, police have confirmed to BT. “We are both shocked and sad that someone could choose the kindergarten’s playground to hide drugs,” a spokesperson for Isbjørnen told the newspaper. Sniffer dogs were unable to find any more cocaine at the kindergarten. 

Niels Bohr Building opening postponed again
A great number of deficiencies have been found at the Niels Bohr Building, postponing its opening date by another six months to 2022. Many of the deficiencies relate to fixtures designed to contain fire. Fixing the issues will make the building even more expensive. The original cost of 1.6 billion kroner (when construction began in 2013) has now risen to over 5 billion kroner. In the meantime, the University of Copenhagen’s annual rent has risen from 78 to more than 200 million kroner. The building was originally scheduled to open in 2016. 

Canopy proposal for motorway adopted by City Hall
A proposal to put a canopy over the Øresund Motorway in Ørestad – the last stretch of the E20 before it heads to Sweden – has been adopted by the Technical and Environmental Committee at City Hall. The proposal would complement plans outlined by the recently agreed 2035 Infrastructure Plan to add additional lanes to the motorway to ease congestion. The canopy should reduce noise pollution and create more urban space.

Dismay at postponement to plans to build onshore power plant for ships
Politicians and residents have expressed dismay after plans to establish an onshore power plant to provide electricity to visiting ships were postponed by a year. City Hall and the Transport Ministry made the announcement to let the pollution continue for another year, as docked ships need to keep their power on to harness electricity. By & Havn, which recently took over the task of building the power plant from its subsidiary Copenhagen Malmö Port, confirmed over the summer that the project had been delayed due to technical reasons, but not by how long.

Free large items galore at Amager recycling station
The recycling station on Vermlandsgade in Amager now has a 500 sqm area where it is possible to pick up (or drop off) large items such as furniture – similar to the sheds in communal gardens where residents can leave unwanted items – without any charge. The area is subdivided into categories such as Furniture, Lamps, Toys, Books, Garden, Living Room and Kitchen. Vermlandsgade Genbrugsstation is located at Herjedalgade 2-4 near the Kløvermarken playing fields.

Inclined parking yields extra spaces in Nørrebro and Østerbro
On ten different streets in Nørrebro and Østerbro, City Hall is busy finding room for 167 extra parking spaces – 126 and 41 respectively. The Technical and Environmental Administration is making it possible by introducing inclined parking, which requires motorists to back downhill into a space. The spaces should be ready in early November 2021.

Bird-proof street bin implementation busy across Copenhagen
All street bins in Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Østerbro, Bispebjerg, Vanløse and the city centre are currently being replaced by bird-proof ones. The new taller bins are being referred to as ‘
pizzakurve’ because they are designed so a pizza box will comfortably fit into one. The bins, which have lids to keep the birds out and can be machine-emptied, are not being replaced 1:1. For example, at Nørrebro Station, 25 of the old bins will be replaced by just five pizzakurver. In total, there will be 9 percent fewer bins, but the capacity for rubbish will increase by 7 percent.

Naked cowboy back, but restyled as ‘Sheriff of Amager’
You might remember John Wagner from the 2015 General Election, an independent candidate who posed as a ‘naked cowboy’ on campaign posters, wearing only a cowboy hat and a leather pistol holster strapped to his leg, with his penis visible. Well, he’s competing in next month’s local elections in Copenhagen, seeking representation on the city’s municipal council with Kærlighedspartiet (the love party) as the self-billed ‘Sheriff of Amager’. “It is about giving love and compassion to the people,” he said. “We must not kiss or hug each other, so why not introduce more compassion and sensitivity and respond to citizens’ inquiries in a friendly voice instead of with an answering machine.”

It left little to the imagination in 2015 (photo: Facebook/Stem på Wagner det gavner)