19 January 2011

Electric Elderly Boogie in Copenhagen

Elderly Chitchat
Vistors to Copenhagen always get a kick out of the numerous electric scooters that many elderly - or invalid - citizens buzz around on. They are a main feature on the bike lanes, rolling along quietly at modest speeds, providing the driver with a massively-increased mobility radius.

Granted, many elderly citizens continue to ride bicycles, but these subsidised, electric boogie machines are primarily for those with reduced mobility.

I love 'em. Most are virtually homes away from home, decorated and with baskets filled with personal effects, often with pets in the baskets or on laps.
Four Vehicles Heading For The City

Pimp his Ride Share

Elderly Transport Style 'Ears to Him

Cool Car by Harbour Electric Mobility
Here's a funky weather-proof make called Shopper.
Elderly Transport Elderly Transport in the Rain
But an umbrella makes you pretty weather-proof, too.
Overtaking City Hall Square
They don't take up much room and are easy to overtake. As well as providing the user with a nice place to sit and soak up the sun.
Electric Elderly Transport
Just like bicycles, you wear what you'd wear while walking.
Electric Busses
And while we're on Electric Avenue, there are new buses serving Copenhagen's city centre. Electric, of course.

Amsterdam Cycle Chic_14
Amsterdam is starting to see an increasing number of these weird cars showing up on the cycle tracks, too.


Matt said...

I'll categorically state that Mikael Colville-Andersen isn't as cool as an e-bike.

See: http://wellingtoncycleways.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/bicycle-advocate-trash-talking/

My e-bike lets me go further, faster and gives me a grin, and is silent enough to sneak up on ducks. We don't all want to ride at 8km/hr with a pretty basket on the front of our bikes in a pair of high heels.

Joe Dunckley said...

Careful now. We have those in the UK too, but you should really wear yellow and a plastic hat when you ride one. "If someone wasn't careful, they could've hit him off and he could've got seriously hurt and his family wouldn't like that."

Mikael said...

What does that have to do with increased mobility for the elderly on these scooters?

Joe: that's a great clip! thanks for that

Matt said...

@Mikael - "What does that have to do with increased mobility for the elderly on these scooters?"

It might have something to do with this:

"Granted, many elderly citizens continue to ride bicycles, but these subsidised, electric boogie machines - like e-bikes - are primarily for those with reduced mobility"

Your notion that e-bikes are only for the disabled I think is absurd.

Will said...

This is just brilliant. So wonderful to see a city that's happy to let its citizens travel around as they please - regardless of whether they're on an e-bike, scooter, bike, trike, feet, or engine.

Kiwehtin said...

These made me smile. Lots of 'em here in Montreal, tpp. None of the covered ones though, and you only see them out in the summer, like most cyclists. And since our bike lanes tend to be fairly narrow compared to what I see in the Copenhagen pictures or know from the Netherlands, here wthey can be difficult to pass sometimes.

kfg said...

I have posted a number of times lately that the very concept "car" does not have to mean hulking, fire breathing beasts; and here we have it.

melon. said...

how wonderful. wish can visit this place someday. =)

bikefish said...

facebook blocked me from posting this.. huhh??? Anyone else have this problem?

ATX Bikette said...

Back in my hometown you would occasionally see an elderly person getting around on a scooter like that.
It was viewed differently though and I think they may have tried to make it against the law. Not sure if it succeeded but most people agreed it should be.
It's strange to see it portrayed as a good thing. Well, if it works!

Frits B said...

ATX Bikette - Mikael writes these are subsidized. In Holland they are seen as necessary props to keep people mobile, so depending on your income they are mostly free, provided for by the town council. There was a court case of a man in Amsterdam who decided that at 80 he should sell his car and apply for a free e-scooter. As they are quite expensive, the council didn't grant him one because he could well afford to buy one himself. The man persisted in taking the council to court in ever higher instances and finally, after 4 years which cost him a lot of money, won his case. And then he died. Sad, but he had made his point.

ATX Bikette said...

The ones in the U.S. are subsidized too I think. Anyway the commercials for them offer assistance in filling out Medicaid forms, so I assume some can get them for free.
My point is they are not seen as a form of transportation really. The commercials show older persons getting around their house, or my favorite, at the Grand Canyon. They don't show them in the street.

Peter said...

I've been arguing to bicycle activists here in the states that a very good way to get more facilities is to team up with various groups that support older citizens to develop facilities that can be shared by bicycles and slow vehicles such as "neighborhood electric vehicles" and mobility scooters. With our aging population, this will ensure mobility to citizens who can no longer drive but are capable of taking care of themselves. A grid of fully connected 18-20 mph (say 30 kph max) speed-limited roads. Huge political power in the older groups.

lagatta à montréal said...

It is better to have elderly and disabled people who CAN'T CYCLE getting around via these things than driving or being driven, but they do pollute more than a bicycle does - the electricity has to come from somewhere, they are heavier and use more ressources. Moreover they don't help the users keep fit, as bicycles, tricycles and other adapted human-powered vehicles do.

I have seen covered ones in Montréal - there is a guy who uses one pretty much all year round in the Plaza St-Hubert area. And seniors using the more conventional kind in the winter - they wait until the streets and pavements have been cleared, and go out to do their shopping, banking or whatever.

They are a step backwards in terms of getting away from polluting vehicles if used by people who are capable of cycling.

long island nursing homes said...

I don't think its safe to ride in an electric scooters in the middle of the road. There should be a separate lane for this kind of vehicle.