Weekend traffic ban coming to downtown Copenhagen

NyhavnCopenhagen’s City Hall Council looks set to approve a measure that will ban vehicular traffic from the congested inner city centre on weekend nights. The new ban would be in effect from 22.00 until 04.00 on Friday and Saturday evenings, according to the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

The goal of the traffic ban is to put the brakes on a rising number of drive-by shootings and crimes related to vehicles in the downtown area. “Police have reported conflicts arising from vehicles driving slowly though the inner city streets, and club guests and residents say it’s antagonising,” Anne Vang, the Social Democrats’ political affairs spokeswoman, commented.

The Copenhagen Post reports the city’s environmental and technical department already ran a weekend trial ban on vehicles on Vestergade, and by all accounts it was successful. The official ban would encompass the ‘medieval city’ district. Residents of the area, as well as buses, taxis, and cyclists would be allowed to enter the city centre after the curfew. Visitors who are already inside the ‘medieval city’ before 22.00 would also be allowed to leave freely during the curfew period.

The measure is backed by the Social Democrats, Socialist People’s Party and the Social Liberals. However, the government Liberal Party and the Danish People’s Party are fighting it, claiming it will simply push the crime and violence into other parts of the city. But with a majority behind the proposal, it should pass easily, and be implemented before the end of the year.