Mouvement Écologique's "veloskaart.lu"
QUESTION POSED BY FRANÇOIS BENOY
On the veloskaart.lu website, the Mouvement Écologique posted 1,500 locations and routes that are problematic for cyclists, around 100 of which are in Luxembourg City. Between August and October 2021, more than 1,000 cyclists reported these locations on this platform and suggested improvements.
Has the college of aldermen reviewed the locations and routes that are problematic for cyclists in Luxembourg City?
How does the college of aldermen plan to respond to these problems?
Does the college of aldermen plan to ask the Commission de la mobilité urbaine (Urban Transport Committee) to analyse the reported failings and recommendations, and to suggest improvements to the college of aldermen or the municipal council?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN PATRICK GOLDSCHMIDT
All suggestions for improvements, whether put forward by residents or associations, are taken seriously and analysed by the relevant municipal department. Daily users are the people who are best positioned to report existing problems to us. Many of the 100 issues mentioned were already known or slated for imminent improvement. These were primarily separate, solitary issues that are easy to solve. I see no need for the committee to discuss "veloskaart.lu". Many of the issues raised have been resolved, while for others, no improvements can be made unless there is enough room to implement them in accordance with the applicable rules and standards.
Creation of a municipal urban planning company
QUESTION POSED BY GUY FOETZ
According to a recent article entitled "Réalisme extrême" ("Extreme Realism") that was published in "Lëtzebuerger Land" on 11 February 2022, the idea to create a new urban planning company – a sort of municipal "Kirchberg Plateau Urbanisation and Development Fund" (Fonds d’urbanisation et d’aménagement du Plateau de Kirchberg – FUAK) or "National Low-Cost Housing Administration" (Société nationale des habitations à bon marché – SNHBM) for the City of Luxembourg – was allegedly discussed internally, and the department heads allegedly suggested that the college of aldermen formally assess the advantages and disadvantages of forming such a company. Although, according to the article, Mayor Polfer was allegedly "not at all won over by the idea", the chief alderman supposedly tried to "step out of the shadow of the liberal city hall" and "mentioned the option of a new municipal urban planning company" as one "path among others".
As municipal councillors, we were taken aback to learn through the press what discussions are going on within the college of aldermen and the municipal administration.
Given the large land reserve held by the City – 87.5 hectares of building land that can be used for housing – such discussions are not surprising and are totally in keeping with the position adopted by déi Lénk, which provides for the setting up a City-run housing development entity so it can assert itself when confronted with private developers and market forces.
Can you confirm the statements made in this article?
If so, could you provide the municipal council with the necessary information?
Are you willing to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this idea in a municipal council meeting?
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY MAYOR LYDIE POLFER
The college of aldermen is not in the habit of commenting on press articles in municipal council meetings unless it is absolutely necessary, and if required, we exercise our right of reply. Nor is the college of aldermen in the habit of prohibiting anyone – neither our councillors nor staff members – from thinking whatever they please.
The fact is that the City is currently working on a number of major projects, such as the "Stade" and "Villeroy & Boch" sites, as well as the Porte de Hollerich. It goes without saying that we are discussing them at college of aldermen meetings and with our departments. There is the question of determining whether we should support the execution of these projects internally – in which case, our departments would need to hire additional staff – or set up a City-run company, like the FUAK. Discussions have not yet gone further than that. The next college of aldermen meeting is expected to decide which approach to take. When the time comes, it will undoubtedly be helpful to seek legal advice on the possible structure of such a municipal urban planning company so as to be fully aware of all of the legal, economic and political aspects before taking such an important decision. At that time, I think it will be useful for the municipal council and relevant advisory committee to discuss the matter. However, we have not yet reached that point. Chief Alderman Serge Wilmes and I are in complete agreement on this.
Summons to appear before the Luxembourg police magistrate
QUESTION POSED BY TOM KRIEPS
Apparently, two people were summoned to appear before the Luxembourg magistrate judge on 15 February 2022. The offences relate to a violation of Articles 21 and 22 of the City of Luxembourg's general regulations on public order and safety (règlement de police de la Ville).
I had asked if it was the City that had filed a complaint or reported these offences to the Public Prosecutor's Office. Mayor Polfer already provided me with the response, which I would like to summarise briefly. The people in question were in fact summoned to appear before the police magistrate. The offences were relatively varied and, importantly, repeated. Mayor Polfer informed me that the police took the initiative, which means that it was not the City that shared information with the Public Prosecutor's Office.
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY MAYOR LYDIE POLFER
Thank you for answering your own question. What you said is correct. Indeed, it was the police that ascertained the offences, wrote up a report and forwarded it to the Public Prosecutor's Office. The police drew up their report based on our municipal regulation.
QR codes on City invoices
QUESTION POSED BY TOM KRIEPS
On 3 March, I asked if there were plans to put QR codes on all invoices issued by the City. These codes are very convenient for persons who wish to make payments by payconiq (formerly digicash). I recently noticed that the City's invoices are now issued with these codes on them. I am pleased to see how quickly our suggestions can sometimes be implemented.
RESPONSE PROVIDED BY ALDERMAN SERGE WILMES
Indeed, nearly all of the City's invoices can now be paid by payconiq because this is the easiest method for most residents. There are three exceptions: credit notes, invoices exceeding €100,000, and direct debit payments. If there are any other cases where payment by payconiq is not yet possible, please let us know.