In Bremen-Schwachhausen, or to be precise, Wachmannstrasse, there is a key cutting shop. On most working days, you’ll see its yellow or white company car parked outside. Very normal, right? Well no. The car is actually parked at a tram stop, right on top of a guiding system where visually impaired people can orient themselves with their sticks on a ripple. In other words, it’s parked illegally.
The on-going local spat between citizen activists and the Bremen authorities in Neustadt took another twist last week, as the former tried their hand at legal parking, and the latter responded with the, umm, full weight of the law.
The Alice in Wonderland, parallel universe reality, reared its head in Biebricherstrasse, where last year the same group of citizens were punished for trying to calm local traffic. This time, they chose to park two cars legally by leaving them on the roadside, rather than on the pavement where all other cars illegally park.
The explosion in private transport is a major problem for our cities. A growing number of cars are increasingly dominating our public space, pushing cyclists and pedestrians to the edge. Bremen is no different. However, unlike a number of other European cities, here the struggle for space is left to people on the ground, inevitably benefitting the strongest – car traffic.
Following on from our in-depth Cycle Streets posts, today we launch a new series focussing on that apparently boring, yet in practice extremely controversial theme, car parking. To start the series, we’ve dug out these short films from 1993 made by performance artist and carwalkerMichael Hartmann. The title of the films, “Autoschreck”, roughly means “car shock”. German narration with English voice-over.
Further to our post in December, it has been announced this week that Bremen has been successful in its bid for federal funding towards a budget of €2.4m (2.396.650m €) for the proposed Bicycle Neighbourhood in the Neustadt district of the city.
Albrechtstraße: An old and comfy cycle street in Bremen
Bremen released a comprehensive transport plan in 2014: Verkehrsentwicklungsplan 2025. One of many aims is to improve cycling and cycling infrastructure. In Germany “Verkehrswende”, i.e. a fundamental change of the transport world, is a big issue. Accordingly you would think the Bremen transport plan, VEP 2025, takes this concept seriously. So why are cycle streets so feebly implemented? There are a number of theories. Here are 2 for starters.