The Key Stone Cop Out

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.

Continue reading The Key Stone Cop Out

“The Law Is An Ass”, Said Alice.

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.

Continue reading “The Law Is An Ass”, Said Alice.

Reinhard Loske

Reinhard Loske interview from Moving Films on Vimeo.

Give cyclists clear advantages over cars“. That is probably the essence of ex-Bremen transport senator  Reinhard Loske’s  transport policy credo. Herr Loske, who is also a significant critic of endless economic growth,  will be back in Bremen next weekend to speak at the “Infrastructures of Happiness” congress, and expand on his ideas. Continue reading Reinhard Loske

Illegal parking – Unavoidable Evil or Misplaced Tolerance?

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.

Continue reading Illegal parking – Unavoidable Evil or Misplaced Tolerance?

The Parking Problem – New Series

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 carwalker Michael Hartmann. The title of the films, “Autoschreck”, roughly means “car shock”. German narration with English voice-over.

Continue reading The Parking Problem – New Series

Cycle Streets That Inspire?

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.

Continue reading Cycle Streets That Inspire?

Bremen Cycle Streets: Humboldtstraße – A Role Model?

Humboldtstraße
Humboldtstraße

Bremen’s politicians are extremely proud of the new design of Humboldtstraße as a Cycle Street. It is hailed by our representatives and their cycling advisers as a great solution for a range of problems. However, the new design didn’t arise because all the experts thought Humboldtstraße to be the ideal space for a Cycle Street. Rather, the idea was developed because Hansewasser, Bremen’s water company, planned to upgrade the sewer system under the road.
Continue reading Bremen Cycle Streets: Humboldtstraße – A Role Model?