Seeing Red

Bremen’s tortuous route to something resembling a Cycling City took another step forward this month with the re-surfacing of the oft-plagued cycle street Parkallee.

Regular readers of our blog will know that this semi-main artery for through traffic – it is one of the less-busy branches off the 30,000-vehicles-per-day Stern roundabout – has already been the subject of various traffic management experiments. In every case, proposals have involved the removal of existing cycleways on either side of the road, and their replacement with some form of on-road cycling. Each proposal has been dogged by conflicting demands. In an area with relatively high car ownership, local residents have been routinely double parking their vehicles on this dual carriageway street. Cyclists have been looking for more space than the ageing cycleways offer, not least as the street will be a key stretch of Bremen’s first Premium Cycle Route Continue reading Seeing Red

Conference on Transport and Environment in Germany

A Conference on Transport and Environment takes place in Germany every other year.  This year 450 people came to the city of Darmstadt to discuss new ideas for sustainable transport for our cities. Please find the link to the presentations and working group papers here.


Ticket for BUVKO 2019

It was impressive how many young people attended. “Fridays For Future” seems to have an impact. Continue reading Conference on Transport and Environment in Germany

Camp 2021 – German City Campaigns Get Networked

Following the success of Volksentscheid Fahrrad in Berlin, which now commits Germany’s capital city to a 600 million euro programme of transformation of its cycling infrastructure, a number of its key activists have helped establish Changing Cities. This new organisation draws together cycling activists from across Germany to fight for a nationwide transport transition. Focussing on city campaigns, the organisation sent out invitations for an initial meeting in January 2019 More than ten different cities accepted, resulting in a meeting in Kassel – marking the start for coordinated and cooperative work to influence Germany’s national elections in 2021.


Camp2021 – City campaign representatives at Kassel kick-off, Januar 2019

It was easy for the participants to find common ground and values: at the centre must lie the support for cycling through the construction of appropriate infrastructure and adaptation of public space. We, the participants and representatives of local campaigns, had little doubt: infrastructure must be safe and feel safe – cycling must be (made) comfortable. This would open up cycling as a real possibility to all, from a 4 year old to the 104 year-old senior. All people should feel enabled to participate in public sphere. Here are our reasons: Continue reading Camp 2021 – German City Campaigns Get Networked

The Desperados of Schwachhausen

Bremen’s Transport Development Plan is again under attack from the car-friendly city brigade. Just a few weeks after it decided to increase the number of parking spaces on the controversial Parkallee cycle street, the local council in Schwachhausen has proposed to legalise rogue parking on three streets in the district. In every case, this involves vehicles using part of the pavement as a convenient way of being able to park on both sides of the street without blocking the road.

Bremen’s Transport Transition Alliance issued a statement condemning the proposal, accusing it of capitulating to illegal parking without considering how to combat it:

“The local council itself (referring to the extremely rare traffic control interventions) talked of a “state failure”. Their aspirations however, completely contradict the goals of a sustainable change in our transport situation, and are an expression of resignation in the face of the previous apparent inactivity of Bremen’s policy and administration regarding car parking”.

What makes the proposal even stranger is the fact that the local council has a progressive/left majority, with 11 members from the SPD, Greens and Die Linke, and 8 from the CDU and FDP from the right. In fact, both the Parkallee proposal and the move to legalise pavement parking were opposed by just one Green member. Continue reading The Desperados of Schwachhausen

Protected Bike Lanes: Solving the safety conflict?

People who are involved with transport politics are continuously confronted with the issue of safety. Bike lanes are rejected, supposedly because of safety, while others demand them for exactly the same reasons. Cycling on the road is recommended by some as being safer, while others strongly reject such use for exactly the same reasons.

Demonstrating for cycling infrastructure: Danziger Straße, Berlin. Netzwerk Fahrradfreundliches Pankow, 5.7.2017,          (Foto: Changing Cities / Norbert Michalke)

In discussions around cycle transportation, so-called „objective safety“ is pitted against a subjective sense of safety and comfort. In the Netherlands “sustainable safety” is recommended, Copenhagen prioritises „subjective safety.“ And now there’s a new version, the “Protected Bike Lane.“ This starts sounding somewhat complicated, so we need to clarify: What is being discussed? Who is saying what about safety, and why?

Continue reading Protected Bike Lanes: Solving the safety conflict?

“Platz Da!” Moves Up A Gear

The “Platz Da!” initiative has officially launched, as reported in the Weserkurier and on the telly.

“Platz Da! Bremen “is involving a growing number of Bremen citizens who are working together for a better cycling and walking infrastructure, and a comprehensive parking management system for the city. The campaign’s key demand is that the streets belong to all of us, not just the owners of parked cars, and is working with the Transport Transition Alliance , launched in January 2018 with a call for a city-wide management of car parking, and a genuine strategy for reducing space used by parked vehicles.

Continue reading “Platz Da!” Moves Up A Gear

Ralph Saxe – Transport Revolution In 2019?


Ralph Saxe

With Bremen’s state election looming next year, and the Greens riding high in the polls, there is a very real chance that they will form a strengthened half of any new coalition. With the two old parties declining in popularity, there is even the prospect of a Green-led government. With this in mind, we recently interviewed Ralph Saxe, transport spokesperson for the Bremen Greens, to see what they have in mind for the coming legislature.  Continue reading Ralph Saxe – Transport Revolution In 2019?