Category Archives: Infrastructure

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.
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Cycle Streets: Do content and label match?

Cycle Streets in Bremen: Purpose and Reality

Fahrradstraßen – Cycle Streets – are seen, alongside cycle lanes, cycle tracks, protective strips and more, as a tool to promote cycling. The basic concept – according to Germany’s road traffic regulations – is a road without motor traffic:
Continue reading Cycle Streets: Do content and label match?

Scharnhorststraße Cycle Street Plans – Who Benefits?

scharnhorststrasse
Scharnhorststrasse

Last month, on 24th November, the Office for Road Traffic (ASV) made public its plans for the conversion of Scharnhorststraße to a Cycle Street. The project, part of the city’s  Traffic Development Plan (VEP) 2025, was presented to the meeting of the Advisory Council Schwachhausen on 24.11.2016.

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Model Bike Neighbourhood in Neustadt?

The term “Model Bike Neighbourhood” (Fahrradmodellquartier) awakens fantasies and desires in me. It sounds like “city of the future” and rather cool. It sounds like a neighbourhood, in which everyone can move in the public space with the same right and without fear. People like to hang around outside and engage in conversation or participate in public life. Cargo bikes are being shared and walkways and spaces are free from parking cars. Nobody is run over by two-ton metal boxes, nobody is harked at or pushed aside. Air is pure – besides the Neustadt watermark of malt and liquid chocolate – and you can hear the birds singing. Cars play but a marginal role.

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Bremen Cycle Streets: Too Compromised?

Cycle Streets are an important issue in Bremen. Over the coming weeks we’ll be publishing a short series of  posts on the theme. The first comes from Gudrun Eickelberg, a Green politician and artist.

In recent years, Bremen’s status as a Cycling City has been officially articulated by setting up a number of so-called Fahrradstraßen – Cycle Streets. For example, Bremen’s Transport Development Plan 2025 states that “Cycle Streets (…) are to be established in the main cycle network and in roads with an important connection function and high cycling traffic”.

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Out of the Blue

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The Neustadt, a densely populated district of Bremen on the south bank of the river Weser, is described in official literature as offering quiet streets with charming old houses. However, like so many other such areas, the charm is cursed by the demands of the car and its proponents. So when we, a group of local residents took the initiative to try to calm their streets, the hope was that the local authority – with a Green Party senator running the transport department – would look kindly on our efforts, but the reaction was the absolute opposite.
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Initiative Biebricher Straße to screen the film “The Human Scale”

In pursuit of our desire for a more human scale usage of public space in our street Biebricher Straße, in the Bremen Neustadt district, we will be screening and discussing the film:

 “The Human Scale” (Dir. Andreas Dalsgaars), Danmark, 2012 Duration: 77 mins

Activists from other initiatives are very welcome to share the evening with us:

Thursday 15. September 2016, 8pm

in the room on the ground floor of the house in Bachstraße 38, Bremen Neustadt.

times-square

The human scale questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the center of our equations. For 40 years the Danish architect Jan Gehl has systematically studied human behavior in cities. His starting point was an interest in people, more than buildings – in what he called Life Between Buildings. What made it exist? When was it destroyed? How could it be brought back? This lead to studies of how human beings use the streets, how they walk, see, rest, meet, interact etc. Jan Gehl also uses statistics, but the questions he asks are different. For instance: How many people pass this street throughout a 24 hour period? How many percent of those are pedestrians? How many are driving cars or bikes? How much of the street space are the various groups allowed to use? Is this street performing well for all its users? Jan Gehl made his first studies in Italy and later he inspired the planning of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, for 40 years. His ideas inspired the creation of walking streets, the building and improvements of bike paths and the reorganization of parks, squares and other public spaces throughout this city and in many other cities in the Nordic region. Around the world cities like Melbourne, Dhaka, New York, Chongqing and Christchurch are now also being inspired by Gehl’s work and by the developments in Copenhagen.

Parkallee – No Stars For The Cunning Plan

Anyone who has been on a cycle tour of Bremen will know the city’s top attraction Der Stern (The Star). The Stern roundabout sits in the Schwachhausen district, Northeast of the city centre and has seen changes to its layout over the years. Now new plans are afoot. Continue reading Parkallee – No Stars For The Cunning Plan