Category Archives: Lebensqualität Quality of Life

Portland – the myth and the reality

Following a television documentary about the “do it yourself” and bicycle culture in Portland, Oregon, last year, many Bremers, and especially cyclists, asked me if Portland is really as cool as all the hype.

 Well-signed bike route through residential streets in the Mt Tabor neighbourhood of Portland, Oregon.

My answer was yes, and no. Continue reading Portland – the myth and the reality

Parking: Expensive for everyone except drivers

 Is Parking a Basic Right?

What does our community do when it offers free parking for almost everyone? Do free parking spaces constitute a needed public service such as education or health? Why am I allowed to buy a car without having to think about where I can park this car, day or night?


Parking on the cycle path in Bremen

Why am I paying rent or property tax for my house, but use free public space to park my private tin can?
Continue reading Parking: Expensive for everyone except drivers

Dangerous drivers from a parent’s perspective

Sunday night on the way home from the swimming pool my 8 year old daughter and I were almost run over by a car turning left into the crosswalk where we were (legally!) crossing the street.


Annes daughter watchful/An der Ecke Kornstraße/Kirchweg

Unfortunately we experience similar situations several times a week, since traffic enforcement in Bremen is dying out, and frustrated car drivers take their aggression out on the “weak.” This incident occurred at the intersection of Kirchweg and Kornstrasse in the Neustadt, just seconds away from our front door.

Continue reading Dangerous drivers from a parent’s perspective

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?

Parking Day in Bremen Neustadt

What a nice and friendly way to get into contact with people!

A great opportunity to exchange ideas about living in the city, about transport policy priorities for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport, on community life, on CO2 and climate issues and whatever is on peoples minds when doing their Friday afternoon/weekend shopping! Some even took the opportunity to join us on the parking place we had payed for and have a game of chess…

Continue reading Parking Day in Bremen Neustadt

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.
Continue reading Out of the Blue