Category Archives: Vehicular Cycling

Parkallee in Bremen: Missing the Target

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait?


The “new” Parkallee, half in red, Foto: Beatrix Wupperman

Parkallee in Bremen is part of a planned Premium Route for cycling that runs from the university in the north to the city centre. For too long, this 500 metre section between Am Stern and the city’s main railway lines has dominated discussions and negotiations. How can cyclists can traverse this section safely and quickly? Continue reading Parkallee in Bremen: Missing the Target

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

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?

Women on bikes – There is a difference

 „The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of middle and upper class women then all the struggles of the womens’ movement“. So wrote the Austrian authoress and feminist Rosa Mayreder (1858-1938).


Female English Racing Cyclists – Englische Radrennfahrerinnen 1

The first female cyclists came from wealthy families, taking the opportunity to get away from their restrictive circumstances. In Bremen there were Ricarda Huch and Aline von Kapff, who fought for their freedom from the saddle of their bicycles more than 100 years ago. Continue reading Women on bikes – There is a difference

Parking Space to Cycle Space? Not In Bremen

With the recent publication of proposals for comprehensive parking management by Bremen’s Transport Transition coalition, there’s been considerable discussion in the city’s media about the problem of illegal parking. Little has been said about its direct impact on cycling in Bremen, despite the publication’s central point that proper management of car parking is a means to releasing road space for walking and cycling. Continue reading Parking Space to Cycle Space? Not In Bremen

Wazzup On Parkallee?


Fahrradstraße Parkallee – parkende Autos, Mischverkehr, Chaos

For some time now – from near and afar – I’ve been rubbernecking the ongoing saga of Parkallee – and the council’s to-ing and fro-ing, politicians and officers alike. What to do? What’s going on? At one point there is a cycleway, then there isn’t, now you see it, now you don’t, then no-one quite knows what’s really happening. The thing for me is this: where is the decision-making clarity? Where is the solid foundation to traffic – and in particular cycle – policy? Continue reading Wazzup On Parkallee?

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?

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.

Continue reading Scharnhorststraße Cycle Street Plans – Who Benefits?