Out of the Blue and Into the Black

Right, here’s a post for people who like their rock ’n’ roll loud.

Forbidden Blue

Regular readers of our blog may remember our post back in September about a citizens’ initiative in Bremen’s Neustadt. In an attempt to calm traffic in their streets, and after years of official procrastination, local residents financed the creation of a blue-painted junction. Within days, the local authority announced the removal of the offending paint, claiming that it was against traffic regulations, and indeed would irritate motorists.

But following our post, a group of activists in Göttingen sent the residents this photo:

Permitted Blue

Just for the record, here are some of the statements made, in letters and in reports to the media, by Bremen’s Transport Dept:

  • Letter from the Senator for the Environment, Construction and Transport of “Neustadt Lahnstraße, blue color marking, excerpt:” Markings to be used in road traffic are legally explicitly regulated and defined in the road traffic regulations. The types of markings set out in the Road Traffic Ordinance provide a clear signal to those who are on the road, as they have to behave at the respective location. “And further:” … can lead to various problems because of ambiguities …
  • “Weserreport , July 17, 2016, “Blue Crossing is to go away again”, statement H. Tittmann (spokesman of the senator for environment, construction and traffic) acc. Editor: In Germany you do not know blue markings. “That distracts and can even be life-threatening,” he says. “… the municipality may be liable”. And: “For legal reasons, the ASV is forced to remove the color”.
  • SAT 1 regional, 18.07.2016, “Blue Crossing” by the local residents “Statement by H. Tittmann according to editorial:” The city renounces legal steps, because actually the blue colour was a dangerous intervention in road traffic and does not appear on German roads.

It seems that in Germany we do “know blue markings”. The question is, who is providing this sort of mis-information?

The group of Neustadt residents were eventually billed for the removal of their blue paint, costing them nearly 10,000 euros. As Neil Young wrote:

They give you this, but you pay for that. Enjoy.

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