All posts by Beatrix Wupperman

Cycling Women in the 19th Century in Bremen

or: How the Germans could become more beautiful and happier (Ricarda Huch)

“I believe that if all Germans cycled, they would lose their dull sensuality and be happier and more agreeable.” (Ricarda Huch to Richard Huch 1896) 

The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen was a pioneer in the successful promotion of cycling in Germany in the 19th century1. And today, every second cyclist in Bremen is a woman – at least. But that was by no means the case 150/160 years ago. The bicycle – initially developed as a penny-farthing – was a male means of transport. Sons of wealthy merchants, factory owners and aristocrats could afford such a thing, because in 1880 a penny-farthing cost at least 200 marks, which was unaffordable for the working class. Even in 1912, the cheapest touring bike cost 30 marks, the equivalent of two weeks’ wages for a worker2.


The safety bicycle and pneumatic tyres changed everything (Foto: Museumsdorf Cloppenburg – Niedersächsisches Freilichtmuseum)

There were plenty of women who fancied sport and exercise, and the bicycle was an attractive, if dangerous, option. But there were essentially three obstacles standing between bicycles and women: social norms and (consequent) clothing, the slow pace of technological change, and the price of a bicycle.

It was only with the invention of the “safety bicycle” in 1885 (and pneumatic tyres in 18883), its mass production and the resulting drop in prices that the bicycle became accepted by the entire population – and thus also by women4. Continue reading Cycling Women in the 19th Century in Bremen

Politicians Moved to Address Sielwall


Sielwall end of 19th century Foto: Beatrix Wupperman

Sielwall – young men with overly-souped up cars race through it, and local politicians are finally seeing this as the danger that it is. Now the Sielwall and all four roads which lead to the so-called Sielwalleck are to be closed to car traffic up to 80 metres in each direction on weekend nights, thus eliminating through traffic. This is good. But instead of just closing short stretches of road temporarily, the Sielwalleck and the Sielwall need to be reconsidered and redesigned, for every day traffic, not just on the weekend. Continue reading Politicians Moved to Address Sielwall

We need your opinion here in Bremen

As the summer holidays hit in,  transport senator Maike Schaefer is seeking the public’s  opinion and expertise regarding two major projects:

The VEP 2025 (Verkehrsentwicklungsplan = traffic development plan)

and the remake of a main road, Friedrich-Ebert-Straße in the Neustadt.

To make your life easier, a citizens’ initiative has already developed some helpful ideas. Have a look into their brochure.

As you can see in the poster above, both projects have tight deadlines for your ideas to be submitted: The VEP participation ends at the 2nd of August, and your ideas for the Friedrich-Ebert-Straße need to be handed in by the 31st of July.

Sielwall in Bremen: The Law is a Joke??

On Friday 19th June a new phenomenon hit the streets of Bremen, or rather the street of Sielwall. That evening,  the entrance to Sielwall coming from the Osterdeich was augmented with no-entry street signs, with a time limit of “Fri – Sun 20h to 6h“. In other words, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and nights Sielwall is a one-way street in the direction of the Osterdeich.


Blocking the Siewall: Creating a one way road. Foto: ADFC

On the first weekend the authority (Which one? Office for Roads and Traffic?? Police) erected a barrier at the Osterdeich to stop car drivers at the entrance to the Sielwall. But on the second weekend there was no barrier at all – just the signs.. Continue reading Sielwall in Bremen: The Law is a Joke??

Dear Bremen, give us space to keep our distance. Love, your inhabitants

Good morning Bremen! Covid-19 has been dominating our lives for a few months now,  and since 22nd March 2020 you told us to go into lock-down

This is what you want us to do , you just extended it to 3rd May and you are also threatening us with harsh fines, if we don’t stick to the rules.


No chance for any distance. (Foto: Beatrix Wupperman)

But sorry, there is a tiny problem, (we told you already). In our streets all the distance we are supposed to keep is not possible. Why?  There are too many parked cars, and not enough space for pedestrians and cyclists on the road.


No space on Bremen’s roads? Oh yes, but not for us! (Foto: Dieter Mazur)

It’s not as if this is something out of the ordinary, dear Bremen.  You would not be alone in this, there are loads of cities already on their way. Have a look:

Continue reading Dear Bremen, give us space to keep our distance. Love, your inhabitants

Guerilla action or a “city for people”?

Europe-wide Parking Day in Bremen, Germany

“A city for people” – for three hours reality in Bremen’s Neustadt.

This happened on the 15th Parking Day as part of the European Mobility Week in Friedrich-Ebert-Straße in Bremen after the super demo against climate change of “Fridays for Future” in the city centre with more than 30,000 participants (not bad for a city of 550.000!):


More space for cyclists and pedestrians for 3 hours, Foto: Fino Terreno

Continue reading Guerilla action or a “city for people”?

“Geht-Doch-Manifesto” – Pro pedestrian traffic in Bremen

Manifesto pro pedestrians:

(The following is taken from the original text)

Lots of dosh for car traffic – hardly anything for foot and bicycle

According to a study by the University of Kassel, car traffic in Bremen receives a subsidy of 156 euros per inhabitant per year, public transport 115 euros, cycling 9.3 euros and walking 16 euros.


Pavements in Bremen, does it have to be like that?

Although Bremen does somewhat better than other municipalities, it must be said that car traffic is heavily subsidised. Continue reading “Geht-Doch-Manifesto” – Pro pedestrian traffic in Bremen

Resident Parking – Transport Transition or Motorist Appeasement?

The new Draft Agreement on Cooperation in a Government Coalition for Bremen, 2019-2023 (from now on here called Koa Treaty) promises to install resident parking, to ban illegal parking and to push back the illegal practice of parking on pavements with two wheels. Hooray! Or not to Hooray?


Illegal Parking in Bremen – Foto: Beatrix Wupperman

It literally says: “We will consistently manage public parking space, i.e. we will manage the inner-city areas and identify resident parking.”

But we have to be careful: resident parking in Germany is super cheap. What is the upshot? Continue reading Resident Parking – Transport Transition or Motorist Appeasement?

Campact Aufruf der Ini “Einfach Einsteigen”

Hier auch mal ein Aufruf:

“Einfach Einsteigen” hat auf der Campact-Plattform eine Petition
gestartet:

https://weact.campact.de/p/einfacheinsteigen

Neben den Kernforderungen zum Nahverkehr denkt die Ini auch an den Umweltverbund als Ganzes und hat daher folgende Forderung mitaufgenommen:

* Forcieren Sie gleichzeitig Maßnahmen zur Förderung des Rad- und
Fußverkehrs, damit der Umweltverbund insgesamt attraktiv, schnell und
sicher wird.

Ihr könnt jetzt unterschreiben!!!