Category Archives: Quality of Life

Zebra Crossing – no chance in Bremen?

 There are hardly any zebra crossings in Bremen. Why is that so? Don’t they offer pedestrians safety? Do they disturb the car traffic? Are they too expensive to produce?

Zebra crossings are – strictly speaking – a stopgap in places where car traffic dominates urban traffic. They were made in Britain, like this probably most famous zebra crossing photo in Abbey Road with the Beatles.

One of Bremen’s rare zebra crossing at the main station, Foto: Richard Grassick

The protective effect of zebra crossings is beyond doubt. As the guidelines state: “MSDS are one of several ways of protecting pedestrians when crossing the road (see VwV on §25 StVO)” (German guidelines for pedestrian crossings, (R-FGÜ 2001). The federal states were asked to introduce these guidelines and to apply them from January 1, 2002. Continue reading Zebra Crossing – no chance in Bremen?

After Corona – The future of public space

The shock of Corona in recent history is only comparable to the attacks of September 11, 2001. In both cases new rules and state powers were established almost overnight. This time it is not a question of fighting terrorism, but of preventing epidemics. But this time, too, almost all areas of public and private life are affected. The Corona crisis will have a particular impact on the future design and use of public space. Because of the need to protect against infection, it is likely that even after the current phase of rigid restrictions, distancing rules will have to be observed for the foreseeable future.

No space for distancing – MindenerStr. in Bremen, Foto: Olaf Dilling

But it’s still in our hands. We can either allow further restrictions to be placed on public space or, by redistributing it, enable equal participation. This could go hand in hand with a transport policy that puts people at the centre, and at the same time takes better account of air pollution control and climate protection. Pedestrian traffic can be promoted by planning sufficient space on pavements. The capacities of public transport and railways must be increased to minimise the risk of infection. Car lanes can be reserved for bicycles to ensure safety and distance. Continue reading After Corona – The future of public space

Foot traffic check in Bremen

At present, the share of foot traffic in Bremen is at its lowest level (21%), less is not possible. And this is because the conditions for foot traffic in Bremen are very poor.


This is ridiculous

In order to draw attention to the numerous shortcomings to which everyone has become accustomed, the FUSS e.V. Bremen local group has carried out a foot traffic check in a district near the city centre, in the Neustadt.

The “discovered” deficiencies can be found everywhere in the city, and only 12 typical deficiencies were discussed during the foot traffic check. It is important for FUSS e.V. to create a general awareness of the fact that the mobility areas for people on foot or in wheelchairs are systematically poor or unusable and that there is an urgent need for action. Continue reading Foot traffic check in Bremen

Parking Day: Or how to civilise a traffic hell  

The Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse in the Neustadt district of Bremen is heavily congested, or better said: a four-lane traffic hell.  People who live on this road are exposed to unbearable levels of noise and air pollution every day. Because this road – 30 m wide, then 60 m wide before it turns into the Wilhelm-Kaisen-Bridge – offers generous space for motorized traffic. Pedestrians and cyclists, on the other hand, have to share the narrow (4 m) sidewalk, and can hardly ever cross the road safely.


Not much space for everyday cyclists, Foto: Wolfgang Köhler-Naumann

Should this be the case? Is this appropriate for a modern urban environment?

We believe it is not. We wanted to show that there is another way to organize public space. Continue reading Parking Day: Or how to civilise a traffic hell  

“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?

“Platz Da!” Moves Up A Gear

The “Platz Da!” initiative has officially launched, as reported in the Weserkurier and on the telly.

“Platz Da! Bremen “is involving a growing number of Bremen citizens who are working together for a better cycling and walking infrastructure, and a comprehensive parking management system for the city. The campaign’s key demand is that the streets belong to all of us, not just the owners of parked cars, and is working with the Transport Transition Alliance , launched in January 2018 with a call for a city-wide management of car parking, and a genuine strategy for reducing space used by parked vehicles.

Continue reading “Platz Da!” Moves Up A Gear

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