After Corona (2): When will Bremen get Protected Bike Lanes?
Shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, several protected bike lanes were announced in Bremen. In the meantime, we in Germany are in the middle of the second wave of infection – with a kind of “lockdown light”. Already during the first wave, cycle lanes were quickly and easily set up on multi-lane roads in many cities around the world and also in many German cities. These cities have thus responded to the changed conditions and the changing needs of their citizens during the pandemic.
In contrast, Bremen has so far not responded to the pandemic with a single pop-up cycle path.
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.
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?→
At last the time has come. The start of formal public consultation for the “Wallring” premium cycle route was announced today by the Senator for Climate Protection, Environment, Mobility, Urban Development and Housing (short: SKUMS).
The “Wallring” is part of the 43 km long premium cycle route D 13 from Bremen Farge to Mahndorf, which is intended to allow cyclists* to circumvent Bremen’s city centre in a comfortable and fast way. At today’s press conference, the Senator highlighted the Wallring as part of the new reality and a symbol of Bremen’s transport transition.
Further details and the design concept can be found in the press release of the senate. The public consultation phase will be relatively rapid so that construction can start in summer 2021 and be completed in autumn 2022.
I’m profoundly disturbed by the notion that, as an experienced cyclist, I “should” ride in mixed traffic alongside cars and trucks.Doing so makes cycling more stressful and dangerous.As a non-motorized “lightweight” I’ve “lost” this “game” before I even start.What’s worse is that such “infrastructure” makes cycling more difficult and more dangerous for children, new cyclists, or people who simply do not want to play “road warrior.”When I’m cycling with my kids, I’m forced to follow them on the sidewalk;other parents simply do not even cycle, choosing the “safe” alternative of driving their kids everywhere.The stress and the imminent conflicts which mixed traffic cycling forces us to endure would not exist if adequate infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians were present everywhere.Continue reading Cycling In Mixed Traffic? No!→
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.
Should this be the case? Is this appropriate for a modern urban environment?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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