Bremen has a long history of developing tools that have been proven to encourage and enable more people to cycle. The first German cycle path was built here in 1897, cycle streets were invented in Bremen in the 1970s, as was contra-flow cycling on one-way streets. More recently, cycle neighbourhoods have been developed, and mandatory bike lanes built.
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!→
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→
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?
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?→
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.