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Safe mobility for all – an open letter

Changing Cities, Berlin, on April 14th published an open letter to Minister of Transport A. Scheuer, which called for the establishment of corona-safe pedestrian and cycle paths. Bremen initiatives have now sent an open letter with the same aim to the Bremen Senate and Bremen’s citizens:

Bremen's Initiatives for the Transport Transition demand safe infrastructure for all pedestrians, cyclists and users of local public transport. 

(Foto: grn) Few cars on the lane, whereas maintenance of Corona safety distanc is hardly possible...
> Foot and bike: More space and safe foot and bike paths that allow for the necessary safety distances.
> Public Transportation (BSAG): More vehicles at peak times and financial aid for the BSAG to ensure higher hygiene standards in their vehicles.

Read the full text of the letter here (in German only):

Continue reading Safe mobility for all – an open letter

1970s Tools For 2030 Aims

Bremen’s Traffic Plan 1948

Is your head stuck in the 1970s? Most of us like to think that we fit well with the modern world. We appreciate democracy. We support equal rights for all. We are tolerant and open to new ways. Yet when it comes to transport policy, many of us can’t get out of 1970s thinking.

This is the problem that haunts Transport Transition advocates. We want to reclaim the cities for people by reducing the use of motorised vehicles. But whenever proposals are presented that will do just this, so many of us cannot think beyond the problems of 1970s traffic management. Where will the cars go if they can’t go here? How can shops get their supplies without lorries? How can residents park their cars if not in the street? Even transport activists find it difficult to get over this way of thinking.  For as much as it is embedded in official government policy, it is no surprise that the transport sector has failed miserably to reduce its carbon emissions. Continue reading 1970s Tools For 2030 Aims

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

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

Join the German Zero CO2 initiative!

German Zero CO2 is a large-scale campaign to make Germany carbon neutral by 2035.

Where we stand:

  •  The world is drifting into a +4 degree future, with devastating consequences for our livelihoods and for humanity.
  • If we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, no more than another 420 gigatons of CO2 emissions can accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere; at today’s levels, this corresponds to some 15 years of global CO2 emissions.
  • Germany will miss the 1.5 degree target from 2023.
  • The goals of the current federal government and especially the measures that have been adopted are completely inadequate.

Continue reading Join the German Zero CO2 initiative!

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

Cycling In Mixed Traffic? No!

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!

Parking Space Management / Fee-Based Parking – A Definition of Terms

In the objectives of the recently elected Bremen state government, regulation and limitation of parking are at the forefront. Strategic measures from the Bremen Transport Development Plan 2025 have now finally been included in the operative catalogue of objectives of our state government.

In addition, civil society is increasingly calling for a decisive change in transport policy. Among other things, it no longer accepts the unsustainable situation in many urban neighbourhoods caused by illegally parked cars and the climate-damaging “successes” of an automobile industry advertising the purchase of large cars against all common well-being:

– be it that on a local level the Bremer Verkehrswende-Bündnis has adopted the demands for comprehensive fee-based parking as an essential lever for the societal move “away from the car – towards a sustainable transport and a city worth living in”,
– be it that the demands for a stepwise reduction in the number of parking spaces, for city tolls and consistent charging of parking are now clearly demanded by the many groups that support the climate strikes in Bremen,
– be it that a growing number of associations and groups operating nationwide make themselves heard and demand a clear renunciation of the radical (almost) inaction from federal and state governments.

With this post, I would like to explain the term “parking space management” and explore its context in order to be able to be more linguistically uniform in our demands regarding such questions as “reclaiming public space” and indeed “parking” and to give them ever stronger impact.

What is parking space management Continue reading Parking Space Management / Fee-Based Parking – A Definition of Terms

Thousands ready to take responsibility

… and again today – 29 Nov. 2019 – many thousands are on the street in Bremen with Fridays for Future. They vehemently demand that politics and society – EVERYONE of us – take responsibility for stopping the climate catastrophe and finally act decisively.

… some could not be told twice and started immediately on the spot…