Transport policy in Berlin: How to prevent traffic collapse in Berlin

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:How the traffic collapse in Berlin can be prevented

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  • By Harald Moritz
Cars jam at Alexanderplatz. A change in traffic is not possible without compulsion - but does the city toll solve the problems?

Cars jam at Alexanderplatz. A change in traffic is not possible without compulsion – but does the city toll solve the problems?


dpa / Jens Kalaene

Berlin –

The implementation of the idea of a car-friendly city has decisively shaped many cities. So also Berlin, whether West or East. Everyone should and very many wanted to drive a car. The cities began the car-friendly conversion, which was the car traffic in the way was demolished shortly. Urban urban areas were created where nobody wants to stay, noisy city highways run through residential areas. To make room for the cars tram systems were abolished, the public transport and the pedestrians should be banished underground. Cycling was at best regarded as a sport activity.

So it is not surprising that today we have to fight with a sheet metal avalanche, which stands in its own way. The sheet avalanche endangers health by noise, exhaust fumes, traffic accidents and not least by climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions. Despite all previous extensions, the space on the streets is not enough. The pressure on urban transport systems is also increasing as urbanization and commuter flows increase.

If these trends go on unchecked, it inevitably leads to traffic collapse.

Citizens are driving forward the turnaround

For years it is clear, the idea of the car-friendly city has failed. All major cities are striving to bring quality of life back to public space. But this only works with fewer cars. London and Stockholm have improved the quality of life through the use of city toll systems. For years, Copenhagen has relied heavily on the promotion of cycling. Paris has begun to reclaim urban space with the dismantling of the Seine embankment roads.

Berlin has already passed many plans for environmentally sound transport solutions. In practice, the plans were usually tackled only half-heartedly – it was rarely about pilot projects out. At the same time and with greater vehemence, the remnants of the car-friendly city were detained, thus driving the expansion of the city highway.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Berlin have been using public transport more and more for years and cycling is booming.

However, the infrastructure of one and the other reaches its limits and must be expanded. Thus Berliners are the real driving force of the change in traffic, which has also been shown in the support of the bicycle referendum.

The red-red-green coalition has gladly accepted this mandate and is now setting the course for a change in traffic. With the Mobility Act, we have set the objectives of transport policy on a sustainable course. It is about accessibility, road safety, climate protection, the priority for the environmental network, ie for buses and trains and cycling and walking.

Tram network must grow

This includes: an ambitious cycling program and soon improvements for pedestrians. The new local transport plan envisages investing in new buses and trains and infrastructure of a good 28 billion euros. Added to this is the agreement with Brandenburg and Deutsche Bahn on the i2030 program, which will expand rail transport.

That we are right with the expansion of the tram, the Berlin tram congress showed in March vividly. Here, examples of European cities were shown that could satisfy mobility needs by reintroducing the tram while creating more space and quality of public life.

With our green transport policy, we are setting the course for secure, barrier-free, affordable, networked, comfortable and climate-friendly mobility for all. Then you can answer the question of whether it is right to ask the Berlin for the abolition of private cars, yes with yes.

So far published:Roland Stimpel (March 25), Oliver Friederici (March 30), Heinrich Strenreuther (April 2), Tino Schopf (April 7), Andreas Knie (April 9), Manfred Voit (April 12), Harald Wolf (April 16), Jan Eder (April 18), Henner Schmidt (April 25), Frank Scholtysek (April 26).