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More space for cyclists and pedestrians - protests expected

More space for cyclists and pedestrians – protests expected

Friedrichshain Kreuzberg

More space for cyclists and pedestrians – protests expected

Clara Hermann works at Frankfurter Alley in Friedrichshain.

Photo: dpa

According to Mayor Clara Hermann (Greens), cyclists and pedestrians should have more space – motorists should not.

Berlin. Green politician Clara Hermann expects protests, but also plenty of support for the traffic shift. The new mayor of Friedrichshain Kreuzberg is counting on more traffic calming, less through-traffic, expanded bike paths, fewer parking spaces and more street trees. “My experience is that the majority of the population want to change the traffic,” said Hermann, 36. Initial doubts often go away over time.

Hermann, who spoke to the new mayor was elected at the beginning of December.

In the meantime, it is often the merchants who help enforce such measures. “So I think it will be both: you will have the people who have concerns about the changes and also those who are demanding it in the neighbourhoods,” the green politician said. “And there will also be people who will go from interrogators to supporters.”

Friedrichshain Kreuzberg: The majority in the region do not have a car

The big issue in their district, Hermann said, with the Greens winning 34.6 percent in the district assembly election at the end of September, is more justice in the district. “In our area, the majority of families do not have their own cars.” The vast majority of trips are done on foot, by bike or by public transport – but with space it’s quite the opposite. The goal is to reverse this and give more space to pedestrians and cyclists.

“In many neighborhoods we have initiatives called neighborhood blocks that work to ensure there is more calm in the traffic,” the green politician said. “They also want there to be less space for cars and instead more green space, for neighborhoods designed to be more human-friendly and for those sheet metal to disappear from the street.”

It is also necessary – in relation to climate change – to transform the city’s infrastructure by opening streets and parking lots, planting trees, and proper management of rainwater. “We have to make progress there,” Hermann said. “We don’t have much time to control climate change.” “We’re already feeling the effects in the hot summer today, and things tend to get worse.”

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