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Berlin: city toll, ban on burners and horrendous parking fees

Regine Günther (Greens) knows about criticism. However, the latest plans of Berlin's environment senator show a completely new dimension of insanity.

Does Regine Günther probably feel overwhelmed by the office or does she simply hate the German motorist? For her long-standing critics the matter is clear: this woman is not up to the job of an environment senator, the shoes the Green politicians are trying to fill seem too big. Shortly before Christmas 2019 Berlin was the first German state to declare a climate emergency. As several of Berlin's local newspapers report, Günther will present a catalogue of measures to her colleagues today, Tuesday, which explains the further roadmap for the transport sector of the metropolis. 

Günther is planning to have parking machines in all (!!!) streets within the capital's famous S-Bahn ring by the end of 2023. Depending on the zone, parking fees will rise to two, three or four euros per hour or part thereof. The government also wants the price of vignettes for residents to rise. After that, the politician from the Green Party will take care of the burners: Environmental stickers and bans on diesel driving are not enough. She wants to ban all internal combustion vehicles from the low emission zone by 2030 - there seems to be no precise strategy agreed with the automotive industry. The third example shows Günther's opposition to the principle of the car as such, because the Senator for the Environment is planning a city toll, as is common practice in cities such as London. The proposal is currently being examined for its legal watertightness; the idea is eight euros per day or per vehicle - for the entire city area! According to Günther's plans, the money generated here would then go to the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). 

Talking about the legal audit: the capital's pop-up cycle paths, introduced under the leadership of the Green Senator for the Environment, could soon be nothing more than a marginal note in German transport history. The Berlin Administrative Court, for example, examined an urgent application directed against the eight provisional cycle paths. After a first review of the matter, the court in charge of the case sees "serious doubts about the legality". 

Does this mean the end of the pop-up installations on the streets of Berlin? For Günther it could be really tight, since their political future is directly linked to the current traffic situation in the capital. 


Good luck, Mrs G., you’ll need it.