Covid 19 and its effects seem to have come to stay. But in addition to the virus, another widespread spread is rampant in some metropolises: that of car-free inner cities.
Since the beginning of September, Friedrichstrasse in the centre of Berlin has been closed to motor vehicles. Initial scepticism that trade there could suffer as a result and that its economic existence could be threatened does not seem to be coming true - although it is still too early to discern a trend. About a week ago, another plan from the town hall: serious thought was given to freeing the famous Unter den Linden road, which connects the museum and university quarter with the Tiergarten section, from everyday motorised traffic. At first glance, both streets seem to have one thing in common: underground lines run under both streets and will be put into operation at the end of autumn (extension of the U5 underground line). Perfect conditions for the project of a car-free boulevard Unter den Linden. Now the Berlin members of parliament have decided that the Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg should be the motorised collar of the street. Famous for its ornate Wilhelminian-style facades and lively restaurants and small shopping facilities, the so-called Bergmannkiez is virtually predestined for a car-free zone.
Similar to the plans for Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden, the plans envisage granting the delivery traffic there a time window of several hours in the morning (in the case of Bergmannkiez from 06:00h to 11:00h). Of course, emergency vehicles are excluded from the regulation in all projects. In addition, all adjacent roads in the vicinity of Bergmannkiez will become one-way streets or zone 20 roads. District mayor Monika Hermann (Greens) summarises pathetically: "The supremacy of the car and the time of the car-friendly city are over.
In addition, the touristically attractive miners' neighbourhood is to be greened and provided with biotopes: artificial watercourses that filter rainwater and provide a habitat for insects, supplemented by additional public seating, new green spaces and a two-lane cycle path are then to complete the image of the district. "The miners' neighbourhood will be our model project for the neighbourhood of the future", the responsible district office told the news magazine ntv.
The consultation on the project Bergmannkiez will start next week. Which district is the government planning next in the capital?