The federal government is donating a total of 657 million euros to the federal states for better cycle paths. Berlin could get 30 million of them – but most of them are in danger of being lost. The “City and Country” program expires in 2023.
So far, only three Berlin projects have been approved for 4.1 million euros in funding, and three more have been registered for 1.9 million. This emerges from a list of the traffic administration. The federal government takes on between 75 and 90 percent of the financing of a project.
A spokeswoman for Transport Senator Bettina Jarasch (Greens) said that the Reinickendorf district wanted to apply for three to six more projects. She confirmed a report by the “Berliner Morgenpost”.
The transport administration promised “to call up as many federal subsidies as possible by 2023”, but with the restriction that this was done “within the framework of human and financial capacities”. Due to the current provisional budget freeze, further projects could only be started with the decision on the double budget 2022/23, the spokeswoman said.
The ADFC called for more staff in the administrations – but planners for cycling are wanted everywhere. As reported, many positions are vacant, especially in the district offices. “For capacity reasons, fewer projects can be planned and built than is desirable,” the administration said.
In an approval list from the Federal Ministry of Transport as of February, only one Berlin project has been mentioned so far: a cycle bridge in Schmöckwitzwerder over the Oder-Spree Canal, 100 meters from the city limits. This bridge is only important for the Brandenburg town of Gosen and for tourists. The federal government will assume 80 percent of the 4.5 million euros in construction costs. In 2016, the administration had announced the renewal of the bridge for “from 2018”.
The other two projects that have just been approved are much smaller: a “bidirectional cycle path with lighting” on August-Fröhlich-Strasse in the Neukölln district of Rudow (funded with 105,000 euros) and bicycle parking facilities (375,000 euros). The three projects that have not yet been approved are the redesignation of car lanes for cyclists, namely on Steglitzer Damm, Boelckestraße (Tempelhof) and the Allee der Kosmonauten in Marzahn. That’s it!
For comparison: Brandenburg has been approved for 37 projects, including some in which surrounding communities want to build a connection to the Berlin network. Baden-Württemberg is the leader with more than 160 projects.
Also Hamburg – as a city-state better comparable to Berlin – is much further. Among other things, a bicycle parking garage with 1200 spaces at Harburg station was pushed. The federal government will bear 75 percent of the costs of almost 11 million euros. Berlin has been discussing locations for such a parking garage for 15 years, but has no finished project in the drawer.
According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Hanseatic city has already been granted a grant of 15 million euros. Hamburg can get a maximum of 24 million according to the distribution key – six times as much as Berlin has secured so far.