Der Graefekiez zwischen dem Landwehrkanal mit der Admiralbrücke und der Urbanstraße mit dem Urbankrankenhaus sowie der Hasenheide und dem Kottbusser Damm in Berlin-Kreuzberg, aufgenommen am 5. Januar 2012 für MEHR BERLIN. Im Bild: Straßenszenen in der Graefestraße. Foto: Kitty Kleist-Heinrich

The district assembly of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (BVV) is to decide on the implementation of the model project “Graefekiez without parking spaces” this Wednesday evening. The motion by the Greens and SPD is to be voted on at the end of the BVV.

For a pilot project by the district with the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), all parking spaces in Kreuzberg’s Graefekiez are to be eliminated. It is planned to ban private cars from being parked in public spaces for a period of at least six months.

In addition to Graefestrasse, this also applies to Dieffenbachstrasse, Böckhstrasse, Grimmstrasse, Lachmannstrasse, Müllenhofstrasse, Boppstrasse and Schönleinstrasse. The streets are also to become play streets and the passage of Schönleinstraße between Kottbusser Damm and Urbanstraße is to be restricted.

However, there could still be discussions in the BVV, because the left-wing parliamentary group has submitted an amendment that calls for “direct surveys of residents” by post. According to the parliamentary group, participation by those “directly affected” was “completely inadequate”.

Above all, the applicant Gaby Gottwald criticizes that not only residents in the neighborhood themselves “are bearing the consequences of the field test”. Therefore, further surveys are also necessary in neighboring neighborhoods.

Examples include “in particular the neighboring residential areas, where parking space pressure will increase enormously, as well as the employees in the urban hospital”.

In the summer of 2021, the researchers at the WZB asked residents in the district how they felt about traffic calming in their neighborhood: around two-thirds of those surveyed in the district spoke out in favor of the measures at the time.

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In addition, the model project is to be scientifically monitored and “possible reservations from residents, regular visitors and tradespeople with regard to the measure are to be raised”. These surveys should not only take place before but also after the model project.

According to Berthe Jentzsch, press officer of the Green Group, a vote on the parking-free Graefekiez this evening is quite conceivable. If the amendment by the left is accepted, the decision will be delayed until after the summer break.