Otherwise the cars usually have the right of way. Sunday was mostly a standstill for those who wanted or were able to get around in the car. Due to the premiere of the “Velocity” cycling event, several central streets in the Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg districts were closed for a few hours.
The Berlin police reported that they had 159 vehicles towed away and moved in the morning hours alone. Basically, reports about Velocity revolved around road closures, i.e. the burden that was placed on the drivers. On a Sunday! A quite German perspective. Car is the norm, the rest is the exception and therefore cars have the right of way.
The 12,000 participants had fun on the 60 or 90 kilometers through Berlin. It’s also very liberating not to have to pay attention to traffic. Who doesn’t know it as a cyclist in Berlin’s traffic, the fear of an accident that often accompanies you. Insisting on the right of way often no longer helps after an accident with a car. It’s really a pity that in Berlin it is hardly possible to ride a bike in everyday life, and that the fronts between drivers and cyclists are often hardened.
It doesn’t have to be like that, as a look at the neighboring country of the Netherlands shows: there is a large network of cycle lanes, which can also relieve car traffic and reduce the dangers for cyclists. In the Netherlands, almost all car drivers are also cyclists, and dealing with the various road users seems more relaxed. Until we get that far in this country, a few more velocity races will probably have to be run.