When the Berlin Mobility Act is passed at the end of June, there is regular déjà vu: “The big turnaround in transport, the real transformation is not yet taking place,” said Ragnhild Sørensen of the Changing Cities initiative on Tuesday, also on the fourth anniversary of the Mobility Act.
But the time to set up a city-wide cycle network in Berlin by 2030, as required by law, is getting shorter every year. “We only have eight years left. If we continue as before, we will never see the implementation of the Mobility Act,” says Sørensen.
The association, which emerged from the bicycle referendum that later led to the Mobility Act, makes it clear how far the Senate and districts are from the goal with sobering figures: So far, only a little more than one percent of the 850 kilometers long decided with the bicycle traffic plan is clear Priority network established in the city.
It looks even worse in the supplementary network. There, the total length of the finished cycle paths is still less than one percent of the planned routes. The same applies to the prescribed two-meter-wide cycle paths on all main roads. If things continued at the current pace, said Sørensen, the cycle network would still not be complete in 100 years.
After a slow start and the complicated structure of entire departments with dozens of planners, the Senate Transport Administration wants to really take off in the coming years. But the traffic change activists from Changing Cities have serious doubts as to whether this can work.
In the priority network alone, 100 additional kilometers are planned to be created by the end of 2023. But instead of the 80 million euros required for this, only 59 million have been set aside in the budget for all cycling measures. “We very much question that the Senate will be able to do 100 kilometers by the end of 2023,” summarized Sørensen.
And further delays are programmed: In order for cycle paths to be built in 2024, planning would have to start in the next two years – but there is no money for this. “We are seeing a massive underfunding of the cycle network today and tomorrow.” It is not unlikely that there will be déjà vu again in June 2023.