Putting the fingers on the handlebars in braking position. A draughtsman’s glance to the left into the traffic circle at wilhelmsplatz: the motorist notices me and stops. Halay across. Then look to the right: does the van driver notice me?? Or it will run over me? He brakes – albeit abruptly, as evidenced by the squealing noise and the wobbling of the car. In friedrichstrabe toward the city center, the two-meter-wide clearance between thick yellow lines: a new bike lane creates space and safety between car and bike traffic.
The new mabnahme will now be tested for a year. "The traffic trial is deliberately intended to "keep open the possibility for further improvement", says construction officer thomas beese. City. Traffic police and emergency services will "watch the impact very closely" in the coming months. After that, the m-acceptance, which costs the city about 15000 euros, can be continued or changed in other places.
Two bike lanes at the intersection
On the wide lane, the rigid grip of the fingers around the handlebars loosens, the shoulders lower themselves, the rows of teeth are no longer dogged as they were at the traffic circle. Before the intersection at schonleinsplatz, the lanes then split up. Cyclists on the right and cyclists on the right have a common lane. In order to go straight ahead into lange strabe, cyclists have their own lane. Between a bus on the right and rolling masses of sheet metal on the left, however, it still feels unfamiliar – accordingly, my body tenses up again and I roll at half walking speed.
But almost all car drivers respect the traffic flow, only once i have to brake briefly and swerve, because a driver of a landing car from northern germany can’t quite decide which direction to take. Once swerve is an improvement, as every female who cycles along here almost every day. At the traffic light behind three other cyclists I come to a stop and exhale with relief. In front of the car lane, there is a wide parking lane for cyclists, but it is hardly used so far. "The new cycle path in friedrichstrabe is pleasant, the crossing is not", says bicycle activist benjamin stocker. His suggestion: "the strip could be ten centimeters wider at the point where it divides." currently, cyclists have 1.58 meters of space here.
Car drivers and cyclists disagree
Car driver ingeborg weisensee sees the mabnahme quite differently:" i find it impossible and dangerous for the cyclists to ride in the middle now." stocker and weisensee both wrote letters to the editor in which they complained about the reckless behavior of each other’s road users.
Above the intersection, the usual chaos in the long street: a sporty car overtakes me at the narrow spot between the two construction sites with a gap of what feels like ten centimeters. To keep the track with all means, nearly all muscles cramp together. A short time later i overtake the sports car again, because its horsepower doesn’t help it get past the avalanche of metal rolling at snail’s pace either.
Variant 2 in de kapuzinerstrabe
In kapuzinerstrabe, the situation eased again – because of the next two-meter-wide yellow-edged bicycle lane that the city had already installed there in june. At the intersection to markusplatz, a different variant was chosen than in friedrichstrabe: one lane for right-turners as well as straight cyclists. If one wants to test both variants in order to then impose one as the nonplusultra? "No. We have chosen this way, because the traffic flows are completely different. In friedrichstrabe, most people want to go straight ahead or turn left. At markusplatz we have the right-turning streams", explains construction officer beese.
But won’t you be overlooked by the cars turning right at markusplatz if you want to cycle straight ahead?? "No. The road is so luxuriously wide that the drivers stop and pay attention to the cyclists", stocker is happy.
According to motorist weisensee, however, the cyclists hardly showed any consideration for other road users. "Sometimes passing on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes crossing the sidewalk: they ride as they please here." in their opinion, the police had to act more harshly and more often. She considers measures such as wider bike lanes "nonsensical". Anders stocker: there is still room for improvement, but "the two traffic trials are definitely better than anything the city has done so far."
Irrespective of this, the self-test shows that it took me just under one and a half minutes to cycle from wilhelmsplatz to markusplatz, despite two red lights. The colleague with the car almost eight.