How much space do cyclists need? This was the subject of a discussion in the taz between the Senator for Transport, the Greens, a bicycle activist and the ADAC.
Pretty tight, on the streets in Berlin. Photo: dpa
In the end, the senator made himself unpopular after all – as he himself foreshadowed. "We shouldn’t forget that cyclists are not better people either – after all, they cause 50 percent of the accidents in which they are involved." Andreas Geisel (SPD) said it on the panel on "How much space do cyclists need?" to which taz.berlin had invited to its in-house cafe on Thursday.
The figure should be taken with a grain of salt; after all, it also includes "solo accidents," such as when a drunken cyclist topples out of the saddle. But well – the debate, in which the Green Stefan Gelbhaar, Kerstin Stark (Volksentscheid Fahrrad) and Volker Krane from the ADAC also took part, was primarily about the draft law of the referendum initiative, which collected a hundred thousand signatures in the first phase of the referendum.
Despite recent tentative signals of willingness to talk, the positions on the draft, the implementation of which would create ample space for bicycles, remained hardened. Geisel called it a "quick fix," which Stark found "impertinent.
After all, he said, citizens and experts had spent months tweaking it. At least Geisel expressly praised the compromise proposal put forward by BUND to promote cycling with 40 million euros a year. So there has already been some movement.
The fact that the state-owned Grun Berlin GmbH is to operate a "bike path construction company" is apparently a given for Geisel – but not for Gelbhaar. The two will have plenty to say to each other in any coalition negotiations.