Berlin is up two spots in 2017. Since the wall came down, Berlin has been rough and vaguely structured in all aspects of urban life, let alone bicycle infrastructure.
The cycling citizens show daily that they are ready to cycle. And only with improved infrastructure and a better network will the city move forward.
Berlin’s rise up the ranking is due in great part to some extraordinary activism. The Volksentscheid Fahrrad (Cycling Referendum) responded to a unique tool in the city’s democratic framework. If you can gather enough signatures for a cause, the City is forced to debate it in city council. The group showed how modern activism should be and could be everywhere. They placed cycling on the agenda with a bang.
Luckily, a new coalition came into power and their transport focus is on sustainable transport. Berlin’s political and community engagement climate is in a perfect sweet spot. What happens is still to be seen.
The modal share is a respectable 13% but there are neighbourhoods where the numbers are as high as 20%. A new bike share is slated for 2017 and there are experiments with traffic-free streets and they are testing Green Waves for cyclists.
The number of cargo bikes for private and commercial use is rising exponentially, showing that the citizens are ready for a car-free daily life. But that also mean wider and better infrastructure is needed.
The City should listen to the plans outlined by the Cycling Referendum and implement them. The bizarre mix of bike infrastructure designs resulting from years of planners trying to squeeze bikes into a car centric paradigm need to be made uniform. With the rise of the cargo bike, the City needs to plan accordingly for them from the beginning.