#187: No to cycling infrastructure, dysfunctional Ausländerbehörde
And keep an eye on your pooches in parks!
Hey 20 Percent!
Like a parent unable to get control of their family without outside help, Engelhard Mazanke, director of the Ausländerbehörde, admitted in a Tagesspiegel interview (paywall) that his agency is “dysfunctional”. No Scheiße, Sherlock.
I’ll repeat some of the statistics he told the paper, though it’s nothing new for any of us — which makes it all the more infuriating. If the agency, officially the Landesamt für Einwanderung, closed its doors and focused on its backlog, it would take the bureaucrats three months to process the office’s stalled applications and inquiries. In the department focused on students and skilled workers alone there’s a backlog of 10,000 unanswered emails (and you thought your inbox was ugly).
Mazanke said the situation was untenable for a country dependant on immigration — waiting times for regular appointments are between three and six months. Surprisingly, he wants what most of us want: streamlined processes with more of the work put online. But also more employees.
His agency, he said, takes too detailed of a look at applications. They need to become more “charitable”.
So why aren’t the politicians listening?
The other shining light: The office issued 50% more visas last year, though he said that only hurt the backlog in other areas.
More news below and please have a good weekend. I’ll be moderating a German-language event at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften in Adlershof.
New government halts all new cycling infrastructure
If there even was a honeymoon with Berlin’s new government, it’s over now. Berlin’s new traffic Senator (minister) has halted reviews, planning or hearings on new cycling infrastructure because Berlin’s future is apparently automotive. Any ongoing project that requires the elimination of even a single parking spot is also to be put on hold, Manja Schreiner (CDU), the Senator, said in an email to the borough of Lichtenberg, which Berlin media were fed. Lichtenberg has been working to put a protected bike path on Siegfriedstraße but since it requires the removal of parking spots (in favor of safer cycling) the project is no more. 😢
Ringbahn will be back Friday eve
The good news is, you won’t have to take Schienenersatzverkehr (bus replacement service) between the Ringbahn’s Beusselstraße and Wedding S-Bahn stations. The bad news is that’s because the S-Bahn doesn’t have enough buses to offer reliable replacement service until the Ringbahn goes back in service between the stations sometime Friday evening. Police are investigating the likely arson of signalling cables Wednesday that took Berlin’s transport artery partially out of service, RBB says. The S-Bahn says you’re better off using other transport to circumvent the area, and has suggestions:
between Wedding and Westhafen U6 and U9, changing at Leopoldplatz
between Wedding and Beusselstraße U6 and bus 106 changing at Seestraße
between Wedding, Nettelbeckplatz and Jungfernheide bus M27
between Gesundbrunnen and Westkreuz S-Bahns S1, S2, S25, S26 and S3, S5, S7, S9 changing at Friedrichstraße
Watch your dogs in Berlin parks (it’s because of drugs)
Do you like to take your dog to the dog park in Mauerpark? Maybe you shouldn’t. Canines are regularly getting ill (and supposedly dying) after consuming narcotics or fecal matter from drug users dropped in the bushes there, according to Tagesspiegel. Local authorities are aware of the problem but, like for every issue in Berlin, they say they don’t have the time or employees. They say you should just keep a better eye on your dog. Viel Spaß!
The Final (or Last) Generation climate activists blocked Berlin traffic 240 times in March and April, leading to 1,123 possible charges for coercion, traffic coercion and resisting arrest, according to RBB24. The figures come as Berlin works to create a special court with five dedicated judges to quickly try the protestors, according to taz.
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