#193: Rave 1st aid. Some bike paths. Street re-name.
A100 autobahn over cost!
Hey 20 Percenters!
As a journalist, I try to act impartial when delving into a story, whether I wrote it or not. And recently I started to worry that 20 Percent is too anti the current Berlin administration. The CUD/SPD coalition was elected democratically, after all. And while I can understand them saying they want to review construction projects launched by the previous administration, it just seems dumb to say: We’re doing nothing until we look at all of them, like it did on new bike paths.
This week transportation czar Manja Schreiner (CDU) released the first results of that review, saying she would allow six planned new bike paths but pause five others.
The approved paths will be:
Schlesische Straße, Köpenicker Straße, Bethaniendamm, Obere Freiarchenbrücke (F’hain-Xberg)
Scheffelstraße, Möllendorfstraße, S-Bahnbrücke (Lichtenberg)
Gülzower-, Gutenberg-, Hellersdorfer Straße (Marzahn-Hellersdorf)
Not going to happen:
Sonnenallee - Krebsgang to Köllnische Heide (Neukölln)
Siegfriedstraße – Bornitzstraße -Rüdigerstraße (Lichtenberg)
Berliner Straße, Grunewaldstraße, Blissestraße, Bamberger Straße
Hauptstraße, Dominicusstraße, Kleistpark (Tempelhof-Schöneberg)
Schreiner claims she wants to balance the needs of everyone, not just make decisions in favor of cyclists. But I own a car and driving it through the city center is far less fraught with frustration and danger than riding a bike and, frankly, it should be the other way around. Berlin would have to build a lot of bike paths and pedestrian streets before cars would really even start to notice.
So while I’m going to try to be more open-minded toward our administration, I don’t think I’m going to stop being pro-bike.
In other news: It’s going to be hot this weekend, so stay hydrated and probably get an inflatable for the Spree.
To rave or not to rave
Rave the Planet said early Friday it had hired a private company to provide extensive first aid stations along the rave’s route through Tiergarten Saturday, saving the successor to the legendary Love Parade open-air rave. Police had said it would only allow the event — officially a protest — with sufficient first aid services. Rave the Planet is suing to have the requirement lifted and police could still halt the event if it deems the services unsuitable, according to RBB24. Last year 100 people required help, mostly because of alcohol- or drug-related issues. The event (even when it was the Love Parade) has always walked a weird, thin line of acting like a political protest while looking and functioning like a commercial event.
Our newest street: Anton-Wilhelm-Amo Straße
Mohrenstraße in Mitte can be re-named as the admittedly clunky Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Straße, a Berlin administrative court ruled Thursday. Mitte wanted to rename the street because “Mohr” (Moor), which refers to north Africans, is often seen as a racist term connected with colonialism. Residents on the street had sued to halt the renaming, in part because it will cost them money (updating their addresses) and because they say the original intent wasn’t racism but to highlight a specific group’s contribution to Berlin. The judge said that while the opponents made some good arguments, that didn’t overrule the government’s power to rename streets when it wants to. Anton Wilhelm Amo was the first African to study and teach (philosophy) at a German university. BVG already wanted to rename the Mohrenstraße stop to Glinkastraße until it was discovered that its namesake, Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, was an anti-semite. Maybe Berlin should just do what Mannheim does and give the streets numbers instead.
A100 is dumb and expensive
The under-construction extension of the A100 highway up to Treptower Park will cost €20 million more than the planned €700 million and a whopping €408 million more than the original estimate 20 years ago, according to Tagesspiegel (paywall). Berlin also has no idea what to do with the traffic that will spill off the extension into Treptow (85,000 cars per day!!!) when/if it opens late next year. The next planned extension, that would take it and the accompanying traffic across the Spree and into Prenzlauer Berg would cost €1.4 billion. Our previous administration looked ready to battle the planned extension but our current administration would probably prefer to start work on it today. Can you imagine an autobahn whizzing past the western end of Treptower Park and across the Spree? Me neither.
On this day in 2008, the United Nations added six modernist Berlin housing estates to its list of World Heritage Sites because they’re pretty spectacular (but then, I’m married to a landscape architect who loves such things). The estates are all worth a visit and are super instagrammable:
Carl-Legien in Prenzlauer Berg
Falkenberg (aka the Palette) Estate in Köpenick
Horseshoe Estate in Neukölln (see above)
Schillerpark Estate in Wedding
Siemensstadt Estate in Spandau
(Uncomfortably named) White City Estate in Reinickendorf
This is the end, my friend. And if you got this far without a subscription you’re helping no one. Not yourself and not us.