The Berlin Mobility Act: a legal framework for transport transition,

In July 2018 the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection of Berlin passed a new mobility act. The new act aims to provide safer, more mobile and more climate-friendly transport for all within the city. The law pays particular attention to cyclists and to harmony between the coexistence of cars, bikes, buses and trains.

Berlin is the first federal state to pass such an all-inclusive mobility law.

The act supports the Berlin Senate goal to make Berlin climate-neutral by 2050. It also supports vision zero which aims to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities and seriously injured persons to a minimum.

 

What is planned? The key elements of the Berlin Mobility Act

The Berlin Mobility Act includes all modes to improve the efficiency of the transport system as a whole. The act consists of six elements which will take shape over time (see Figure).

The law will include the following measures:

  • Bicycle infrastructure spending will be expanded to 200 million euros in 2018 and 2019 and will include exclusive cycle paths and roads.
  • 100 thousand new bicycle parking spaces are planned across bus stops, stations, schools and at other institutions.
  • Redesign up to 30 dangerous intersections annually to make them safer.
  • Approximately 60 new public authority employees will implement the plan.
  • Car sharing and electric cars will not be allowed to use bus lanes.


Civic participation in the process

The Berlin Mobility Act represents an unprecedented example of civic participation in the transport policy process.

The “Volksentscheid Fahrrad” (Bicycle Referendum campaign) was a deciding factor during the process of drafting the law. In 2015 over 100,000 thousand public signatures, supporting a bike-friendly Berlin, were collected and handed to the Senate. The Senate administration subsequently developed the new law collaboratively in conjunction with “Volksentscheid Fahrrad” activists and also the German cyclists' federation ADFC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club) and BUND the Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland). This makes the Berlin Mobility Act a success for Berlin’s civic society in terms of their participation in transport policy.

 

Next steps

The Berlin Mobility Act gives climate-friendly forms of mobility added political weight and is considered a pioneer in the area of mobility transition.

In addition, the elements of the Berlin Mobility Act will continue to expand to deal with pedestrian traffic, intelligent mobility and the concept of integrated commercial transport which will play an important role.

A broad participation process is currently being undertake to create a section for pedestrian traffic and intelligent mobility (carsharing, digitalisation and other relevant issues in the future).

 

More Information

Further information about the Berlin Mobility Act can be found on the Senate Department website (in German only).

Figure: Six Elements of the Mobility Act (Source: Based on senUVK.de)

 

 

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