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Model project for neighborhoods without private parking starts

Modellprojekt für Graefekiez in Berlin

In Berlin's Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, a highly publicized model project for a switch to more sustainable forms of urban mobility will start in April: In Kreuzberg's Graefekiez, where 22,000 people live, private parking spaces are to be gradually eliminated from public streets.

In a first step, up to 400 parking spaces will be created within a year, Annika Gerold, the district councilor for transportation, announced on Tuesday. Among them are 80 in a core area with several school locations. Residents affected can park their private cars in a parking garage for 50 euros a month.

More space for carsharing, electric scooters and cargo bikes

On some of the abolished parking spaces, residents will have the opportunity to redesign and use the freed-up areas themselves; unsealing is also planned. On other former parking areas, 13 stations for sharing vehicles such as cars, electric scooters, bicycles and cargo bikes are to be created, as well as up to 37 charging and delivery zones for commercial traffic.

Project review in 2024

According to Gerold, the project will be reviewed in 2024 and it will be discussed whether it should be gradually expanded to the entire Graefekiez. People in the district are to be involved in various ways in the process. Gerold cited greater traffic safety, more quality of stay, adaptation to climate change and better conditions for commercial traffic as the goals.

Road closure and speed limits

The project, which also includes closing a street to traffic and setting speed limits, is being supported by the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). The center is planning regular surveys of residents and traffic measurements. Andreas Knie, one of the center's experts, described the question as follows: "Will it work at all, will the project be accepted by the people? Based on the answers, the project could serve as a model for other Berlin neighborhoods or beyond the capital.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 15 March 2023
Last updated: 15 March 2023

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