Road traffic continues to pose a significant burden to the urban environment. Its numerical development is monitored by traffic counts that have been carried out in the western boroughs of Berlin at regular intervals since 1951 and since 1993 for the entire city area. The Traffic Management Division of the Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action is responsible for carrying out traffic counts on motorways, federal highways and the remaining main road network. The current data refers to the year 2019 and thus updates the values of the preceding analysis from 2014.
The level of motorisation, i.e. the ratio of cars to the number of inhabitants, still differed greatly between East and West Berlin in 1970. For instance, there were 77.5 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in East Berlin in 1970, compared to 175.4 in the western part of the city, i.e. almost 100 vehicles more per 1,000 inhabitants. In 1995, also due to the reunification, the numbers were already much closer together than before: in East Berlin 320 cars were now available per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 375 cars in West Berlin. Since 2011, the level of motorisation has stagnated (cf. Fig. 1). In comparison with other cities, Berlin is thus still at a very favourable level with 330 cars/1,000 inhabitants. For instance, Munich with 540 (2018) and Hamburg with about 434 cars/1,000 inhabitants (2019) exhibit far higher values. The German average was 569 cars/1,000 inhabitants in 2019.
As ecomobility is gaining in importance, there are, however, clear differences in the number of road users between Berlin’s inner city and urban areas on the periphery, which still experience a high share of motorised private transport.