Berlin's new car-free initiative makes headway
“Berlin autofrei”, a citizen’s initiative aiming to get cars off the streets of the German capital, has gained more than 20.000 signatures and has submitted a draft proposal to the city’s Senate, with hopes to create the world's largest reduced-car area.
Berlin autofrei initiative was launched in October 2020
“Berlin autofrei”, which aims to cut the number of cars in the city, has gained 50.000 signatures as of August 2021. The Senate recognised around 27.000 of those signatures as valid, but did not count a further fifth of signatures, since the required 20.000 had already been fulfilled.
If the bill is not approved by the Senate, the organisers behind the initiative aim to collect 175.000 signatures to trigger a referendum on the matter. In that case, eligible Berliners will get the opportunity to vote on the matter in 2023.
Berlin’s Senate now has five months to examine the proposal
The Senate now has five months to make a decision on whether or not to approve the proposal, titled “The Berlin Law For Road Use Based On The Common Good” (“Berliner Gesetz für gemeinwohlorientierte Straßennutzung”). After the Senate has examined the proposals, the next step is for them to be presented to Berlin’s state parliament.
If the law is successfully passed, traffic in central Berlin will be significantly reduced and driving though the city would become more difficult. Use of many of the roads in the city will be reduced to pedestrian, cyclist, or public transport only.