FDP call for cyclist-friendly road infrastructure plan in Germany
The FDP is supporting plans for a new cycling infrastructure in Germany that would be more friendly for cyclists and discourage people from driving.
Vogel imagines Copenhagen-style bike lanes for Germany
In a move which is considered a bit more progressive than its usual agenda, the liberal FDP party has proposed that Germany adopt a Copenhagen-style cycling infrastructure across the country and particularly in German cities.
Party representative Johannes Vogel would like to institute more cyclist-friendly road plans which encourage people to leave their cars at home. Speaking to Tagesspiegel, Vogel said that there needed to be a “structural separation” between cyclists and other traffic. “For far too long bike lanes have been squeezed alongside the road or have crossed over the pavement,” he told the German newspaper.
The politician said that while he acknowledged that not everybody could adopt new travel habits, by virtue of living far away from their work or amenities, he stressed that having a good cycling infrastructure, even at 3am, is a “reality of urban life rather than a luxury”.
Public transport must also be developed
Speaking to Tagesspiegel Vogel said that he believed Germany should take its inspiration from Copenhagen, the city known for its spacious cycle paths. “We need real, separate cycle paths in cities, so that people can travel more safely,” Vogel demanded, but also acknowledged that other methods of transportion would have to be further developed for his plan to accommodate all different kinds of commuters.
“In order to have fewer cars in our cities, we must make the alternatives more attractive. The better S-Bahn, U-Bahn networks, car sharing possibilities or bike lanes are, the more cars will be left at home,” Vogel said.
Recent surveys suggest he might be right that the Germans are ready to change their travelling habits and embrace more climate-friendly modes of travel like public transport. An October study by digital industry association Bitkom found that 98 percent of people in Germany changed their travel habits in the past year, with climate being the biggest motivator.
41 percent of people said that the 9-euro ticket and rising petrol and diesel prices were a motivating factor. What's more, 39 percent of those asked said that they now used their bike more regularly and 22 percent said they use bike sharing services now and again.