Scheuer's plan for climate goals: "Germany must become a bicycle country"

              Saturday December 28, 2019

              According to Transport Minister Scheuer, there is more money for cycling than ever before – 1.45 billion euros. In doing so, he is particularly responsible for the countries that are responsible for the construction of cycle paths. This is the only way to achieve the climate goals.
              Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer wants to make cycling in Germany better and safer – and better network it with other means of transport. The CSU politician said he strongly believes that climate goals can only be achieved "if we have heavy bicycle traffic and Germany becomes a bicycle country". There is more money than ever for bicycle traffic, 1.45 billion by 2023. The federal government is not responsible for the construction of cycle paths in cities and towns, said Scheuer. "But I am in good spirits, with my new alliance for modern mobility, that the municipalities and the federal states are reporting projects to us where we can provide substantial support and the cycle path network in Germany is improving and becoming safer." It is also about better protection of cyclists, the Minister stressed. He referred to changes in the traffic regulations. Accordingly, there should be more space and more rights for cyclists, as well as stricter rules for cars. For example, fines for parking in the "second row", on footpaths and bike paths, are to rise. In addition, there will be entire zones in addition to bicycle roads – generally a maximum of 30 km / h will then be permitted there, bicycle traffic must not be endangered or obstructed. When turning right, there should be a green arrow that only applies to cyclists. Cyclists often live dangerously on German roads, and from January to September 2019, according to the Federal Statistical Office, 358 cyclists died in traffic accidents. That was 3 more than in the same period last year – with fewer deaths in accidents overall. "The situation in the cities has become more stressful, especially for the weaker road users," said Scheuer. "Thank God, a great many people have already switched to bicycles. But changing even more means that different traffic planning is required, and the different modes of transport need to be separated in the traffic area." The Ministry has various funding projects for this. "But it has to be implemented on site." Scheuer also wants to better connect bicycle traffic with other modes of transport. Deutsche Bahn had already announced that it would be easier for rail customers to take their bike with them in the future. It is a "cross-mode thinking," said the minister. In addition to park + ride spaces, there should also be park + bike spaces at a train station. "That will be the future." So far, separations of the various modes of transport have prevented people from switching from cars to bicycles. The General German Bicycle Club spoke of a "huge opportunity" for the congested cities. "For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic, there is a noticeable political tailwind for bicycles – from the conservative camp," said Federal Managing Director Burkhard Stork. From 2020, the climate package will provide federal funds for four years for "premium cycle paths" all over the country. There is a great deal of social openness to attractive alternatives to the car. "From 2020 onwards, there must really be an end to alibi infrastructure and fear cycling on the street," said Stork. "The framework is now there to create cities that are worth living in and to invite everyone to cycle through quality cycle paths, spacious bicycle parking garages and safe crossings." Now the municipalities are challenged. "You now have to make network plans for premium cycling so that you can apply for federal funding and use it as soon as the administrative agreement is in place. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity for a cycling country in Germany."

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