8 responses to “Berlin’s cycling rate versus reality

  1. Tim

    “the factors above have less importance…”
    …and importantly, if you do happen to fall off (perhaps because a puddle is concealing a pothole or something) you’re less likely to go under a bus doing 40mph. That’s one of the big factors for me. 🙂

    • USbike

      For that same reason, I strongly dislike going downhill by bicycle in my city. People (who never cycle) are always surprised by that answer but it’s because I feel much less in control of the situation, especially in the event that anything would ever happen. It also doesn’t help that they like to put manholes right smack in the middle of the bike lane and these, like long stretches of the gutters here, are often not flush with the paved road, further reducing the usable width of the narrow 3-foot bike lane.

  2. johdi

    When I was visiting Berlin, I thought the same when comparing cycling there and in Rotterdam. But public transport (U- & S-bahn, bus, tram) in Berlin is awful, so when it is cold/rainy etc. I can imagine you take that as an alternative. The same in Rotterdam, public transport is great by Dutch standards, so maybe that is one of the reasons why it has a low modal share of cycling (by Dutch standards, because the cycle network is extensive and state of the art).

  3. davidhembrow

    That idea of counting cyclists on a sunny day and extrapolating wildly. It’s brilliant. Produces terrific impressive figures for marketing a “cycling city”. Now where did I hear that before ?

  4. I’m afraid a culture change is needed, before a city can call itself cycling or cycle-friendly city: bike lanes sometimes just dissolve, cars are always parked on bike lanes and the police just accepts that (or so it seems), the traffic light for cars that go to the right has mostly the same frequency as the traffic light for cyclists, (more than) half of the streets has no bike lane, yet double car lanes and/or cars parked at both sides of the road and/or 2 pavewalks at least 5m wide, etc. etc.

    As a Dutch person, I do not share the idea that Berlin is anywhere near bike-friendly, and to me it’s not a biking city at all. Manipulating the statistics is not a solution: wide bike lanes, own traffic lights and a change of traffic-culture is needed to make Berlin safe to drive a bike around.

  5. MJ Ray

    Good infrastructure is not enough in winter. We have some here but it’s not gritted or cleared of snow so you need to be either brave enough to use the roads or have spiked tyres. Everyday mass cycling needs maintenance too.

    • You’re quite right, when it’s snowy or icy extra maintenance is required. I didn’t want to get into that, so was concentrating on the most common winter weather here, as shown in the video, when it’s only cold and wet. That alone is enough to put most Berliners off cycling, it seems. Snow and ice are another thing altogether!

  6. Pingback: Radverkehrsanteil in Berlin – Statistik vs. Wirklichkeit | Das andere Bundesministerium für Verkehr

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