Dispute over mobility law: fight over the parking space in front of the door

The fact that the SPD now wants to add a car chapter to the mobility law certainly offers opportunities. On the one hand.

Road space is limited – does everyone have the same claim to it? Photo: dpa

He’s back. Heinrich Strobenreuther, the all-purpose weapon of Berlin’s cycling lobby, has returned from his self-imposed break from activism. He simply couldn’t stand the SPD’s latest move: shortly before the mobility law was to enter the final round of deliberations in the transport committee on Thursday, the parliamentary group had reopened the package and, among other things, made common cause with the opposition’s demand that a chapter also be reserved for car traffic.

The commitment to the car from the depths of the Social Democratic parliamentary group is "a kick in the face" for its junior politicians, says the bike man, referring among others to SPD deputy Tino Schopf, who helped negotiate the current bill – without a car. He is now counting on the Greens, Strobenreuther says: "They should ask the coalition question or else get the thing done before the summer break."

It’s understandable that all those who pushed the legislative process with the bicycle referendum in the first place are having a crisis when another deadline is threatened. After all, there will be no change whatsoever on the streets even two years after R2G took office. On the other hand, one can also believe the coalition partners, who unanimously emphasize that the project will definitely be parked until the summer.

"City-compatible car traffic"

But what are we to make of the SPD’s car proposal, beyond the fact that it is a nod to the SPD’s own car-savvy voters? If you ask Tino Schopf, you will hear that such a section of the regulations is only intended to ensure "city-compatible car traffic. It could include rules on parking space management, speed limits, perhaps even driving bans or a city toll. That sounds good and is actually in the interests of those who are concerned with a change in traffic policy (like Strobenreuther).

But if, in addition to the still unfinished sections on pedestrian and commercial traffic, negotiations are also held in the future about private cars and motorcycles, there is nevertheless considerable potential for conflict: because the car fans in the SPD are also concerned about securing "stationary traffic," vulgo: about the parking space in front of the door. This clashes with the land swap that the Rad chapter, which is now to be passed, seeks.

If this conflict also breaks out at the legislative level, the already difficult implementation could become even more complicated. And Heinrich Strobenreuther will not be able to take care of his own projects again any time soon.

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