Berlin hardly calls up funds for cycle path financing
The federal government is donating a total of 657 million euros to the states for better bike paths. Berlin could get 30 million of that - but it's in danger of being largely forfeited. The "City and Country" program expires in 2023.
So far, only three Berlin projects have been approved for 4.1 million euros in funding, and three others have been registered for 1.9 million. This is shown in a list from the transport administration. The federal government provides between 75 and 90 percent of the funding for each project.
A spokeswoman for Transportation Senator Bettina Jarasch (Greens) said that the Reinickendorf district plans to apply for three to six more projects. She thus confirmed a report in the "Berliner Morgenpost."
The transport administration promised to "call up as much federal funding as possible by 2023", but with the restriction that this would be done "within the framework of personnel and financial capacities". Because of the current provisional budget freeze, further projects cannot be started until the 2022/23 double budget is passed, the spokeswoman said.
The ADFC demanded more staff in the administrations - but planners for cycling are wanted everywhere. As reported, many positions are unfilled, especially in the district offices. "For capacity reasons, fewer projects can be planned and built than desirable," the administration announced.
In an approval list of the Federal Ministry of Transport as of February, only one Berlin project is mentioned so far: a bicycle bridge in Schmöckwitzwerder over the Oder-Spree Canal, 100 meters before the city border. This bridge is only important for the Brandenburg town of Gosen and for tourists. The federal government is covering 80 percent of the 4.5 million euro construction costs. In 2016, the administration had announced the renewal of the bridge for "starting in 2018."
The other two projects that have just been approved are much smaller: a "two-directional bicycle path with lighting" on August-Fröhlich-Strasse in the Neukölln district of Rudow (funded with 105,000 euros) and bicycle parking facilities (375,000 euros). The three projects that have not yet been approved are rededications of car lanes for cyclists, namely on Steglitzer Damm, Boelckestraße (Tempelhof) and Allee der Kosmonauten in Marzahn. But that was it.
By way of comparison, Brandenburg has had 37 projects approved, including some in which surrounding communities want to build a connection to the Berlin network. The front-runner is Baden-Württemberg, with more than 160 projects.
Hamburg - as a city state better comparable to Berlin - is also much further ahead. There, among other things, a bicycle parking garage with 1,200 spaces has been launched at Harburg station. The federal government is covering 75 percent of the costs of almost 11 million euros. Berlin has been discussing locations for such a parking garage for 15 years, but has no finished project on the drawing board.
According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Hanseatic city has already been granted 15 million euros in subsidies. According to the distribution key, Hamburg can receive a maximum of 24 million - six times as much as Berlin has secured so far.
Image by D Gislason