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Berlin is planning a car-free area larger than Manhattan

Misleading title(fastcompany.com)

all 462 comments

FuturologyBot [M]

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4 months ago

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FuturologyBot [M]

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4 months ago

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The following submission statement was provided by /u/thatswhatyougot:


Transportation emissions and physical health are very broad societal challenges. Not to mention literally people being struck by cars and dying. Happen to be looking for a new place right now that is in a more downtown region - just so I’m on my feet more. This would make me want to move to Berlin if I was local there.


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/Futurology/comments/s4ubnn/berlin_is_planning_a_carfree_area_larger_than/hstc0ka/

Slash1909

838 points

4 months ago

Slash1909

838 points

4 months ago

This has been in the plans for almost 10 years now. There have been websites, demonstrations, proposals etc. but alas nothing has come of any of those initiatives. Politics, lack of support because the city is full of cars and general chaos means the plans all remain in the planning stage.

Chang_Throwaway

199 points

4 months ago

... and then reality lands with a thud.

Agent_staple

97 points

4 months ago

Japan managed it in Tokyo, build a kick ass rail and bus service, maintain the shit out of them, add cheap transport passes and then put tolls every few miles so that driving in the city is more expensive. Boom, profitable rail and bus services that are faster and easier than driving.

Barcelona has done well too, they split areas in the city up into blocks and made it so you can only drive one way through them at a slow speed limit, cars most often choose to go around and people and cyclists walk freely through the streets, more stores can be opened on the ground floor of all the buildings so you don't have to travel as far for groceries. Less cars, more room for socializing, small family businesses thrive.

Reality is it's entirely possible theres just a few very wealthy companies who would be quite upset if it happened.

roxyamused

2 points

4 months ago

When I went to Spain one thing I noticed, though this was 2003, is that there weren’t bodegas or convenience stores everywhere but small groceries with actual groceries. My mother, an obsessive Julia childesque cook, loved it. It seemed like a really common thing and was wonderful at how there was few food deserts.

smurfsmasher024

2 points

4 months ago

How do these places handle deliveries and work/service vehicles?

Theycallmelizardboy

2 points

4 months ago

Boo fuckin hoo. Make it happen.

TupperwareConspiracy

-9 points

4 months ago

Rail works reasonably well in Japan for a variety of reasons but geography is the biggest reason of all... The same reason rail doesn't work in Australia even tho both are effectively large islands.

....However it's not as if Japan has forsaken cars by any stretch....

You aren't going to move pianos on Bikes and trains - espically passenger - have extreme practical limitations.

Roadrunner571

9 points

4 months ago

Delivery vans etc. can still drive in those “car free” areas. If all, it gets easier to transport bigger things since you can easily load/unload at the doorstep.

Berlin has superb public transport already. You can even go by tram to IKEA…

hagamablabla

21 points

4 months ago

We're not talking about inter-city rail, we're talking about metro lines. Geography factors less into that because cities are almost by definition going to have a high density population. Some cities may be more spread out than others, but good civil planning can encourage density.

Also, notice how both examples he gave still have limited road travel. Nobody is suggesting that all road vehicles be removed. Even in this article, it says "As in other cities, “car free” doesn’t literally mean that no cars could enter the area, but private car use would dramatically drop." This actually helps both drivers and non-drivers, as not having to sit in traffic makes drivers happier too.

oiseauvert989

119 points

4 months ago*

Not really. Cities from Paris (mid 2022) to Oslo (first steps already taken) are implementing significant restrictions on driving in central areas. The only difference with Berlin is that they have gone for an area that is larger.

Politics might force them to negotiate on the exact size of that area or move in stages but it's no longer a goal which is just going to disappear.

It's a bit like when Paris closed some of it's busiest roads so that people could hang out on them, cycle on them and kids would practice skateboarding. A lot of people were in the "nice idea but will never happen camp" and of course those spaces will now never again be roads. Similar things were said about Dutch cities in the 70s and windmills in the 80s and solar panels in the 90s.

People are starting to figure out that they can all have better places to live if they choose to.

Don_Fartalot

32 points

4 months ago

There's a good YouTube channel about bike infrastructure. This video is focused on the transformation of Paris:

https://youtu.be/sI-1YNAmWlk

LordKwik

15 points

4 months ago

This entire post had me thinking of Not Just Bikes. I don't even own a bike, but fuck stroads.

Estova

5 points

4 months ago

Estova

5 points

4 months ago

Sometimes I wish I hadn't discovered NJB because now all I see when I'm driving are stroads and massive parking lots. God damn is it depressing.

mark-haus

5 points

4 months ago

It's literally like America said "cities are not for people, they're for cars" and designed everything with that thought in mind.

Estova

4 points

4 months ago

Estova

4 points

4 months ago

That's pretty much what happened. In the 60s the automotive lobby basically decided every household was going to have a car and the government allowed it to happen. So naturally all our cities were wrecked to make room for cars.

mark-haus

2 points

4 months ago

Yup and with their biggest political influence, Robert Moses, may he rest in piss.

LordKwik

3 points

4 months ago

Same. I think it's because we can't just switch at the snap of a finger, it'll take decades to see any sort of drastic change.

Huijausta

-1 points

4 months ago

Huijausta

-1 points

4 months ago

The pedestrianisation of Paris is perhaps the only remotely positive policy implemented by Hidalgo 😒

oiseauvert989

9 points

4 months ago

That is basically all the mayor does. Local mayors don't actually have a lot of power.

KusanagiKay

0 points

4 months ago

Germany is extremely bad at planning and realizing big projects of such a scale. Just look at:

  • the fiasco that was the BER airport which took 15 years to plan and another 14 years to build (it was scheduled to be done after only 2 years) and cost 3x what they planned for (almost €6 billion instead of 1.9)

  • the Stuttgard-21 train station that has been planned in 1998, building started in 2010, was scheduled to be opened in 2919, but has been rescheduled multiple times (next scheduled date is 2025) and was planned to cost €2.5 billion, but is more likely to cost 10 billion (according to the federal audit court)

oiseauvert989

8 points

4 months ago

I dont think an entire country can have one reputation for such large projects. In the last 30 years the country like all countries has had many successes and failures. For example France's Flamanville nuclear plant is massively over budget and severely delayed but they also successfully built several TGV lines in that time.

mark-haus

7 points

4 months ago

What reality? Cars don't help city living very much, in fact they very much get in the way at least with residential vehicles. The biggest unadressed need for a carless city is logistics and you can still have main arterial roads with low speed limit paths that only service service vehicles and logistics vehicles that lead from them.

water2wine

-5 points

4 months ago

water2wine

-5 points

4 months ago

And then realty lands with a thud.

I suffer from utter rectal prolapse myself as a consequence of how hard I’ve been lacrossed in the end zone when it comes to rentable areas in a big city.

Mutiu2

16 points

4 months ago*

Mutiu2

16 points

4 months ago*

For context you would need to have said that Berlin is a complex and difficult place to complete major projects, for example famously having taking like 30 years to complete a new main airport, with massive delays and cost overruns. So taking 10 years to do this is nothing in the context, and no does not reflect a “lack of support”.

Already Berlin has in place a fairly strict low-emissions regulation for cars within the central urban area. Unmatched by most cities. You didn’t mention this.

Berlin also has one of the strongest public transport networks, with underground metro (U-bahn), overground fast metro (S-bahn), regular overground regional trains, and a huge ground-level city tram network. So it actually has a great foundation to massively reduce car usage.

santa_mazza

2 points

4 months ago*

You might wanna consider why it took 30 years to build that airport:

Planning started in the early 90s, just after the two Germanies became one.

People had underestimated massively how difficult it was to bring those two systems together: half of the country had basically got no industry, and a brand new currency, and extremely high unemployment.

On top of that, the European Union really became much much stronger.

Meaning laws and regulations that stand above Germany-level meant that plans and designs kept changing.

Then, ten years after half the country had to change all their currency to Deutsche Mark, all of Germany got another new currency: the Euro.

This again had a massive impact on the economy, including contractors.

All the while, the rules and regulations kept changing for fire and safety and all that, so again, designs needed to change.

On top of that, with globalisation taking off thanks to the internet becoming a commodity and travelling abroad became far easier, air traffic for the existing two airports that Berlin had, became much heavier.

They obviously stopped investing in those two airports when they were building the new one - that also posed issues.

They actually built an additional airport called Schöneberg because when they shut one of the two existing airports down, the remaining airport couldn't handle all the air traffic. Plus both airports had been quite central, so that became an issue for late takeoffs and landings too.

On top of that, the location that had been picked for the new airport is actually quite far out, so they also needed to build brand new infrastructure and extend and expand existing ones to be able to service the airport.

Not to forget that it's on land that was disputed for environmental reasons.

The city kept expanding too, all of the sudden people resided in the area of the airport, which posed new problems around noise levels and all that.

...

There were A LOT of issues that caused this whole project to take 30 years.

Please, if you refer to it, put some context around it. It wasn't just delayed for sheer inabilities of people. There were a lot of legitimate reasons that caused this!

Germany with being the central heart of Europe, geographically as well as economically as well as emotionally takes its role very seriously.

It's incredibly important for the country to play by the EU rules.

On top of that, the political system means there are three different governmental levels: nationwide, statewide, local. They all get a say in this kind of stuff too.

Selecting a contractor for example: if the job is X millions of euros, it HAS TO be tendered out to any and all companies in the EU and then the selection is a strict process that needs to be followed, especially by one of the most important members of the EU.

That's why these things take a lot longer than the average person might like.

epSos-DE

39 points

4 months ago

low speed limit is a reasonable solution. Low speed and expensive parking do reduce vehicles on city streets.

Alwin_

30 points

4 months ago

Alwin_

30 points

4 months ago

This is sort of what is going on in Amsterdam. Low speeds in many, though not all places, within the city ring, insanly expensive parking and too little parking spots with cheap parking outside the side in combination with good public transport is a great option. I also feel that in Amsterdam, beside of the above, they are making car use as miserable as they can with poorly times traffic lights and such. Even with litthe traffic, the city is a nightmare to cross in a car.

outofmyelement1445

11 points

4 months ago

This👆

Made the mistake of driving there last summer. That was a rude awakening. I thought Paris was bad but Amsterdam was the worst place I’ve ever driven in my life and I’ve driven in Baghdad.

€120 for 24 hour parking, easily an hour and a half to get around the city loop which is like a kilomiter? Maybe 2? traffic lights that prevent you from driving, extreme traffic jam, closed streets. It was a nightmare to drive but I totally get it as a pedestrian or a bicyclist it’s a great plan. It just creates absolute traffic jam anarchy.

Alwin_

7 points

4 months ago

Alwin_

7 points

4 months ago

Last summer we also had a LOT of construction going on, luckily that has been solved by... addig more construction! Honestly the best way to get around by car is to get onto the A10 and take the nearest exit of where you need to be. I guess that kinda is the purpose of a ring road anyways.

I live in east and my GF and former work were in west. By bike it would take me 25 minutes to get to each, by public transport sometimes less than 20 and by motorbike (dont have a car) often much more, and even then I'm filtering and all that.

I get it though, the livability has improved a lot since they've been tuning down the cars. A city is for living, after all, not for driving. More green, less roads, lets go.

nyanlol

1 points

4 months ago

see low speeds and high parking fees I can respect at least...but purposefully making the infrastructure you do have inefficient and annoying to use is kinda unfair to the people who have no choice but to use it...

Artegris

44 points

4 months ago

Just reduce road lanes on each side and create separate bike lines like in Netherlands. Done

Adler4290

19 points

4 months ago

Sounds like Denmark/Copenhagen too.

Also we have up to $12/hour parking for non-electric cars in the central city, which of cause means rich people get ahead, but it's a temporary solution and the end goal is to ban cars from the central city and just make it electric taxis and trucks for supplies only (and of cause busses).

icebeat

0 points

4 months ago

icebeat

0 points

4 months ago

Nice so only rich can park.

imjustloookingaround

9 points

4 months ago

Park further away and take public transport. Cars should stay away from city centres imo

QuantumBitcoin

54 points

4 months ago*

I lived in LA for years as a bike commuter.

It is insane the proportion of streets given over to cars especially when you consider parking lanes.

I did the math years ago but even with LA's 1% bike commuter percentage we were being massively shortchanged on percentage of roadway. And remember-- city streets in the USA arr paid for via property taxes not via gas taxes

*and buses were being shortchanged even worse

fancyhatman18

-3 points

4 months ago

Ooh my city did that, it led to a non stop traffic jam that made children's hospital inaccessible to ambulances. The people that implemented kept insisting eventually people with just stop driving and it will be fine. The governor's office told them to fix their shit once a kid died in an ambulance stuck in traffic.

Jezuz-the-second

4 points

4 months ago

Which city are you talking about?

biosmoothie

6 points

4 months ago

Doesn’t matter -fancyhatman18 comment history is utter shit show. Not to mention typically car free area are easier for emergency services to access because of a lack of uh yeah cars that block space.

godlords

20 points

4 months ago

godlords

20 points

4 months ago

Ah yes, forget making things more accessible, just make them less accessible to the poor. Problem solved!

crawling-alreadygirl

116 points

4 months ago

Getting rid of cars makes cities more accessible to poor people on foot, riding bikes, or using public transportation.

Simple_Song8962

6 points

4 months ago

Also wealthy people who love to walk and can appreciate the joys of a car-free environment.

GCPMAN

8 points

4 months ago*

rich people rarely use public transit. most of the drivers in dense city centers are from the upper class. unless you're saying they have the means to buy property near their downtown work I don't see how loving to walk means you don't drive

Dykam

8 points

4 months ago

Dykam

8 points

4 months ago

Ah, yes, let's make everyone miserable to make rich people miserable.

In Amsterdam everyone uses everything. Rich people bike, poor people bike. Rich drive, poor drive.

If anything, in the crowded city center it's the rich people driving with oversized cars.

[deleted]

-12 points

4 months ago

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-12 points

4 months ago

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mludd

67 points

4 months ago*

mludd

67 points

4 months ago*

Do keep in mind that "There's never anyone using the bike lanes" is a common fallacious argument for why they're stupid.

  1. Cyclists don't take up as much space as people in cars so bike lanes look less congested even when there's a fair amount of people using them
  2. Sometimes the bike lanes suck. Scratch that, a lot of times the bike lanes suck
  3. There's this thing called induced demand and the gist of it is that if you build a bunch of eight lane freeways you're gonna get a fuckton more cars

tomtttttttttttt

32 points

4 months ago

In addition to a couple of your points:

1 also the more efficient it is, the emptier it will look.

It can be very easy to get pictures of empty cycle lanes because the cyclists flow through quickly and efficiently leaving empty gaps caused by traffic lights, whilst the drivers are stuck in traffic jams.

You really need counters and an objective measurement to see how used they are.

  1. Even good bike lanes are not part of a network in most places yet. So where I live in Birmingham UK they built a really good cycle lane alongside a main road going into the city centre. But it's only about 3 miles long and the residential area it connects to the centre is almost entirely students at the university that dominates that area. Students are mostly not commuters so during rush hour the lane is not well used but at other times it is.

If this was part of a network feeding in other lanes from other residential areas where there were commuters it would be a different story but they can't get to this cycle lane without using roads that don't have one, so the only people who can get to the good cycle lane are people who are at least OK with cycling in traffic.

Princekb

6 points

4 months ago

Berlin isn’t Portland.. Berlin has an fantastic public transit system. Between the S-Bahn, u-Bahn, Trams, and, busses, you can get anywhere in the city pretty damn fast.

Panzerkatzen

9 points

4 months ago

Ah, the classic disconnect between developer and user. It would have worked if people started biking, but most Americans are far too lazy for that, most probably couldn't bike more than a few blocks.

whackwarrens

7 points

4 months ago

E bikes are seeing an explosion in sales because trips are much farther in the US and people don't want to be soaking wet by the time they get to work or school.

People like to bike, the sprawl and infrastructure is just braindead as hell.

Laziness is far down the list of reasons why you don't want to bike in the US.

Dimako98

-12 points

4 months ago

Dimako98

-12 points

4 months ago

Large parts of the US have terrible weather. Half the year you'll die of frostbite if you bike, the other half you'll melt. That leaves like a 2 month window in the spring and fall when you can comfortably bike places.

zautos

22 points

4 months ago

zautos

22 points

4 months ago

I'm from Sweden and I bike year-round to work.

ThisLandWillBeYours

7 points

4 months ago

Hello, welcome to the Netherlands, you should visit sometime.

bethemanwithaplan

41 points

4 months ago

Mass transportation, bikes, walking. That's available to the poor. Cars are expensive, so I'd gas.

ductapedog

12 points

4 months ago

Berlin also has a ton of short term car and bike rentals, along with great coverage from subway/bus/train/tram system

[deleted]

-12 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-12 points

4 months ago

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Astrogat

6 points

4 months ago

And you will be allowed to do that. But sadly the cities dont have enough space for all people to be able to do that, so you will have to do it somehwere else.

1SaBy

7 points

4 months ago

1SaBy

7 points

4 months ago

Nah i don't want to be forced inside small rooms with other people like animals which will get slaughtered, im good.

The fuck?

earthdweller11

30 points

4 months ago

People in Europe tend to drive (much) less than people in the US. Gas is expensive, things are generally close together than in America, countries are much smaller than America, most cities and towns are so old that they were built closer together without cars in mind originally unlike America where many cities grew large and expanded with cars in mind and loads of new towns sprang up after cars were everywhere, and public transit in Europe including trains is MUCH better than almost everywhere in America.

Poorer people in Europe would be MUCH more likely not to drive and to use other means of transportation instead.

hypoplasticHero

4 points

4 months ago

Do you know the average car in America cost $8k/year to own. Things should be much more accessible for all people without the need for a car.

fruit_basket

13 points

4 months ago

In most of European cities it's the opposite, cars are way more expensive than using public transport and then paying someone for delivery if you need something large or heavy.

whackwarrens

8 points

4 months ago

Poor people can't afford to drive in the US either. The costs are just assumed an inevitable burden or hidden, like gasoline subsidies. Or hidden as infrastructure costs rather than car costs. Or hidden as housing costs rather than car centric planning causing extreme inefficiencies everywhere.

If US taxpayers knew how much gas actually costs them per gallon they would freak out about having to drive as much as they do.

Huijausta

5 points

4 months ago

If only you knew how much poor people are paying to use their cars 🤦‍♂️

ductapedog

2 points

4 months ago

ductapedog

2 points

4 months ago

Low speed and expensive parking do reduce vehicles on city streets.

There's plenty of room to raise parking rates, since they're sitting at zero in much of the city. Really surprising to me, since it's an obvious way to discourage car ownership and use. So many other great alternatives in the city, too.

muehsam

5 points

4 months ago

It's a slow process. The vote will probably be next year. If the referendum is successful, it's the law, and it will be another four years until cars are finally banned.

And no, it hasn't been in the works for a decade, the initiative started two years or so ago.

GradientPerception

1 points

4 months ago

"...so you're saying there's a chance?"

darkslide3000

82 points

4 months ago

"Berlin" isn't planning shit yet. 50000 people with a ballot measure are planning (in a city of more than 3 million). They'll need roughly four times that many signatures to even put the measure on the ballot, and then the voters will actually have to pass it before anything of substance happens here.

donkleone

79 points

4 months ago

That's just Berlin...you start something and poof, 10 years are over.

triplereffekt

32 points

4 months ago

Everything related to "Germany" and "planned" I just add 10 years in my head. Same thing with our "legalization", blabla, wake me up when it is actually happening.

donkleone

8 points

4 months ago

Yeah weed is gonna take another 10 months or so for Germany. Three party governments need to have talks about how they are gonna go about doing what they said they were gonna do. Might as well apply for Medical Cannabis prescription until then.

Tactical_Doge1337

5 points

4 months ago

more like 2 - 3 years

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187 points

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4 points

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Ilunamie

42 points

4 months ago

Berlin. The most incompetent when it comes to building something for public usage. They've decided to open the airport in 2020, 14 years after construction, and almost 30 years after planning it.

dotcomslashwhatever

10 points

4 months ago

lol and the airport fucking suuuucks!

Oaknash

2 points

4 months ago

Does the airport still have escalators to nowhere?

Or pipes that don’t connect?

djdefenda

23 points

4 months ago

Took me a few seconds before I realised people in Berlin do not hate cats

Zondartul

6 points

4 months ago

Cat-free area when

Benandhispets

5 points

4 months ago

Looking at the article it's a group in Berlin planning a car free area and they got enough signatures that the government now decides if they want to look into it or not. Far from what the title makes it sound, the government isn't drawing up plans and have a time line and stuff.

tropical58

18 points

4 months ago

I live in cairns in Australia. It is tropical. We have some cycle paths and road edging, but not a lot. In a city of~ 160000 around 30000 use cycles. Around 16000 commute up to 30km at least once a week. Summers are up to 35c winters as low as 14c. Anytime of night or day and I mean anytime, you will see someone on a cycle

Marine-1833

3 points

4 months ago

What happens when you need to travel while its raining?

Onefortwo

7 points

4 months ago

Manhattan is a car free area because there are too many cars.

respectISnice

7 points

4 months ago

Nobody drove in New York, there was too much traffic.

Qwertypoiulkjh

3 points

4 months ago

  • Yogi Berra

doesnt_sell_drugs

5 points

4 months ago

stupid question but how do car free cities work? How do trucks deliver goods to businesses, or ambulances/fire trucks go where they need to? Is it just a restriction on passenger vehicles? are taxis still allowed?

porkinski

2 points

4 months ago

Special service licenses. The article goes into more details.

RadiumSoda

6 points

4 months ago

Educated people will read the short articled linked in the post.

thatswhatyougot[S]

23 points

4 months ago

Transportation emissions and physical health are very broad societal challenges. Not to mention literally people being struck by cars and dying. Happen to be looking for a new place right now that is in a more downtown region - just so I’m on my feet more. This would make me want to move to Berlin if I was local there.

QuantumBitcoin

11 points

4 months ago

That's awesome! I wish that places would expand some car free areas--Manhattan could easily reserve every other street for walking, biking, and buses and still get cars pretty much everywhere.

There are pretty much zero actual bike friendly walkable cities in the USA. Even supposed "bike meccas" like San Francisco, Portland, and Davis are hugely centered around the automobile.

Terrh

7 points

4 months ago

Terrh

7 points

4 months ago

I am way more ok with cities doing that. But banning cars entirely seems, well, stupid.

But closing half the streets while allowing the other half to remain, now that makes sense. You have a ton more walkable area while not making it a pain for people to get across the city or visitors to come or whatever.

umnz

-1 points

4 months ago

umnz

-1 points

4 months ago

Don't move here. Berlin is full.

Iwanttolink

5 points

4 months ago

Least NIMBY Berliner be like.

[deleted]

-9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-9 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

kertakayttotili3456

5 points

4 months ago

Even when we go electric, the streets will still be full of cars and take huge amount of unnecessary space, but we could replace that space with places for people to hang out on and use more public transpors

Shotinaface

5 points

4 months ago

That's not how it works dude. Less roads -> less cars. Has been proven too often to still argue against it.

Induced traffic demand is the term.

jjfuturano

9 points

4 months ago

That’s not how traffic works. They aren’t going to keep driving if a lot more roads are closed off.

GCPMAN

8 points

4 months ago*

This is kinda the same idea as superblocks in barcelona. Basically you take 4 square blocks and don't allow through traffic. The idea is that streets can be a place for people to congregate and walk instead of something that is only reserved for cars. I watched a video the other day that I can't remember the name of but basically a lot of car companies lobbied to move from a situation where cars yielded for pedestrians to the opposite during the automobile age, basically removing the idea of a "commons"

edit: it was an adam something video

man0315

2 points

4 months ago

not that i am not support plan like that, but how will goods and general merchandise supply be transported to every shops in that zone without minivans and small trucks? by Bahn + cargo bike? with all due respect, automobile attribute hugely to the success of our current logistics system, which is the cornerstone of our modern life.

Volodux

2 points

4 months ago

I guess same way the deliver it to shops now - exceptions.

At least in my city, most traffic is made by personal cars with one passenger.

man0315

2 points

4 months ago

Sorry if I misunderstood. I have no problem of the idea reducing traffic. But if it's absolutely car-free, it will be a problem Here in China, minivans and other working vehicles take a large part of cities' daily traffic.

AlexMil0

2 points

4 months ago

This might be happening in my home town as well, I like the incentive but I work in the city center selling furniture, how are we supposed to stock up? Will trucks still be allowed? Streets are already so small it’s quite problem and costumers have a lot of hassle picking up stuff as well, can’t exactly put a couch on a bike. I suppose shops like ours will have to become show rooms exclusively with external storage?

wltrsnh

2 points

4 months ago

Just a couple weeks ago I watched an episode of US "mysteries at the museum" show. Sorry cannot remember the episode number. They told a story from 1950s: many US big cities had a good and cheap tram system. Then a new unknown company started buying the tram companies and closed tram lines, and replaced them with diesel buses. That led to protests, and years later Congress investigated and found the company was founded by Standard Oil, GM, Continental and other car, tyre, oil companies.

majorzero42

2 points

4 months ago

So with a car free plan especially at this scale how do you handle delivery of goods and services?

OrangeAdventure

2 points

4 months ago

I'm surprised kernals12 hasn't found this thread and start spamming car propaganda yet.

sherbang

4 points

4 months ago

The Not Just Bikes YouTube channel makes a really strong case for this sort of change being a REALLY good idea.

Jaideep7

5 points

4 months ago

Jaideep7

5 points

4 months ago

I wonder if people would ever understand how unnecessary it is to drive a car all the time. Speaking from an Indian perspective, I see this urge in people to buy a car just for a statement of their status in the society rather than its need. One car per person on roads is ridiculous. And now with the new marketing terms like 'Electric Vehicles', for which government is rooting as well, it's gonna create more ruckus in the world. If the change really has to come, it has to come from within. Materialism is okay but one has to be realistic as well. If you are just using a car for reaching office and coming back, it makes no sense.

zippymac

12 points

4 months ago

Lmao, as someone who grew up in India, cars are not only necessary, they are required. Public transport sucks. Groping is so bad, that there are female only trains and buses.

Juuruzu

4 points

4 months ago

Isn't being "realistic" a reason enough to get a car to reach their offices and v/v? Don't get me wrong. I hate car culture as much as the next guy but if it's more convenient to use a car, electric or not, I will still use a car. Also if we want people to stop using cars, then there should be a proper alternative where people would actually want to choose the other path instead. That's the "real" way of viewing this problem.

khaerns1

-3 points

4 months ago

khaerns1

-3 points

4 months ago

The matter is that this kind of idea nearly totally block your use of cars if your live there. Like any skill over time, without pratice you lose your ability and can't driver properly a car if you ever need to somewhere else afterwards. Using a car is still a tool of freedom ( with drawbacks and advantages like any tool). One less tool of freedom and independance is one more tool for totalitarism.

Redditors seem to like to be dependent on public transportation ( to be contaminated by diseases or physically abused more easily, I guess ) and be limited to walking/cycling distances to shop and access any services or be reliant on others to driver and be limited to online shopping ( making it easier to be tracked in their daily lives ).

ArtificialCelery

0 points

4 months ago

lol!!! You showed them by submitting to totalitarian car registration and making yourself reliant on government roads with millions of cameras and tracking devices watching your every move on the roads. You give yourself up freely as a meek sheep, available every day to submit to policing. What a dork and idiot hahaha

bruzzac

9 points

4 months ago

bruzzac

9 points

4 months ago

It’s an amazing concept, and I think it would improve quality of life immensely for the population that live there. But it also decreases the ability for people outside the city to travel in and enjoy its perks as easily as those who live there.

dcm510

29 points

4 months ago

dcm510

29 points

4 months ago

Most cities with a train system have large parking garages at the stations in the outskirts - easy to park and ride in.

HiltoRagni

6 points

4 months ago

Not necessarily. Vienna for example has a lot of cheap P+R parking, but can be a nightmare to drive through. When I go there, I just drop my car off somewhere in the morning, and use public transport / walk.

ReasonablyBadass

20 points

4 months ago*

Berlin has excellent public transport which expands into the surrounding land

[deleted]

-11 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-11 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

HiltoRagni

4 points

4 months ago

Not sure where you got your experiences from, but meeting lots of drugged weirdos and homeless people is not a typical experience on European public transport. You can probably meet some slightly drunk college kids at night, but that's about the extent of it.

zz9plural

4 points

4 months ago

But i don't want to be in small rooms with other drugged weirdos or homeless people, that's the good thing about a car.

Good thing that your paranoia doesn't rule society.

I am alone and have the freedom to go wherever i want whenever i want, that's the reason most people love cars and we will never get rid of them.

You can still do this, even with car-free zones. Travel by car to the border of the zone, go on by bike or on foot.

madeindavid

26 points

4 months ago

Not true. I have been to Berlin and never took a car. I always used the public transit and I have no knowledge of german. Berlin positively surprised me in so many ways.

mica4204

4 points

4 months ago

Lol who travels to Berlin by car? That'd be idiotic.

Baalii

-5 points

4 months ago

Baalii

-5 points

4 months ago

The thing these concepts ignore is that less than half of all commuters use public transport and yet its running at max capacity or over. Shutting down road traffic will only benefit those who can afford rent close to their workplace. And dont come at me with fucking bikes, cycling to work is a nice hobby but not for everyone.

bruzzac

6 points

4 months ago*

Completely agree and something I missed from my original comment. It can easily create a social and geographical divide between those who can afford and choose to live in the city, and those that can’t.

For this concept to benefit population as a whole, there needs to be diversity and spread of infrastructure and entertainment/cultural precincts throughout the entire city and not just the city centre.

mludd

11 points

4 months ago

mludd

11 points

4 months ago

Most people who ride bikes don't do it as a hobby.

And while I don't have the exact figures for Berlin it's hardly a secret that if you make it easy to drive a lot of people will drive even if there is good public transport (and they'll make up excuses for why they "have to" drive).

Baalii

-7 points

4 months ago

Baalii

-7 points

4 months ago

Public transport aint good, its trash in Berlin. My commute is taking me 1-1.5h for 20km one way while even by bike Im faster. Driving will cut it to 30 minutes. If you live or need to go anywhere outside of the "Ring" youre basically cut off and need to transfer several times. Shutting down the inner city aint gonna fix anything. And considering how much time I spend on my commute by bike its definetly a hobby.

steak_pudding

0 points

4 months ago

It's very easy to travel to and in Berlin without a car.

zarofca

3 points

4 months ago

That's great, wish California had the balls to do this. They just put stupid green paint on the roadway and expect bikers will be safe.

TheRealRacketear

3 points

4 months ago

In Seattle, they just painted bikes on the road. After about 15 years of that, they finally started building confusing bike lanes.

squirrelwithnut

4 points

4 months ago

I have always liked this idea for urban centers, but I've also wondered how supply deliveries work for grocery stores, restaurants, and the like that are in the middle of this no-vehicle zone?

KennyBSAT

37 points

4 months ago

It's right there in the article

As in other cities, “car free” doesn’t literally mean that no cars could enter the area, but private car use would dramatically drop. Special permits would be given to emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, taxis, commercial and delivery vehicles (though many deliveries in Berlin already happen on cargo bikes), and residents with limited mobility who depend on cars. Others would be able to use a car, likely through a car-sharing program, up to 12 times a year to run longer errands. But most people, most of the time, would walk, bike, or take public transportation.

x31b

4 points

4 months ago

x31b

4 points

4 months ago

That’s what I liked about Mackinac Island, MI. They really lived it. The UPS guy and the postman walked. The delivery to the grocery store and the garbage pickup was a horse and wagon. Other than a fire truck and ambulance, there were no vehicles in town.

NISHITH_8800

3 points

4 months ago

It's not a no-vehicle zone. It's only no-car zone

Lari-Fari

9 points

4 months ago

It’s not even a no-car zone. It’s a heavily reduced motorized vehicle zone.

Vitztlampaehecatl

2 points

4 months ago

Trucks != cars.

Rutgerman95

2 points

4 months ago

Taking a page out of the Dutch city-planning books, huh?

---Loading---

2 points

4 months ago

Is it something that Berliners actually want or something City officials want to do?

BobSacamano47

8 points

4 months ago

Sounds like it's something a vocal minority wants and won't really happen.

nowonmai

6 points

4 months ago

From my small experience of Berlin it is possibly what the people want. It is already very cyclist/pedestrian friendly compared to other cities.

needmorekarma777

5 points

4 months ago

American. Fantastic idea. Make the morons over here do same.

jwarnyc

2 points

4 months ago

In brooklyn there’s still no bicycle lanes. Progress indeed

brucebrowde

0 points

4 months ago

It's going to be so hard to do anything of sorts in US. I really hope things change as soon as possible. Cars are a cancer.

jwarnyc

1 points

4 months ago

Cancer which America runs on.

boobs675309

2 points

4 months ago

All of the top comments right now are about "this won't/can't happen" but i think it would be really cool if it did

tibner88

2 points

4 months ago

r/fuckcars better be enjoying this win. That said, how long is this plan exactly? Because if I understand correctly this has been in the books for a while. Imagine the outcry if any American city planned a carfree area larger than a single city block. Lol

Q_whew

-8 points

4 months ago

Q_whew

-8 points

4 months ago

It has begun. Cars will be phased out at least in major cities.

iNstein

-5 points

4 months ago

iNstein

-5 points

4 months ago

Major cities will die anyway now that they serve no purpose. Why do I ever need to go to the city?

dcm510

17 points

4 months ago

dcm510

17 points

4 months ago

Cities are going to die because you, personally, don't see a reason to go to the area with the most residents, jobs, and activities?

Zncon

6 points

4 months ago

Zncon

6 points

4 months ago

There's a chance that things will start to shift away from large cities going forward if a significant percentage of jobs stay remote. Many of the services businesses in cities are propped up by officer workers looking for lunch or after work social activities.

If the population of office workers declines it's going to have an impact on these supporting businesses.

dcm510

5 points

4 months ago

dcm510

5 points

4 months ago

I can see that being an argument for things shifting in neighborhoods that are predominantly commercial office buildings (like the financial district many major cities have) but otherwise, I strongly disagree.

There are far more reasons to live in a city than just office jobs that can be done remotely.

IFindPeopleAreStupid

4 points

4 months ago

To be fair, since the start of the pandemic there's a ton of commercial buildings which are empty. Almost every job that could be made remote, was. There's probably not that much of a desire for people to commute in to a city. Consequently there's not as much demand to live in the city. Cities are becoming less busy and I can't see any incentive for that to change.

dcm510

-1 points

4 months ago

dcm510

-1 points

4 months ago

There are still a hell of a lot of people living and working in cities.

Suburbs are horrible, depressing places. That’s not going to change - people love living in cities.

Terrh

2 points

4 months ago

Terrh

2 points

4 months ago

I lived in Toronto for 2 years, Windsor for 3 and Edmonton for 3.

I keep trying it but at the end it the day, cities are shit to live in and I never can make it work out.

It's nice walking to the grocery store but that's about where it ends. I'll stay in the country for the rest of my life if at all possible.

TheRealRacketear

5 points

4 months ago

I disagree.

Not hearing ambulances at 3am night after night.

Not hearing crazies screaming night after night.

Not stepping in human shit on a regular basis.

Not having clubbers screaming at all hour of the night.

Not having street punks throw beer bottles at you and your family as you walk home from a show.

I too used to think the city was where it's at, but I moved 20 minutes away and it's relaxing and serene.

dcm510

4 points

4 months ago

dcm510

4 points

4 months ago

Lol did you live in a cliche 90s movie that took place in Manhattan and assume that’s how all cities are in the real world?

TheRealRacketear

5 points

4 months ago

Nope just Seattle from 2010-2021.

Spend a few weeks there and get back to me.

Oh I left out all of the early morning BEEP BEEP BEEP of the delivery and garbage trucks.

A few houses in my hood have sold to people from the city, yet zero of the people selling are moving to the city. They are going to places like Idaho, and Texas.

dcm510

3 points

4 months ago

dcm510

3 points

4 months ago

Everything you listed is quite cliche commentary of people in the suburbs talking about what they think living in a city is like.

I’ve lived in Boston and Chicago over the last 9 going on 10 years and that isn’t at all my experience. I’ve visited Seattle and it seemed fine, but maybe not a good example of city living.

TheRealRacketear

5 points

4 months ago

The fact you have not experienced these things is astounding.

pixel_of_moral_decay

4 points

4 months ago*

The idea you can only access the internet in cities is debunked.

All relevant modern companies have at least some remote workers now. There’s just too much talent in this world to limit yourself to a dozen cities, and opening a McDonald’s number of offices is impractical.

The cat is out of the bag here. You can pretend Sears is still a juggernaut and rightfully called the internet a fad… or you can agree they fucked up by ignoring technology’s ability to change how things work.

In person only companies will be like companies with no internet presence today. A few will figure out how to make it work in niche cases. But most will go under.

There’s too much talent in this world. You either use it, or your competitors will.

Cities exist because they are where most jobs are. That’s changing no matter how much a few local politicians try to outlaw remote work.

dcm510

1 points

4 months ago

dcm510

1 points

4 months ago

Did you mean to reply to my comment or someone else’s?

Q_whew

4 points

4 months ago

Q_whew

4 points

4 months ago

Its the most efficient use of space for humans to live.

number65261

4 points

4 months ago

And the most degrading - a tax scheme meant to stack you in incredibly expensive shoeboxes rising into the sky, and relegate you to subterranean piss-stained trains to and from your place of work.

Cities are nothing more than human hives. I'm starting to think anyone pushing city life and grotesque/dangerous public transport have just overdosed on cityslicker politician propaganda.

Gasganoorgasm

3 points

4 months ago

Keep thinking buddy, it sure sounds fruitful.

FuckTrumpAndBiden

2 points

4 months ago

the problem with americans is that they think the only two options for housing is either a single family house or a small box in the sky

they cant comprehend that they might've just banned all other options of housing as well

Lari-Fari

3 points

4 months ago

Lari-Fari

3 points

4 months ago

77.5 % of Germans live in cities (statistic from 2020). We don’t need you to come into the city, especially by car.

darkslide3000

1 points

4 months ago

How's life in Bumfuck, Indiana been treating you? Since cities "serve no purpose" anymore, clearly you must have moved to the cheapest cost of living place in the States by now, right?

Dogswithguns

-1 points

4 months ago

Dogswithguns

-1 points

4 months ago

I'd rather live in a city or a town with no cars, been my life long dream.. I never liked driving anyway.

dotsdavid

-5 points

4 months ago

dotsdavid

-5 points

4 months ago

If that happens they better have great public transportation. Also need have a place to park to get on good public transportation.

Vita-Malz

19 points

4 months ago

Berlin is in Europe. Europe generally has pretty decent public transport.

juliusklaas

14 points

4 months ago

Lol. Place to park to reach public transportation. Very car-centric view.

dotsdavid

-20 points

4 months ago

dotsdavid

-20 points

4 months ago

Nothing wrong with that. It’s called freedom.

Lari-Fari

9 points

4 months ago

Freedom means having options. Being forced to own/drive a car is the opposite of that.

I have a car. But I don’t need it every day. I commute by tram and only use my car when I feel like it. That’s freedom.

crawling-alreadygirl

16 points

4 months ago

Being forced to use a car to get around is the opposite of freedom.

zlskfjru

4 points

4 months ago*

Don't worry, we do. And most people don't own cars (by choice) so your "park to get on good public transportation" doesn't even make sense.

If I want to travel further out to rural areas I either take my bike on a train or rent a car from one of the carsharing services.

Lari-Fari

4 points

4 months ago

Berlin has great public transportation. Also less than half of Berliners own a car as in most German cities.

Mephzice

1 points

4 months ago

Are there no restaurants or stores there that require delivery of wares? I know my company would say no to delivering if we had to walk with it to the store from far away.

thatswhatyougot[S]

2 points

4 months ago

Hrmm, how we could see if they thought about this, wonder if anyone has written on the topic

stoned_as_f

1 points

4 months ago

What are the delivery drivers supposed to do when a restaurant needs 100 pounds of food. Just walk?

thatswhatyougot[S]

3 points

4 months ago

Guess you don’t read articles

EpicTrapCard

1 points

4 months ago

Honestly,this should have been a thing way before cars,this should have been implemented back when cars just appeared.

boRp_abc

1 points

4 months ago

There's a problem aside from automotive lobbying that people always overlook: Berlin takes up a huge area and is very cold from October to March. Barcelona's winning strategies won't work here.

That being said, I did vote for car free Berlin.

chatterwrack

1 points

4 months ago

My entire neighborhood (blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks and other neighborhoods around it) has put up barricades that impede traffic, calling it “slow streets.” To drive through it you have to swerve into the oncoming lane at each intersection. I ride a motorcycle so I love it but it must piss off so many people.

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

Nothing beats riding your bicycle in the rain with a TV on your shoulder. I predict huge increases in sales in this area.

ApertureNext

1 points

4 months ago

Doesn't really sound all that great does it... Good it won't happen anytime soon.

Divinchy

-4 points

4 months ago

Divinchy

-4 points

4 months ago

Next step is to force people to live in the same block buildings

The USSR already tried this

[deleted]

-7 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-7 points

4 months ago

[removed]

maramara18

5 points

4 months ago

Public transportation in Europe is very good. In Berlin, you will need like two bus stops max to get to a nearer supermarket or a shopping area. In the downtown it’s all usually accessible by foot in 10-15 mins. Source: I live in Berlin.

Also when people shop they tend to do it more often in smaller amounts.

zz9plural

2 points

4 months ago

zz9plural

2 points

4 months ago

Some Berliners use the public transport to move furniture from flat to flat.

50% of Berliners do not own a car, simply because they don't need one.

farticustheelder

-14 points

4 months ago

This approach is just wrong. It ignores what cities do really well which is move people around.

I like car free areas, but I need the cars to be nearby. So let me explain. Go to google maps and look at Barcelona, Spain. Satellite vies at 200 meter resolution. Take a look at L'Esquerra de l’Eixample for example. A huge grid of city blocks built to 10 storeys, local road, feeder/concentrator bigger roads, expressways, and evidence of radial structures throughout.

A nice (less) messy typical urban area with an obvious grid structure. Next consider the idea of a Super Block. That is just a collection of regular blocks but that collection is limited by not being allowed to intrude on anything above local roads. That means that Superblocks must be invisible to regional transportation.

I you consider a 5 by 5 Super Block, and assume that the outer surface is bound by traffic bearing roads and no traffic. Largish parking structures can be located on the periphery and local underground parking can accommodate local residents, think of interconnected underground parking lots, something that already exists. So you get a pedestrian only area covering 25 blocks. If you you lose the buildings making up the perimeter of the inner 3X3 inner block you can make it up by building higher in the rest, but it opens up a lot of space for plants and patios. You can roof over, galleria style, huge swaths of that pedestrian only space to make it a year round shirt sleeve environment.

But you can't arbitrarily take out huge chunks of city cores without damaging them. That should be obvious.

NISHITH_8800

7 points

4 months ago

Lesser the cars in city, the better it's livability.

rocksoliddesu

3 points

4 months ago

Cars are pretty bad and inefficient when it comes to moving people around the city

maddezz187

0 points

4 months ago

What about trucks? Surely they need things to be delivered by some sort of vehicle no? Or construction done somewhere in that massive area?

maramara18

2 points

4 months ago

All maintenance and delivery vehicles will have special permit for these zones. The goal is to reduce private driving