No cars and no trucks: It has been years in the planning and now it is ready to be rolled out: the city policy of the Berlin government is to transform the city into Beijing anno 1974.
“We just cannot wait to admire a landscape of Berliners packing up bags and bags of belongings on their bike and pedal their way to work as if we were in China right before the start of the economic revolution” claims Gerhard Schmitt, the counselor responsible for the new traffic policy of the German capital.
“This will be the true happiness! Pedaling the way to survival with the typical Arctic temperatures of the Berlin winter” adds Mr. Schmitt.
Berlin has declared a throughout war to cars since the new left-green government took office in 2016. “It is not just about pollution” claims Mr. Schmitt “It’s that we cannot accept cars as a symbol of privilege”.
For the same reason, the idea of Transportation Minister Regine Günther is to “Make circulation increasingly difficult for drivers, so that to avoid traffic they will be compelled to use the bicycle”.
Gianina Müller, a 34 years old baker from the city center, is enthusiastic about the plan: “This will mean that I will have the chance to start my shift with a night ride at 2 am and then be ready to pedal home and take my daughter to school, also pedaling even when Berlin is just like a big ice-pack”.
It is not yet clear how this would work, since if some people would leave their car this would reduce traffic, prompting then people to take the car back. “Easy” believes Mrs. Günther “we will just close the streets overnight, so that you could wake up and find out that your car has been trapped in a no-drive island, no chance to move it”.
For the transportation of goods, the government foresees the introduction of human rickshaws, consistent with the vegan idea of exploiting humans instead of animals.
In the meantime, Beijing is becoming like Germany today and no bicycle is to be seen on the streets of the Chinese town. “We are flattered” claimed Beijing Mayor Chen Jining at a press conference “because for once it is the West copying us and not the opposite”.
In the plans of the Berlin government Berlin will be car-free within the end of 2019. “We are ready to seize cars and burn them” claims Mrs. Günther.