Thousands of people gathered in Berlin on Sunday to protest against the transport policy of the new SPD-CDU government. The demonstrators criticized Transport Senator Manja Schreiner’s decision to suspend all cycle path projects in the capital and order a review. The General German Bicycle Club Berlin (ADFC) called for the demonstration under the hashtag #NotMitUns, stating that this was an attempt to remove bicycles from the streets of Berlin.
According to the organizers, at least 15,000 people participated in the demonstration, while the police estimated the number of participants at 8,000. The initiators of the protest voiced their concern that the new Senate was falling into an ideology that favored cars over bicycles by suspending all projects. They argued that the city needs safe roads for all road users.
At the final rally, Luisa Neubauer from Fridays for Future also addressed the crowd. She emphasized the importance of choosing bicycles as a means of transport, stating that it is the healthiest, most logical, simplest, cheapest, and fairest option, especially in cities like Berlin. Neubauer also highlighted that more cycle paths and better public transportation would benefit car drivers as well, as they would not be stuck in traffic jams.
The protest occurred just days after the new city government announced the halt and review of all cycling projects. The decision sparked a wave of indignation, leading to the demonstration. The criticism came not only from opposition parties but also from the districts, where legal action was taken against the requirement in some cases.
Berlin’s new head of government, Kai Wegner (CDU), defended the transport senator’s decision, arguing that the city needed a balanced approach to transportation that did not favor bicycles over cars. He acknowledged the need for more space for bicycles but stressed that it must be done sensibly.