Berlin - Transport minister Regine Günther (Greens) is considering significant changes to automotive trafffic in the heart of historic Berlin, including keeping a key portion of Friedrichstraße free of cars until at least 31 October, according to an interview in the Berliner Morgenpost.
City traffic authorities will meet with Friedrichstraße neighbours this month to discuss an extension after a 500-metre section between Französischer Straße and Leipziger Straße was closed to cars and trucks in early September. Günther said the experiment, which was only meant to last until the end of January, has been both praised and criticised.
But she's not stopping there. Günther also announced talks about redesigning Unter den Linden after the opening of the U5 extention on Friday. Space on the existing lanes could be redistributed to give a lane each to bikes, cars and buses – bikes and buses have shared a lane in each direction for over a decade.
Cars may also be excluded entirely from the boulevard within a year, she reportedly said.
Although anecdotal reports said local businesses were unhappy with the Friedrichstraße closure, media polls indicated most were happy with the idea – and some even saw revenue climb.