Friedrichstrasse in Berlin will be closed to vehicles from Monday. Green Mobility Senator Jarasch thus created facts to anger Mayor Giffey.
A section of Berlin Friedrichstraße was once closed to cars from August 2020 to November 2022. At that time a so-called “traffic experiment” had begun. He had to be released again.
From the perspective of Berlin’s mobility senator Bettina Jarasch of the Greens, the project is now legally safe and the street has been officially reallocated by the district. Jarasch announced Wednesday that the nearly 500-metre-long section of Friedrichstrasse between Leipziger Strasse and Französische Strasse will be completely closed to vehicular traffic from Monday.
Jarasch wants to make Berlin Mitte more pedestrian-friendly
Jarasch hopes that the process for the future design of Friedrichstrasse will begin soon. In the House of Representatives on Thursday, the Greens politician pleaded for a contest to start immediately after the re-election on February 12 to develop new concepts for the new pedestrian zone.
Announcing the highly controversial closure in the city the day before, Jarasch assured that residents and shopkeepers should be involved and able to contribute with their suggestions. He defended his approach and pointed out that the project was the building block of a much larger project.
The center should be redesigned as a “pedestrian friendly area” with a higher quality of life. These included Molkenmarkt, Rathausforum and Checkpoint Charlie.
Giffey talks about “going alone”
Shortly before the election, the project was criticized from many quarters. Managing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) accused Jarasch on Wednesday that the action was not coordinated in the Senate. “I don’t think this solo effort was well thought out either.” In Parliament on Thursday, Giffey announced talks in the red-green-red Senate at the request of an MP. The question of how it will progress and “how the tradesmen will get involved in the coming days” will be on the agenda.
Transport politician Oliver Friederici of the CDU has been harshly critical of Jarasch’s actions in the House of Representatives. “I’m concerned about the Greens’ understanding of democracy, how they treat residents and traders,” he said.
Broad criticism from interest groups
The Berlin-Brandenburg trade association, the Dehoga hotel and restaurant association, and the “Save Friedrichstrasse” alliance also criticized Jarasch. “With the permanent reallocation of Friedrichstrasse, dialogue has been broken with residents, interest groups and business associations about the future joint design of the Berlin centre,” the statement said.
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