New bus lanes for the BVG are delayed for months - Berliner Morgenpost
Berlin. & Nbsp; The introduction of new bus lanes on Berlin's streets, announced this year, will be delayed by several months. The Berliner Morgenpost learned this from government circles. Traffic Senator Regine Günther (Greens) announced in mid-June that separate lanes for the buses of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) with a total length of 18.7 kilometers should be introduced in 2019. But nothing will come of it.
On request, the Senate Department of Transportation did not name a section of the route that had already been ordered. "It is foreseeable that part of the planned routes can still be arranged this year," it said. "We cannot yet give you more precise timetables." There is therefore no longer any talk of the planned almost 19 kilometers this year. According to information from the Berliner Morgenpost, it will probably take until March 2020 before all sections have been arranged.
But even with an earlier arrangement, it is unclear when the BVG buses can actually use the new lanes. In wet and cold weather, the district road authorities do not apply permanent paint to the asphalt. The risk of the white markings not adhering well in rain and low temperatures is too great. In accordance with the "Additional Technical Contractual Conditions and Guidelines for Markings on Roads" applicable throughout Germany, the Middle Road and Green Area Office "generally does not apply permanent markings between November 1st and March 31st". The answer from the Neukölln district office sounds similar: "Before the end of winter, marking work is unlikely due to the weather."
To reduce car traffic in Berlin, the red-red-green Senate wants to make local public transport more attractive. This also includes the acceleration of buses. This year, however, only 87.5 percent of trips were still punctual until July, even though delays of up to three and a half minutes were not included. The buses are often stuck together with other motor vehicles in heavy urban traffic. Remedies should bring their own traces for the yellow dangling and double-decker. "In order to convince people to leave their car behind, they have to see that they can get around the city faster with public transport," said BVG spokeswoman Petra Nelken. Bus lanes are "a huge help".
The Senate had already declared in the coalition agreement of 2016 that it wanted to expand the bus network in the city. But in addition to the approximately 102 kilometers of Berlin bus special lanes, as the routes are officially called, the current legislature added only 300 meters in Moabit.
The package presented by Günther in summer should change this promptly. The list presented at the time comprises a total of 41 routes in eight districts. Most of them are in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Mitte, Steglitz-Zehlendorf and Tempelhof-Schöneberg. In contrast to the existing bus lanes, the new routes should be prohibited from stopping 24 hours a day from the start. So far, this only applies at certain times of the day.
"These bus lanes could have come two years ago," criticizes Jens Wieseke, deputy chairman of the Berlin Passenger Association (Igeb), regarding the pace of the introduction of the new special lanes for public transport. He had "lost hope" that bus acceleration would come.
In order for buses to get through city traffic more quickly, the towing permit for the BVG should help in addition to additional own lanes. If cars park the lanes, the transport companies can clear them with vans in the future. The measure was approved by the Mobility Act in summer 2018. So far, however, the BVG has not been able to take action. The Senate is still lacking the necessary fee regulations, which regulate the fines that parking bans expect. "We assume that we can start in spring 2020," said BVG spokeswoman Nelken recently.
In order to clear the streets by then, the Berlin police and the BVG district administrative offices are helping this week with a special operation. In the case of joint focus checks, illegally parked vehicles are to be checked and towed from Monday to Friday. The focus is on traffic-free stopping and parking on bike paths, bus lanes and in the second row, the Berlin police said.
"Parking in the second row as well as on bus and bike lanes is selfish and ruthless," said Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) about the campaign. Illegal parkers do not seem to be aware of the danger they would put other road users in. At a comparable inspection in spring 2019, the police found 6484 violations of stops and parking. According to the police, motor vehicles had to be converted in 288 cases at a charge.