Posse in Pankow: residents praise unwanted car sidewalks

Berlin. One can discuss the design of the streets of Berlin. Schönhauser Allee, Tauentzien, Friedrichstraße – Senate experts, specialist politicians and interest groups are everywhere arguing about the distribution of areas for pedestrians, cyclists and cars. Next to the boulevards, which are ready for renovation, Garibaldistrasse in the Wilhemsruh district of Pankow appears small and sleepy. And yet they quarrel as if it were a highway.

Since the redesign of Kiez-Gasse, which is only 200 meters long, a few months ago, cars have been allowed to park with the passenger side on the sidewalk. A violation of Berlin’s mobility law, a disadvantage for pedestrians – that’s how Pankow’s Greens see it. And demand that the CDU’s Transport Council Manuela Anders-Granitzki (CDU) dismantle it. A Garibaldi street with a parking-free sidewalk. At least on the disputed north side of the road. On the south side you can still see the original condition before the rebuilding: Here the old, dilapidated pavement is as narrow as in the north. But the cars are standing next to the curb – instead of on the curb.

Violating the mobility law in Pankow outweighs the wishes of the neighbors

On Wednesday night, a motion by the Greens and Leftists in the Pankow District Assembly found a broad majority in favor of dismantling the sidewalk parking lot on the north side of Garibaldistrasse. Against the declared will of the inhabitants, who appealed in vain for the preservation of a “paradise street” – said spokesman Wolfram Roßner. Heavenly because you can park and stroll. Still.

In the Greens’ group of chairman Hannah Wettig, they rightly see themselves for good reasons – because the Berlin Mobility Act states that the environmental network, ie public transport, cyclists and pedestrians have priority over cars. On the Garibaldistraße in Pankow-Wilhelmsruh, passers-by would be illegally obstructed. Because the street with parking spaces is too narrow for pedestrians to avoid each other, as the Greens’ spokeswoman Patrizia Flores warns.




Pankow’s district council votes against the will of the residents

Therefore, the curb parking spaces should disappear again. “There is no right to a parking space in front of the front door”, emphasizes Left Traffic Expert Wolfram Kempe. “During the debate, it was clearly emphasized that an illegal situation was later created by a legal one, even though the imposition of a unilateral parking ban provides an opportunity to provide landfill and rescue vehicles with sufficient space”, the Green Party and the Left Party. Party explain in their joint statement Application.

The fact that waste management and rescue vehicles could no longer get through Garibaldistraße was the argument from the CDU’s city councilor Anders-Granitzki’s department to create more space on the road. By allowing residents to park two-wheeled cars on the rehabilitated northern walkway. A win in place on the road, a preservation of the residents’ parking spaces. But possibly a loss of space on the road.

Pankow’s left and green see pedestrians threatened by parked cars

Municipal councilor Anders-Granitzki emphasizes that the statutory minimum width for pedestrians is still observed here. However, not if the post office, couriers or ruthless motorists park their cars completely on the sidewalk – that is what the critics of the change in the Green and Left Camps complain about.

“It may be unpleasant, but we must ensure that the law is followed,” agrees SPD member Mike Szidat, chairman of the mobility committee. The current situation is too problematic for traders, but also for rescue and supply traffic.


On Wednesday morning, a few hours before the vote, a group of neighbors stood on the sidewalk on Garibaldistrasse, which was said to be too narrow. Everyone is shaking their heads over this assessment and the decision to wind up. “We have a path here that is in excellent condition. The water also flows out properly “, says Wolfram Roßner. “You can get through on the road again,” praises his comrade-in-arms Aribert Habermann for the increased lane width. Despite the parking strip on the sidewalk, the available sidewalk width, which was previously 1.20 meters, is now even larger.

Pedestrian dispute in Pankow: Garibaldistraße residents see themselves as incapable

According to Habermann, the result of his own account, a passer-by only comes here every six minutes. The residents’ group therefore collected over 80 signatures to preserve the path’s current condition – with parking spaces. Only two residents voted against it, says Habermann on the collection’s balance sheet.

Habermann, Roßner and their comrades-in-arms feel liberated from the efforts to dismantle it. They see themselves as victims of a campaign carried into their little alley by outsiders. “The complainants do not even live in the converted part of the street,” says Habermann angrily.

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However, critics of the parking lot sidewalk in Pankow’s Garibaldistrasse, including the Foot Association, see the Mobility Act as binding. After weeks of debate, there was even a disciplinary complaint against the CDU’s city councilor Anders-Granitzki, who defended the sidewalk conversion with parking spaces instead of bowing to the regulations – citing the wishes of the group of residents around Roßner.


According to Morgenpost’s information, the district municipality of Sören Benn (V) has now closed down the supervision problem. Since the width of the sidewalk has not shrunk despite the advent of parking lots. “Pedestrian concerns are adequately addressed in the ministry’s view because, on closer inspection, the width of the sidewalk has not diminished,” Benn wrote in a statement.

Surveillance complaints against Pankow’s traffic council failed

Habermann and his colleagues suspect an even simpler reason behind the failed appeal. They say: The rebuilding of the car park sidewalk was not initiated by Anders-Granitzki, but by her predecessor, Vollrad Kuhn – a politician from the Greens. “The permit was legalized due to our complaints,” explains Aribert Habermann about the possibility of parking on the northern edge of Garibaldistraße. With the decision to dismantle, however, this “legalization” is now being re-evaluated – as a crime.

After the dismantling decision: Neighbors on Garibaldistraße want to sue

Residents do not want to accept the decision of the Greens, Left and SPD to dismantle the car sidewalk on Garibaldistrasse. “It is an undemocratic voice against the interests of the inhabitants,” criticizes Wolram Roßner. “We will defend ourselves legally.” This means: In the case of Garibaldistrasse, a lawsuit is now being threatened.

You can read more news from Pankow here



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