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Top 10: Berlin’s Worst Bike Lanes

Berliners hop on their bicycles millions of times per month. And they ride on the city’s bike lanes a lot. Quite a few of them should not be used though. Our reporter found some of the worst Bike lanes in Berlin.

Berlin, November 16th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — So, Berlin is a bicycle city? Sure. The German capital is planning bicycle highways, it has pop-up bike lanes, there are bicycle streets and some modern bike lanes in green, protected by bollards. Great. But even though the Senate keeps on talking about cyclists and the “traffic transition” it wants, Berlin also has some of the worst bike lanes on the continent. These are ten of them.

10. Sewanstrasse

Houston? We have a problem in Sewanstrasse. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Let’s begin with a relatively harmless example. In Sewanstrasse, between the Rummelsburg and Karlshorst neighborhoods, this bike lane resembles the Moon or Swiss cheese more than anything. And there are gaps that need to be fixed. At the spot shown above, the city should build a giant bridge across the valley that separates two parts of this embarrassment. Is this supposed to be a bike lane? Yes. But is it actually one? No.

9. Landsberger Allee

This bike lane has the wrong surface, no safety and it is ugly as hell. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Our reporter was sure there would not be crappy bike lanes in the former eastern part of Berlin. He was wrong. On Landsberger Allee, he was forced to use his most dangerous weapon, namely the camera in his Chinese-made smart phone. This must be the ugliest bike lane between Dublin and Beijing. By the way: This pavement nonsense on bike lanes may have been modern in the 1970s and 1980s. But it should stay where it belongs, namely in the last millennium.

8. Möllendorffstrasse

Trees are important. But so are bike lanes, right? Photo: Imanuel Marcus

On Möllendorffstrasse, its western side, a big plant and a bike lane are at war, and the tree is winning. Someone should go there with a giant chainsaw and resolve the issue.

7. Urbanstrasse

Is anything covering the bike lane? Of course not. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Trash on bike lanes can always be removed, right? Sure, but at this very spot, the corner of Urbanstrasse and Hermannplatz, it would return quickly because nobody gives a damn. Besides, the waste is the smallest of all issues here. This is about the combination of a big bus stop, a major entrance to the Karstadt department store and the narrowness of what they call bike lane down here. All of it combined, including the trash and the dirt, makes this spot as bad as it gets. Besides, the mess has been going on for decades. Our reporter needed a Valium after shooting this spot.

6. Wiener Strasse

The Balkans syndrome has spread to Wiener Strasse. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

In Wiener Strasse, between Forster Strasse and Liegnitzer Strasse, cyclists will be shaken like a daiquiri. The bike lane on the street’s southern side needs to be refurbished yesterday.

5. Hermannstrasse

Hermannstrasse should be doing better than this. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

On Hermannstrasse, between Karl Marx Strasse and Karlsgartenstrasse, someone must have been digging for gold, oil or petrified dinosaur sh*t. Who knows? One thing is certain though: They did a terrible job when they ‘repaired’ that hole they had dug. This is pretty bad.

4. Weserstrasse

There is a major issue at Weserstrasse. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

So, Neukölln is the perfect spot for cyclists? We thought so too, until we found this so-called bike lane on Weserstrasse. In order to get through this mess, a Jeep is needed. Our reporter thought he was in the wrong movie.

3. Alt-Stralau

Whatever you do, do not use this bike lane. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

So, you want to see one of the worst bike lanes in the solar system with your own eyes, live and in color? Go to Alt-Stralau, a street located close to the Spree river in Berlin’s Friedrichshain borough. Last time this bike lane was refurbished, Erich Honecker ruled the GDR, the Beatles were recording their Blue Album and John Wayne rode those horses.

2. Baerwaldstrasse

Hey! A mole destroyed my bike lane. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Now, this is serious. No, the surface of bike lanes is not supposed to move upward towards the sky. What they call ‘bike lane’ in Berlin’s Kreuzberg borough is a bad joke, at best. This is the eastern side of Baerwaldstrasse, and a case for Bob the Builder.

1. Oranienstrasse

Something is very wrong on Berlin’s Oranienstrasse. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Yes, it does get even worse. In reality, this bike line in Oranienstrasse is the Rocky Mountains. They just need to add some grizzly bears and trees to complete the scenery. Who is supposed to race up this ski jump? Evil Knievel? Guys, there is something called ‘renovating things’.

Damn. Oranienstrasse does offer strong contrasts. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Our horrified reporter was just going to move to Hamburg when he found the smoothest bike lane in Central Europe. It is located just a few blocks west from the most terrible one, on the same street, Oranienstrasse. Riding on this bike lane is better than sex. Actually, it is too perfect. Could you install just one pothole, please?