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Cars are allowed to drive again on Friedrichstrasse – for the time being

Traffic is moving again on a section of Friedrichstrasse in Berlin that has been car-free for more than two years – at least for a while.

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Cars are allowed to drive again on Friedrichstrasse – for the time being

Traffic is moving again on a section of Friedrichstrasse in Berlin that has been car-free for more than two years – at least for a while. At midnight on Wednesday night, the blocking of cars between French and Leipziger Strasse was lifted. This was announced by the environment and mobility administration on Tuesday. Prior to this, seating, planting, showcases and the marking of a cycle path had been removed from the street.

The Senate and the Mitte district office are thus following a decision by the administrative court, which had declared the blocking illegal. Senator Bettina Jarasch (Greens) made it clear that she is sticking to her plans for a car-free promenade on Friedrichstrasse.

The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Berlin House of Representatives, Sebastian Czaja, was there at midnight to clear the barriers himself. Czaja could not resist a dig at Jarasch in his post on Twitter. "Although Bettina Jarasch is not missing any PR appointment at the moment, she seems to have forgotten this important appointment," writes the FDP politician.

The Friedrichstrasse traffic test, which has always been controversial, began in August 2020. Since then, cars have been taboo on the section in question, which has many shops, including the Galeries Lafayette department store. However, the hoped-for upswing for the shopping street - which at times overtook the Ku'damm but later had increasing problems - has not materialized so far.

A nearby wine merchant had complained about the ongoing closure. She did not want to accept that no cars were allowed to drive on Friedrichstrasse, although the traffic test for this expired in October 2021. The administrative court agreed. According to the court, authorities could restrict or prohibit the use of certain routes for more traffic safety, but not for a better quality of stay.

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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