It’s good to see good news about Germany and cycling, and the ever interesting Copenhagenize blog has provided some with News that the German government has started a campaign called “Kopf An, Motor Aus” (‘Brain on, Motor off’) which is appropriate as I seem to see drivers doing the exact opposite every day.
That’s enough of my cynicism. Several cities are involved at the moment, trying to get people to walk or cycle for distances of 6km or less, instead of using their car. Posters are “cheeky, fun, ironic or serious” according to the website and “found wherever cars are” Dortmund’s massive poster “A huge thank you to cyclists” is catching most of the limelight for sheer drama, but my personal favourite is the flag Karlsruhe are using by cycle parking areas: “Reserved for climate heroes”. Of course, Karlsruhe is one of the better cities for cycling and public transport, so it’s fair enough in their case.
This year there are four cities involved: there is a competition for 25 more next year and some are local to us. But Stuttgart and Ostfildern are not. What a surprise. I expect if I ask we’ll be told the usual excuses a valid reason for this.
Another initiative is free hugs for cyclists, pedestrians, and other climate heroes, but as the video shows, drivers need not apply.
I can’t help feeling that more infrastructure would be more profitable long-term, and the cynic in me resurfaces when I remember this is the same government that was paying people to buy cars earlier this year, but at least there’s a growing awareness that getting people walking and cycling is good for cities and for people. You never know, the tide may be changing. If things carry on like this, Ostfildern may even notice.
The website is at http://www.kopf-an.de/