A tandem made of bamboo? That works! Ewa Gruszyk and Roland Kloss from crossover have set theirselves the goal to make the world a little bit better and to motivate more people to ride bibycles.
Their goal is to encourage the conversion of the transport system to a resource-, energy-efficient and livable mobility.
Ewa is originally from Poland and studied German philology in Warsaw and afterwards Urban Planning in Kaiserslautern and Vienna. Roland was born in Austria, studied in Graz, and afterwards Environmental System Sciences and Urban Planning in Vienna. They got to know each other at studying in Vienna and carried out several projects very soon.
On their projectlist there was also a tour through Europe, to care for more sustainability concerning mobility. Their planed route involves 14 european countries and more than 6000 kilometers, which will be traveled by a self-made bamboo tandem. They will visit a lot of European cities, where they want to make a change in mobility by giving workshops and having dialogs. They concentrate on Eastern Europe, because cities there show the highest rates of motorization and the fastest growing rates. Their biggest goal is to counteract the trend that the car is replacing the bike and is considered as important status symbol.
On their tour, they involve the people they meet actively by giving workshops and asking people for an interview. Thereby they visited Kiel and met the mayor Peter Todeskino and the bicycle coordinator Uwe Redecker for an interview. Here is an extract:
Kloss: How do you get people on bikes in Kiel?
Todeskino: We quite succeeded to get the people of Kiel on bikes. We do have a small decline in the modal split concerning the share of cyclists, but we once had 23%. With our measures we try to reach 25%. The newest figure is 17%, considering only the domestic traffic it’s 19%. We conducted many campaigns, built bicycle paths, park&ride stations at the train station etc.
Kloss: What is the future of urban mobility?
Todeskino: I am not a car affine person and go very little by car, still I think the car will be in the future, but powered electric or with hydrogen. I think there will be a renaissance of the hydrogen car. Then there is the question if we want to drive ourselves or use autonomous driving systems … and car sharing is certainly playing a role.
The rest will be „broken traffics“ (multimodal behaviour). We built hitchhiking stations at highways, and the new mobility strategy is clearly focused on fostering cycling. We build our first bicycle highway, 3,6 km, to get people in 10 min to university etc.
Important is also the renaissance of trams and regional trains, we have a new mobility concept with regional connection, because more than 60.000 commuters are congesting our streets.
Kloss: Do you have quantitative longterm goals concerning urban cycling?
Todeskino: A share of 30% until 2025. Ambitious. I am originally from Münster which has a share of cyclists of 46%. And it is also quite hilly in Kiel.
Kloss: Is the City of Kiel trying to reduce the number of car traffic?
Todeskino: Kiel was very destroyed in the war, to 90%. Much was torn down and big streets were built through the city. We are not excluding the car traffic but pushing it back to the main traffic arteries. I do not like it so much to condemn car traffic and to build up fronts.
Redecker: Bicycle streets are the best we can offer and expect a maximum of respect of car drivers. And we try to attract people to cycling, to go by bike to the beach etc.
Kloss: How about bike-friendly buildings?
Todeskino: There are two hearts in my breast. I like to put my bicycle in my appartment and where I get off the bike. I think all these discussions for extra parking possibilities are exaggerated, when they are inside of buildings – then it’s ok.
Kloss: How about mininum parking rates for bikes?
Todeskino: Yes we have that, but that’s federal law.
Kloss: For instance in Vienna they built a building with two bike parkings per person.
Redecker: I have the impression all builders are integrating bike parkings voluntarily in new buildings, there is no discussion about it, because of the demand and the streets are full of bicycles.
Todeskino: I don’t understand how a city with an historical center can tolerate cars to dominate the townscape.
We think this is a great campaign and hope for more people to advocate using green products for the future.
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Your my Boo team