Berlin, how you have grown!
Moving to Berlin in 1998 was an adventure:
Adjusting to the “Berliner Schnauze”, their rough, often hurting tone and choice of words, was a challenge after leaving Munich and their “Grüss Gott” culture.
But what I truly admired was the well thought through ”city-planning” and options to get through the city, stress free. The Hohenzollerndamm, a connection to move from the West towards the eastern parts of the former “West Berlin” and the “Stadtautobahn”, another fabulous means to travel without stoplights through the former West Berlin area were worthy of my praise.
Now many years later, I have decided to no longer move through Berlin with a car. The absolutely incompetent city government has NO oversight of the construction sites; the streets blocked for whatever other reason and NO plans how to properly detour the traffic. The crazy bicyclists who follow no rules except “ME FIRST” are a threat to any driver, at any time of day and are always in the right, even if they cycle without lights at dusk, cycle through red lights and sway left or right without signalling. No respect for rules. They are the biggest threat in Berlin. It’s almost as if car holders are the bad guys. We now have a politician who wants to ban cars all together from the city. That being said …… I have resorted to using public transportation.
The S-Bahn, the U-.Bahn (not at night as a woman alone), the busses, which never come as planned, the trams and if necessary, a taxi, bring me through the city at all times of the day, safe and usually not stressed..
If only the BVG, the Berlin public transportation company, offering great connections throughout the entire city, would realize, it’s more beneficial to repair and build new connections not all at the same time….. hampering a smooth moving forward.
The BVG offers two great Apps. BVG Fahrinfo (in German) listing most of the best connections (unfortunately not all) and the BVG Tickets. This last App saves me from looking for coins to pay for my tickets, as I do not buy the monthly ticket, which I would recommend for those of you who travel to work daily.
I am a BVG fan!