SENATE ROUNDS OFF BERLIN MOBILITY ACT
Commercial transport and New Mobility – these are the two new chapters of the Berlin Mobility Act, which the Berlin Senate passed in December. This rounds off a draft legislation that until then had primarily focussed on public transport as well as on pedestrian and bicycle traffic. As a next step, the Council of Mayors will concern itself with the act.
The Berlin Mobility Act is unique in Germany. It was passed by the House of Representatives in the summer of 2018; Berlin has since been considered the first state to prioritise public transport as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic in urban planning. In 2018 the first version of the act initially contained a general part as well as sections on public transport and bicycle traffic; a section on pedestrian traffic was added in early 2021. By adding commercial transport and New Mobility, the Berlin Senate has now rounded off the Mobility Act.
Bettina Jarasch, Senator for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action, emphasised the future-orientated meaning of the Berlin Mobility Act for traffic policies throughout the nation. “Commercial transport affects us all,” Jarasch said. “In Berlin, we aim to organise it in a manner that is compatible with the city’s needs to ensure the flow of goods runs smoothly throughout, and with it, the transport of deliveries and waste.” To do so, Berlin will secure the infrastructure for rail and water transport and for the turnaround of goods, establish local hubs in residential areas and create incentive for the use of low-emission commercial vehicles.
The new sections on commercial transport and New Mobility were developed in a participation process with the Berlin Mobility Advisory Council – as were the previous parts of the Mobility Act. A range of institutions and bodies were involved in the process, among them mobility associations, districts, senate departments and members of the House of Representatives as well as groups advocating for people with restricted mobility; advice from associations was also taken into account.
As a next step, the legislative proposal will now be presented to the Council of Mayors (“Rat der Bürgermeister”), after which it will once again be discussed in the Senate; the House of Representatives will then concern itself with the Berlin Mobility Act and vote on it.
BERLIN MOBILITY ACT: THE MOST IMPORTANT NEW REGULATIONS
- City-compatible commercial transport: Delivery transport will become more compatible with the city’s needs, for example by avoiding peak traffic times and employing more low-emission vehicles. Berlin will also introduce a trademark for particularly safe, low-emission vehicles and processes, which will also be taken into account when awarding public contracts.
- Functional commercial transport: The Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action is developing a concept for securing areas for commercial transport. Existing infrastructural facilities for rail and waterways, for example, as well as public inland ports Westhafen (“West Harbour”), Südhafen Spandau (“Spandau South Harbour”), Hafen Neukölln (“Neukölln Harbour”) will be preserved or reactivated as needed. New guidelines on how to determine the need for delivery and freight transportation areas with concrete quality and quantity requirements will help the districts plan accordingly. The establishment of delivery and loading zones for shops and businesses will be prioritised over that of other parking spaces (with the exception of parking spaces for people with restricted mobility).
- Commercial Transport Exchange Platform: The Berlin platform aims to promote a regular exchange of information and ideas between commercial transport actors and the competent departments in politics and administration. This will in turn support mobility administration in questions around the development of commercial transport and help update the Integrated Commercial Transport concept.
- Platform for transport-relevant data: The data will be pooled and made available via a publicly accessible online platform, which supports public and private offers in the development of new mobility services.
- Framework conditions that foster innovation: The Senate Department for Mobility will define goals for novel mobility and logistic offers and appoint a contact person to accompany and test respective model projects. (vdo)