pedestrians have no choice. “Those on foot must use the sidewalks” – as it is in clause 25 of the road traffic regulations.

However, this is difficult when there’s hardly any space, and mothers with strollers, seniors need to Dodge with a Walker or in a wheelchair on the street.

If you are in Berlin, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Karlsruhe – in the cities it is always close. Parking cars, vans, bikes, billboards, and also trash spread out on the sidewalk, with the spring also increasingly Cafés. That’s not all: in the face of trendy E-scooter by a new danger threatens in the near future.

Roland Stimpel don’t want to accept it. The speaker of the pedestrian lobby Association of the foot is struggling to ensure that the walkway is worthy of its name. He has the law on his side: in Principle, the pavement “territory must remain” the pedestrian, emphasizes Andreas Krämer, traffic expert of the German bar Association (DAV). Exceptions only in case of sufficiently wide sidewalks.

But what is sufficient? Wide streets such as Kurfürstendamm in Berlin are miles rar. Binding requirements for the sidewalk width, there is not. 2.50 m according to the road safety Council as appropriate. But most of these cities are far away. In many places, minimum widths of 1.50 metres (Berlin), and 1.60 meters (Karlsruhe) or between 1.50 and 2 meters (Cologne). Elsewhere, such as in Darmstadt, Germany, must, at least, a stroller or a wheelchair to get through.

But even their own guidelines are hardly adhered to. Whether retailers and restaurateurs to rent because of high load, such as in Berlin, on the sidewalk dodging or rental bikes and charging stations need space areas and footpaths are increasingly being discovered as a marketplace, criticized cities ‘ managing Director Helmut Dedy.

most of The complaints there are, as before, due to parked cars walking and Biking trails. And as some of the municipality to be suppressed in view of shortage of Parking spaces. A Nuisance not only for the Berlin Bicycle activists Heinrich Strößenreuther. He has developed the App “ways hero”, with the wrong Parker of that.

Baden-württemberg’s transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Green party) called for in the fight against wrong Parker specifically Karlsruhe and Ulm to Action. However, it is not so easy: two and a half years, cooked in Karlsruhe, the soul of the people, as the city missed nodule without warning, pavement Parkers. The administration rowed back initially, and set procedures. Now there is the concept of “Fair Parking in Karlsruhe,” and since the beginning of the year no Mercy for the wrong Parker.

pedestrians more space, motorists now have more frustration. “Very many Parking spaces have disappeared”, writes Massimo Ferrini, Chairman of the citizens ‘ Association in Karlsruhe-Mühlburg. Who is on the sidewalk parked, must pay in accordance with the schedule of fines between 20 and 35 euros, depending on the duration and disability.

Too little, Minister of the Hermann. Many cities are too lax in the enforcement of pedestrian rights, says walk-activist Stimpel. So Parking is from his point of view, for example, in Berlin, Residents are much too cheap; in addition, there low special use fees would invite the bar owners to the full set of the walkway.

About what is wrong with Parker, driving radrüpel and restaurateurs in Berlin-Mitte, the force with their chairs and tables on the sidewalk pedestrians to the obstacle course, angry Stimpel. Now, if “electric racer” and “bone crusher” – so he calls the new scooter, then a serious danger, in his view.

In many European metropolises, the E-Scooter around the flit. In Germany, starting in the summer, even young people could be whizzing over walkways if the Bundesrat consents to it. A draft of the Federal Ministry of transport, slower E-have to use vehicles (under twelve miles an hour top speed) walkways.

For Stimpel it would mean a relapse into the time before 1825. At the time, were created in Berlin the first walkways to protect the pedestrians in front of carriages and horsemen. With the E-scooters would be allowed to drive for the first Time, motor vehicles on sidewalks, he criticizes. “If this is once allowed, runs here in the future, everyone.”

The pedestrian-Lobbyist has powerful allies. Police Association of cities and the fear of increasing conflicts, the German road safety Council (DVR) warns of “large accident potential” because the scooters are much faster than people on foot. “A pedestrian is a maximum of seven, in fact, rather between four and six kilometres per hour on the road,” says Siegfried Brockmann, head of accident research of the insurers. Even if there are not more accidents: “the comfort and constraint of a pedestrian on his way is actually not acceptable.”

The city of Karlsruhe sees it pragmatically: kick scooter without the electric drive are already some on-the-go – without problems. The ADAC demands that the impact of E-scooter to be documented on the foot traffic anyway. If necessary, the scooter’s pace should be adapted to pedestrians.

For Berlin, and other cities are already several companies for the lend-E are holes-scooter in the start. Stimpel not like to even imagine, as it is on the footpaths in the future will be. He hopes that the E-scooter design is tilted in the Bundesrat. “We are in all of the Transport Ministers of the countries.”

His Federation has only 500 members. Because of the E-scooter is now but four millions of comrades-in-arms, the handicapped and blind associations supported. And of over 80 million Germans: “are all pedestrians.”


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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.