In Brief: Berlin sees sharp rise in COVID-19 infection numbers

Berlin Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel told reporters he and other senators will take the rising numbers into account when they meet to discuss further loosening pandemic restrictions.

Photo by: Martin Sanchez

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and William Glucroft

Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel says the city is seeing a sharp increase in new coronavirus infections.

Geisel told reporters he and other senators will take the rising numbers into account on Tuesday when they meet to discuss further loosening pandemic restrictions.

Despite the uptick, the three factors in the city’s “traffic light,” which assesses the threat to public health, were green Monday night.

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Berlin is weighing whether to expand its pop-up bike lanes across the city.

City officials took advantage of emptier streets during the coronavirus pandemic to expand the bicycle infrastructure network.

Public broadcaster rbb reported Berlin’s districts created 11 temporary bike lanes during the shutdown and are planning 25 more. The Berlin Senate wants to make those lanes permanent.

Sustainable mobility researcher Sophia Becker told rbb her study shows cyclists feel safer having more space, but there’s also risk of more traffic for now.

Her survey found nearly all cyclists said they want to see the lanes stay. Three-quarters of pedestrians and public transit riders agree, but 80% of drivers are against more bike lanes.

Less room for cars will cause more traffic, a spokeswoman for the motorist association, ADAC, told rbb. Becker disagrees, saying more room for bikes will change transportation habits.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk. 

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