Carl Bechstein Gymnasium

Winner „Best Scientific Analysis Award“

Finalist for the region east

BHW – Bicycle Highway

As part of the YES-Competition, our team designed a safe traffic route system which ensures mobility to the next generation without cars. Today’s roads are made for cars. Drafted in the “Athens Charter” and effectuated by public officials, there currently are not any alternatives for safe and sound traveling on our roads because cars are the No. 1 means of travel. Studies show that bicycles are used less in rural areas than in cities due to the lack of bike lanes.
We would like to connect rural areas to the next major city while shifting motorized private transportation to a more sustainable way of using bicycles. Therefore, we designed the “Bicycle Highway” – the new traffic system consists of independent bike lanes that ensure comfortable traveling by bike. It is going to be important that at each ramp of the Bicycle Highway, existing public transportation options are available for bicyclists.

We created a five-step-method in order to change
the way we travel nowadays:
1. pinpoint barely accessible places (without a car)
2. check potential for new traffic infrastructure
3. evaluate existing public transport
4. create a new development axis
5. use existing bike routes as feeder roads

The BHW has at least two lanes, each 1,20 m (4 ft) wide, per direction which allows safe passing of other bicyclists. Lengthwise, the BHW is about 20-30 km (10-20 mi) long and connects multiple places.

Traffic deflection is accomplished by amenities like service and resting areas at each ramp and its very own BHW app. While taking a short break at our resting areas, bicyclists may check the BHW app for public transport or additional bike routes. Our resting area provides free WiFi, safe parking options for bikes or charging spots for e-bikes and much more.

What makes the BHW unique is a “weather dependent” roof which allows bicyclists to use the BHW at any given time. The extendable roof can swing out during bad weather conditions but bicyclists may enjoy fresh air when riding during good weather conditions. Even at night, the BHW can be used because of smart lighting which gets its power by a so-called “energy floor” that generates energy by simply riding on its surface.

Their YES! topic

How can I imagine my mobility in the city and rural areas without my own car?

by Anke Borcherding, Julia Epp, Juliane Haus und Andreas Knie, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Transportation has been back on the agenda of day-to-day politics for some years now. There is even talk of a “traffic turnaround”. More and more people are becoming aware that with over 47 million registered passenger cars, the limits of capacity have been reached. But what are the alternatives beyond the personal car?

For many years, the formula applied that access and social advancement were closely linked to the availability of ever more extensive and more powerful vehicles. Yet this state of affairs is the result of politics. Roads had to be built, legal systems had to be created, a building and spatial design had to be adapted to ensure priority in road traffic, and financing and tax models had to be established to popularise the car. The unhindered driving and parking of personal vehicles, whether in the countryside or the city, was thus by no means the result of a political process but was deliberately and actively created.

But is that still the case today? Do we still regard the car as an essential part of our family world, closely connected to our own house and garden? Or is our own car a symbol for a dream of a successful life that has long since been forgotten?

First of all, it must be stated: Even if the love for the automobile has cooled off or even died out, for the majority of the (older) population it is hard to imagine a life without their own car. But how do young people think about this? What would the world or city or country look like without cars? Will there only be automated buses running every minute? Do we walk more? Is the bicycle the main means of transport? Or can we imagine something completely different, completely new?

What role can digitisation play in this?

Which mobility concepts are available?

Which means of transport are in use?

What are the different challenges for the city and the countryside?

What do the city and the country, streets, squares etc. look like without personal cars?

How do pupils, for example, move around?

How can this new mobility be visualised without a car?