Ask Hans-Torsten: Angry Berliners



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Crossing on red

Generally it is socially (not legally) acceptable in Germany to cross on red by bike or by foot if there is really nobody else who is put in risk. But especially in Berlin some cyclists think that traffic rules are exclusively made for car drivers or even pedestrians. Occassional expressions of disapproval about this behaviour are (even if made with restraint) apprehended with disturbance or aggression by this kind of cyclists.

(That doesn't mean aggressive car drivers aren't existing in Berlin, but this another topic.)

Moreover crossing on red in front of a small child it is comperatively common in Berlin, but it is comperatively rare to grumble about that. This is one of the inducements why also some New Berliners (Germans and Non-Germans) or long time visitors are irritated when some other Berliners sometimes yet again show their displeasure accordingly.

In some huge cities a lack of low scale social control is normal. On the one side this can be pleasant, there are several good reasons for not to live in a small town or a village. On the other side some people in Berlin get the false impression that in fact rather rare censured trivial offences are commonly and indiscriminately accepted. For example a fundamental crossing on red may be generally accepted by die-hard Kreuzbergers (if they aren't car owners), but even some really liberal Berliners have a certain sense for everyday life consideration.

Nick, Berlin more than 2 years ago


October 24, 2016


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October 30, 2016