Move now for a new mobility normality: After a strong start of the worldwide “Kidical Mass Movement” in Paris and Manchester, Germany, Europe, USA and Australia are cycling!
Press Release Kidical Mass Action Alliance
Berlin/Bern/Hamburg/Cologne/London/Verden, September 22, 2023
From September 16 to 24, 2023, the Kidical Mass Action Days will take place for the sixth time. The focus is on the weekend of September 22 to 24. The alliance, which operates worldwide from Cologne, is now drawing hundreds of thousands onto the streets: from London to Lisbon to Berlin and Bad Endorf, one message unites all the players in the new, as well as the first, international mobility movement: safe streets for children – now!
Simone Kraus, co-initiator of the Kidical Mass says: “We are united by the vision of a new mobility normality: streets on which children and young people can move safely and independently. The wow effect: an improvement in the quality of life for everyone!”
The action alliance has been setting masses in motion since 2020. With considerable snowball effect, Kidical Mass attracts strong national partners and renowned international players. The format has also expanded. In addition to bicycle demonstrations on the weekend, school street and bicycle bus actions take place the week before. The latter are the equivalent of a small Kidical Mass bike demo on the morning commute to school. All actions show how streets should be designed today: Namely, in such a way that children can get to school on their own, exercising in the fresh air and having fun.
Demands on politicians: The ABCs of safer streets
The Action Alliance knows what is needed everywhere to make independent mobility for children the norm again. That’s why the main demands are: a) Separation of bicycle and car traffic as far as possible, with protected bike lanes, b) 30 km/h speed limit on main roads in cities, up to 20 km/h speed limit in front of schools and daycare centers, and c) school streets without car traffic.
First step: Establish school roads now
It is clearly not just the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children get to school safely. Local authorities have a duty. A simple and effective lever that they can use immediately is to set up school streets. These are temporarily car-free and regulated by time-limited transit bans, for example in the morning, before the first lesson. What can speed up the process at the municipal level is the inclusion of school street regulations in the Road Traffic Regulations, similar to what is done in Austria. This is a challenge for the federal states.
Child-friendly road traffic law with a wow effect for everyone
The conference of transport ministers in Germany in the spring of 2023 also stated that up-to-date road traffic law and a child-friendly transport infrastructure increase the safety and quality of stay in public spaces for all population groups. Kidical Mass would like to remind the relevant decision-makers of these basic principles once again. Ultimately, this is not just about routes to school, but about a new normality of mobility on all roads. Because this ultimately leads to an improvement in the quality of life of all!
About the Kidical Mass Action Alliance: The Kidical Mass is a worldwide movement. It has existed in Germany since 2017. In colorful bicycle demonstrations, cyclists from 0 to 99 years old conquer the streets. The Kidical Mass campaigns for child- and bicycle-friendly cities and communities. At the heart of the action alliance are more than 500 local organizations and initiatives. A unique network – decentralized, self-organized and strong together. It is supported by supra-regional partners: ADFC, Campact, Changing Cities, Clean Cities Campaign, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk, Greenpeace, Parents For Future, Pro Velo Schweiz, VCD and Zukunft Fahrrad.
Hashtags: #KidicalMass #StreetsForEveryone #StreetsForKids
>> Locations: All at a glance here https://kidsonbike.org/
>> Download photos (editorially free): https://cloud.kinderaufsrad.org/s/HR2tMFi6eEcfon8
>> Information or interview with e.g. the Action Alliance, local groups or a partner organization? Get in touch!
Kidical Mass Action Alliance
Karen Rike Greiderer – Press Officer
+49 172 464 1658
Quotes from the Kidical Mass action alliance:
Rebecca Peters, ADFC national chairwoman: “Politicians have promised the people of Germany a cycling country, but there is still almost nothing to be seen of it. The ones who suffer most are the children – their routes to school and everyday routes are still mostly unsuitable for carefree cycling. On behalf of all children, I hope that their need for independent movement and safe routes will finally be taken seriously. School and play streets without through traffic, Tempo 30 as a standard speed in cities – and a child-friendly road traffic law, that’s what we need.”
Annika Liebert, Campact: “Transport Minister Volker Wissing’s blinkered view of highways doesn’t get us anywhere – on the contrary, we’re treading water. With thousands of biking children and adults all over Germany, we show Wissing at the Kidical Mass what a real traffic turnaround looks like.”
Ragnhild Sørensen, Changing Cities: “When I was seven, I was able to drive to school on my own on my first day. That was an incredible feeling of freedom that I will never forget. Copenhagen’s infrastructure made that possible. It should be natural for all children to have that security and feel the joy of being a little independent person.”
Barbara Stoll, Clean Cities Campaign: “Hundreds of children die every year in traffic accidents and because of illnesses linked to air pollution.We’re delighted to see children reclaiming the streets once more to make their voices heard. City leaders must listen and install school streets in front of every school, as well as making sure the journey to and from school is safe to walk and cycle.”
Holger Hofmann, Federal Executive Director of the German Children’s Fund: “The mobility turnaround must finally pick up speed. For this, we also need a transport policy geared to the needs of children and young people. This would help children to move independently in road traffic and, for example, to be able to get to school by bike. This is another way for children to learn how to find their way around and take care of themselves. This strengthens their self-confidence – also for other life situations.”
Kerstin Haarmann, VCD Federal Chairwoman: “Traffic policy is on the wrong track. It is not enough to rely solely on road safety training for children; instead, it must finally take measures for child-safe traffic. This includes a StVO that allows school and play streets and 30 km/h speed limits in built-up areas throughout the country.”
Markus Burbach, Parents for Future Germany (Press): “The mobility turnaround necessary for climate neutrality begins not least with the desire to cycle and the naturalness of using the bicycle as a means of transport of first choice. Safe traffic routes are a prerequisite for this, so that children in particular can preserve and increase their enjoyment of self-determined mobility.”
Elena Laidler-Zettelmeyer, Zukunft Fahrrad: “Active mobility is not only important for children and young people to be healthy and self-determined on the road. Politicians are called upon to make it possible for all road users and to create safe cycle path networks. This is the only way to achieve a socially just and sustainable change in transportation.”