Up to 12,000 cyclists* were part of our ride on the A66 from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden on Sunday, August 29th where we transported the over 70.000 signatures that “Verkehrswende Hessen” has collected. In Wiesbaden the group presented the signatures to Tarek Al-Wazir, the minister for traffic for the state of Hesse. Our warmest congratulations to Verkehrswende Hessen for this fantastic achievement, and best wishes for the work still ahead of us.

We are experiencing a time of existential crisis. The climate catastrophe, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, biodiversity loss and other crises are putting our everyday life under pressure in new and terrible ways. This might sound overblown for some, considering the event yesterday was about better public transit, cycling infrastructure and conditions for pedestrians. But the big questions of our age are also being debated and decided at the state and city level.

Verkehrswende Sternfahrt break on the Autobahn
A short break on the Autobahn. Finally, all that space is being used efficiently…

We need a mobility transition – now!

The need for a true mobility transition is enormous – after this summer of unrelenting heat, forest fires and dried up rivers everyone must know this. And over 70,000 signatures as well as 12,000 participants show that the public has understood and demands real change. Thus, the Verkehrswende Hessen has inverted the usual power dynamics, if only for a few hours, and celebrated mobility for humans on the Autobahn – to the delight of the participants and the numerous spectators as well, lining almost every bridge along the route.

We are incredibly delighted that the Verkehrswende Hessen, which we supported as well, was this successful. After all the municipal cycling referendums – among others, Frankfurt, Kassel, Darmstadt, and most recently Offenbach – effected real change, it is now time to translate that success to the whole state of Hesse!

Verkehrswende Hessen presents over 70.000 signatures to Tarek Al-Wazir.

What does the future hold?

If you still want more after the ride on Sunday, you have ample opportunity throughout September: the ADFC Bike Night on September 10th, the Parking Day on Berger Straße on September 17th and our next Kidical Mass (happening all over Germany) on September 25th!

* The police is estimating about 8,500 participants. We are estimating about 12,000 participants. This difference stems from the following: police counted cyclists in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim and arrived at about 8,500. The ride was consciously planned to enable people to join and leave the ride during, by using the on- and off-ramps of the Autobahn. Thus, many people used that opportunity. Especially in Erbenheim there was a long jam, so the ride backed up all the way to Nordenstadt and Diedenbergen, where many people chose to leave early. Those people naturally are not included in the police count. Our estimates for the total number of people being part of the ride at one point or another is around 12,000 people, conservatively.