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Cities consider ban on 'beer bike' tours

The Local · 16 Aug 2010, 12:25

Published: 16 Aug 2010 12:25 GMT+02:00

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Pedestrians feel threatened by the two-wheeled Segways, while the wide, multi-seat conference bikes, often converted to “beer bikes” with a keg in the middle, create traffic jams on narrow streets, according to Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

The beer bikes, which allow for passengers to imbibe while a sober driver guides them on their tour, are particularly controversial, the paper said.

The rolling keg parties have been visible on Berlin streets for some time, but were allowed to hit the southern city of Stuttgart's streets just this summer following approval by the Baden-Württemberg state parliament.

Meanwhile the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf is concerned about the “indiscriminate peeing” and noise that accompanies the beer bike tours. The municipal public order office there tried to have the vehicles banned last year with a successful case in the city's administrative court, but failed to convince an appeals court.

The state's top administrative court in Münster will now address the case in October, and the nearby city of Cologne plans to model their regulations accordingly, the paper said.

Officials in the German capital have also decided to wait for that ruling.

“Then we'll discuss it,” Mathias Gille, spokesperson for the Berlin city government's traffic control office, told the paper. “There are no motions to ban them. The beer bikes and rickshaws are not to be overlooked, though.”

But deputy leader of the Berlin Free Democrats, Klaus-Peter von Lüdeke, told Der Tagesspiegel that he wants the vehicles banned.

“These rolling beer bars take up the width of a car and are real traffic impediments,” he said.

Beer bike drivers are required to remain sober while they guide the tours, but Lüdeke said they still could not be trusted to negotiate traffic.

But Green party state parliamentarian and member of the committee for traffic and development Claudia Hämmerling rejected a ban on the vehicles.

“There's also a danger from regular bike riders,” she told the paper.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:53 August 16, 2010 by catjones
Since there are no trivial complaints in the German government, I tripped over a baby carriage, let's ban them too.

So many dangers, so little time.
16:29 August 16, 2010 by MonkeyMania
And what about those idiots who have the baby carriage trailing behind the bike. Don't know how many times I have nearly missed them due to not seeing them. Especially at winter in the darker evenings.
18:17 August 16, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Exactly hech54. Cyclists should get more encouragement to come out on their bikes and leave the car at home. Unfortunately, the Car industry rules the roost in Germany and the industry chiefs/politicians want everywhere to be an autobahn with fast tracking for cars. Bikes come a poor poor last when it comes to decisions about roads.

Having said that though. It is cyclists who cause a lot of trouble by not obeying road traffic rules and laws. I am a cyclist myself but I have to say, some cyclists almost deserve to get knocked over by the way they ignore traffic lights, have no lights on in the dark, wearing dark clothes etc. My main gripe is as I said in #2. Get rid of those buggies trailing behind bikes with kids in them. How many kids get run over in those things, I wonder?
19:20 August 16, 2010 by Gwaptiva
A court in the Netherlands recently ruled that the BeerBike isn't allowed on the roads because it isn't a bicycle (too wide).
19:49 August 16, 2010 by JDee
I saw the BeerBike in Bamberg and though it was great, the other thing I've seen here is loads of guys out in the countryside pissed out of their heads pulling handcarts down country lanes loaded with booze, that was really dangerous, but at the same time a nice traditional thing to see...would be better if they closed down certain roads on that day ( batchelors day or something? ) so they could do it safely

Don't see a problem with the BeerBike in touristy towns, just like the pony traps in Salzburg and Venice, it adds to the atmosphere, common sense not to take them on the big roads, but bikes are already banned on the Bunderstrasse

The most dangerous thing I've ever seen in Germany was a guy slaloming a Porsche through the middle of Köln, my heart skipped a couple of beats as I thought he was going to kill about 10 people on the pavement. But not a reason to ban cars. I don't think BeerBikes will ever kill 6000 people a year likes cars do.

As for Segways... interesting I used to think they were a great idea, but didn't want to get one, as an alternative to a car in the city, the conclusion I came to the end was that you don't need either. Public transport + cycle + walking covers everything for me personaly. I agree that the reason they didn't take off is because you look a plonker and the reason people still drive cars in the city is because they boost self-esteem. But as for the practicalies of city living you rarely should need either.
20:41 August 18, 2010 by ilyushenko
@Monkeymania

You're absolutely right. Those kiddy trailers are below the sightline of cars. I fear it will take a terrible tragedy for them to be banned. Any parent who uses them must be deranged.
17:18 August 22, 2010 by Hink
Right on buddy; I did see a practical use for those kiddy trailers and a sane drunk was hauling four crates of beer home. worst case would be a tear. as far as a useful mode of transport for an innocent child it is "Russian Roulette with an automatic"
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