Car-Free Friedrichstrasse

As a pilot project, a joint initiative from the Berlin Mitte district governmental agency, the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, and the Senate Department for Economy, Energy, and Business, Friedrichstrasse will be closed to vehicles for six months. A section of this major thoroughfare will be transformed into a car-free zone as of the 29th of August, 2020. The idea is to increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic and make the street a more desirable place to spend time. The ClimPol team is accompanying the pilot project with measurements to see how the closure affects air quality, not only on Friedrichstrasse itself, but also on the parallel streets where vehicle traffic is expected to increase.

The air quality measurements were started in early June and will be continued through the 6 month pilot and for several months after the pilot project on Friedrichstrasse has ended. We are using small sensors installed on lamp posts for continuous high time resolution measurements. These are supported by intermittent measurements using reference instrumentation installed in a cargo bicycle. Concentrations of nitrogen oxides, ozone, and particles are being measured. The measurement plan was developed and the evaluation of the data is being carried out in close collaboration with the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. The evaluation will also consider changes in traffic counts and meteorology.

These results will be used to inform decision-making around the pilot project.

For more information on the pilot project, see: https://www.berlin.de/events/5914821-2229501-autofreie-friedrichstrasse.html or the IASS news piece: https://www.iass-potsdam.de/en/news/car-free-friedrichstrasse-iass-evaluates-impacts-air-quality