Traffic jams are a common affair in many cities. People commute to work and to study and need to get around for different reasons such as shopping and leisure. As residents of Munich, we could see a city with wide roads, but that couldn’t keep the city avoid jams in the peak hours.
The advantage of Munich comparing to similar Brazilian cities is that wasting time in traffic is an option since there are more efficient ways to get around the city. There are exclusive bus lanes, trams, trains, and subways. In addition to public transport, much of the city has an adequate cycling infrastructure, allowing cyclists to move quickly, comfortably and safely.
We used to cycle in our day to day lives in Munich, and then we realize that we started to have a different relationship with the city. We started to notice that on the way there are parks, rivers, sports areas, gardens, and lakes. Our paths were no longer restricted to simply commute and became a special moment of the day. Instead of a pendular movement, we discovered new routes, where it is allowed to enjoy the public spaces and to interact with people.
The loss of valuable time inside a car stuck in traffic is seen more and more like an outdated option. Planning the cities of the future must incorporate the changes in people’s lifestyle. Cycle paths can be considered as a unique transportation system (not as an appendix in the streets), where you can make beautiful paths through woods, parks and along riverbanks, where commuting and enjoying the city become one.
Text: Carolina Nunes and Walter Weingaertner
Photos: Walter Weingaertner