Rigaer strabe in berlin: 19 months of full closure

Due to controversial construction projects, part of Rigaer Strabe in Friedrichshain will be completely closed from Tuesday. Green Party deputy expects lawsuits.

Protest against construction projects on Rigaer Strabe. Photo: dpa

A notice that had been irritating residents of Rigaer Strabe for a short time got an official blessing on Thursday. The note, attached with adhesive tape, announces a "full closure in the area of Rigaer Strabe 36 – 38 / Rigaer Strabe 71 – 73A" from "01.08.2017 to 28.02.2019" – signatory "The construction management". Whoever suspected behind this a protest action against construction projects planned in the street section was wrong: Thursday afternoon the public order office of the district Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg confirmed the official order of the one and a half year street closure.

According to the "Residents’ Information", the section of the street, which will soon be completely closed for 19 months "for cars as well as pedestrians and cyclists", lies exactly between two construction projects that are being hotly contested in the neighborhood. On the one hand, rental apartments for 13 euros cold per square meter are to be built in the "Carre Sama-Riga," and, according to taz information, condominiums and a hotel are to be built opposite.

That it concerns with the notes a measure "ordered by traffic law" as claimed therein, one did not want to believe on taz inquiry therefore at first also with the actors of the "office for alternative urban space use", directly beside the building site. "Not imaginable that this is real," said one of those who ran the cultural laboratory "Antje oklesund" there before the demolition on the Sama Riga site, still on Thursday morning.

The ominous notice Photo: taz

But district mayor Monika Herrmann (Greens) confirmed a corresponding "order of the Office of Public Order" in response to a taz inquiry. In its brief press release on the planned closure, it says that the decisive factor for the closure is "in particular the safety of all road users". In addition, it shortens the construction period by "2-3 years", since "work can be done on both construction sites in parallel".

Herrmann’s party colleague, Green Party MP Canan Bayram, whose constituency includes Rigaer Strabe, on the other hand, considers the closure "unlawful because it is not proportionate": it affects residents as well as tradespeople and is also "an absurdity in terms of citizen participation."

"I think someone will sue against it," Bayram said. "Everyone is already pissed off here anyway."

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