Monday, July 19, 2010

Still-Leben A40

The average speed on the freeways of Los Angeles can be as low as 5 miles per hour during peak traffic periods, but that's nothing compared to the average speed on the A40 yesterday. The A40, or Ruhrschnellweg, as it is sometimes called, is the main Autobahn through the Ruhr region and yesterday it was closed from Duisburg to Dortmund as the entire Ruhrgebeit sat down to a 60 kilometer long Kaffeepause. Average speed never crept above zero as the classic German picnic benches and tables were stretched end to end and the Autobahn was closed to vehicular traffic for the whole day. Not everyone was sitting down though: 1 million of the 3 million estimated participants were there with bicycles and plenty were just walking or skating or running. It was the biggest and most talked about event of the Kulturhauptstadt Year and I'm sorry I missed it.

But I've got plenty of photos, videos and even a 3D virtual Kaffeetisch that WDR has put together to help me experience the event vicariously. And I'm not sure I could enjoy a gathering of 3 million people anyway. So, I'll check out the pictures online and download a video or two. Hope you enjoy them too.


Shawn B. said...

what a strange event.

Anonymous said...

Ich hoffe, du sprichst deutsch. :)

Bei dem "Ruhrschnellweg" hast du nichts verpasst. Ich war dort und wollte von Bochum nach Essen fahren. Es war aber so voll von Menschen, dass man bestenfalls Schrittgeschwindigkeit fahren konnte oder sein Fahrrad schieben musste. Kein Fahrvergnügen.