Law and Order in the Park

Several months ago while driving in Berlin, I was passed by an official-looking car that caught my attention.  I snapped this photo of it at the next intersection:

Ordnungsamt vehicle

Ordnungsamt vehicle

The word Ordnungsamt on the back of the car translates literally as Orderliness Department, although a more meaningful rendering might be Office for Public Order.  I know that Germans have a reputation for being orderly, but still I was surprised to see that a public office was devoted to maintaining order.  And I wasn’t really sure what members of the Ordnungsamt do.  Today I found out.

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Biking in Berlin

Annette and I love biking in cities.  Our daughters do not, yet, but often we talk them into it.

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Sunday morning outing by bike

Berlin is the most bike-friendly city I have experienced.  The city’s transportation infrastructure encourages biking.  The plentiful bike lanes are usually located between the streets and the sidewalks.

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The bike lanes have their own traffic signals.  Bikers here generally obey the traffic signals. This is hard for me to do, but I am trying.  It helps that the car drivers seem to be quite respectful of bikers.

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Bike traffic lights for both directions

Bike traffic lights for turning left and turning right


Two reds mean you really, really have to stop.

Two reds mean you really, really have to stop.

I love biking in Berlin

I love biking in Berlin!