Ollenhauerstraße and Rheinweg

Bonners have been waiting for years for railway underpasses

Gewohntes Bild: Der geschlossene Bahnübergang an der Ollenhauerstraße.

A familiar sight: closed railway barriers at Ollenhauerstraße.

Kessenich/Dottendorf. Residents continue to hope for railway underpasses at Ollenhauerstraße and Rheinweg in Bonn. If there is a cable car on Venusberg in the future, this could have an impact on their request.

Bonn and its barriers – the topic has famously inspired novelists and capital correspondents to plays on words. At the same time, the construction of the railway in the 19th century can be considered a masterpiece. The section from Cologne to Koblenz was completed after 15 years.

The fact that the route through the centre of the city would serve as a major route for passenger and freight traffic in the distant future was apparently not the focus of consideration at the time. And Adenauer’ proposal to lay the tracks in a trench was unfortunately never implemented. Just as for people in Südstadt, the dividing track bed is part of daily life for residents in the city districts of Kessenich and Dottendorf – and it makes almost no difference whether they are travelling as motorists, on bikes or on foot. Once the barriers at Rheinweg or at Ollenhauerstraße are down, it means waiting.

The mix of long-distance, freight and local transport, which is not co-ordinated automatically, means this can sometimes last up to 20 minutes. And longer freight trains mean longer waiting times. The wait is longest at Ollenhauerstraße, where a directly adjacent road junction regularly brings traffic to a standstill. Alternative routes are scarce. One goes over the Reuter Bridge, another through the underpass at Hochkreuzallee – depending on the route, this can mean diversions of two kilometres. For the last six months, there has been a way through for cyclists and pedestrians under the new Deutsche Bahn UN-Campus stop, but on the other hand this slows local traffic and causes additional barrier closures.

Additional underpasses have been requested for years but are not in sight. Some also fear that this will remain so if a cable car is built as the level of strain will decrease. Others, however, could live with this: their hope is that the cable car will literally let them rise above the issue.

Original text: Rüdiger Franz. Translation: kc