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Traffic planning: More space for cyclists and pedestrians

Traffic planning : More space for cyclists and pedestrians

A majority in Bonn's city council wants pedestrians and cyclists to have priority when it comes to traffic planning. Political parties CDU, the Greens and the FDP have combined a bundle of proposals. Here is an overview.

Permanent traffic jams in and around Bonn, massive bus and train cancellations and delays, numerous accidents involving cyclists and global climate change: the political coalition of the CDU, FDP and the Greens wants to tackle this dilemma more aggressively than ever before. They have summarized their ideas in a package of proposals.

The planning committee meets on June 26 with many well-known proposals already put to paper. They include the construction of the Hardtberg rail (above ground), but also new ideas. For example, it is proposed that all parking spaces at the side of the road of Kaiserstraße are to be eliminated in order to create sufficiently wide bike paths. The council coalition compiled its proposals at a joint closed-door meeting at the beginning of June.

"We were concerned with the question of how mobility in Bonn, sustainable urban development and the solidarity-based urban society could look in the future," said CDU parliamentary party leader Klaus-Peter Gilles. The coalition has set itself a timetable for the next few years until 2030. By then, the aim is to increase the share of the environmental network of pedestrians, cyclists, bus and train users to 75 percent. Car traffic is to be reduced from the current 41 percent to 25 percent. Gilles says this is definitely "ambitious". According to a mobility study, the proportion of car traffic in Bonn could only be reduced by five percent between 2008 and 2017.

Pedestrians

Also in the proposals, the main network of sidewalks in the city and urban districts is to become barrier-free - for example by replacing the pavement. Curbs are to be lowered and pedestrians are to get more time to cross the street at traffic lights. Pedestrian areas are also to be monitored more closely when it comes to illegal use by vehicles. "Of course, we also want to press ahead with the expansion of public lavatories," said Brigitta Poppe (Greens).

Bicycle traffic

The aim here is to promote the development of a main bicycle path network independent of car traffic and - where possible - the introduction of bicycle lanes separated from the road by structural elements. One of the coalition's goals is the Sandkaule between Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz and Beethovenhalle. Hartwig Lohmeyer (Grüne) is “convinced that such a bike path could be built there immediately.” The longstanding call for a second underpass at the railway tracks on Poppelsdorfer Allee for cyclists is also to be taken up again.

Public transport

When it comes to local public transport, priority should be given to the continuation of planning for an above-ground Hardtberg rail as well as an extension of the city railways or trams to the north. Should a cable car from Venusberg via Dottendorf to Ramersdorf prove to be economically viable, the CDU, Greens and FDP would like to support more intensive planning.

In order to implement the measures, the administration would determine what additional personnel would be required and what costs would be incurred. Gilles spoke of a "master plan" for traffic changes in Bonn. "It must be clear to everyone that the implementation of these goals requires much effort and that a lot of money has to be raised for it". It is also clear that the city of Bonn cannot fulfill this mission without the help of the federal and state governments.

A response from the opposition party came swiftly. Gabi Meyer of the SPD said the topics were undeniably important but because there was so much contained in the proposals, it was like a “fog bomb”, nothing would happen in this legislative period. She said what was needed was concrete decisions.

(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen; Translation: ck)