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"Emission-free inner city": Plans to widen bike paths in the Rheinaue

"Emission-free inner city" : Plans to widen bike paths in the Rheinaue

Bonn city planners have approved an "Emission-free inner city" project and a widening of bike paths at the Rheinaue. It now goes to city council for a vote. The city is relying on millions in funding from the state.

The City of Bonn wants to widen the bicycle paths on both sides of the Rhine to make them more attractive for regular commuters. This measure, along with everything included in the state-wide project “Emission-free inner city” was approved by the vast majority of planning committee members. The city council will have the final say in a vote on Thursday next week.

Bike paths would be widened to between three and four meters and include lighting. Some of the current bike paths are less than two meters wide, for example the one south of the Rheinaue between Hardtstraße and the Haus Carstanjen.

The administration plans to implement the measures included in the NRW state government's "Emission-free City Center" project. It intends to apply for funding of 14.3 million euros from the Cologne district government and hopes to receive state subsidies of 12.4 million euros.

Cleaner air is the goal, and this would be an expected outcome from the transition of cars to alternative transportation. But expanding the paths also means that some trees would have to be felled. Still, it is expected that a majority in city council will approve. In the session with the planning committee, a member of the Green party remarked that natural habitats would have to be taken into consideration when it came to lighting, for example the bat population.

A politician from the SPD party welcomed the plans, saying the bike routes would be especially frequented in summer, while a member of the Left party said he generally supported the idea but worried about speeding as a result of the wider paths, especially since e-bikes are becoming more popular. From the point of view of the FDP party members, there should be no blending of cycling commuter routes with recreational and leisure areas in order not to displace walkers, joggers or skaters.

(Orig. text: Philipp Königs; Translation summary: ck)