Bonn The municipal building authority has had two steps built at the end of Poststraße. The disabled community calls the new tripping hazard at the main station a “catastrophe”.
Silke Fischer was astonished when she was out and about in Bonn’s city centre on the newly designed part of the Poststraße between the almost completed Maximiliancenter and the construction site for the Urban Soul office building. At the end of the street opposite the main station, she suddenly stood in front of two steps. GA reader Fischer speaks of a “bungled job”, as the street had previously been flat at this point and only the curb had to be overcome.
When asked, the city of Bonn said that it was by no means an act of bungling, but a temporary measure, which would be removed at the latest after the planned reconstruction of the Am Hauptbahnhof street. During the course of the reconstruction, the tram tracks must also be diverted and renewed, similar to the tram stop there. Noone in the authorities can say exactly when this will take place. For structural reasons, the Am Hauptbahnhof street must therefore be developed further, explained Monika Gehrmann, deputy head of the responsible civil engineering office. For this reason, the level of the Poststraße has been raised to the future level of the Am Hauptbahnhof street. To make it easier for wheelchair users, handicapped people and parents with prams to cross the street, the civil engineering office has also installed a temporary small ramp on the southern side of the steps.
Handrails for the ramp
However, reader Fischer nevertheless wonders why the city of Bonn has not introduced a slight gradient into the street in order to make the transition completely barrier-free.
The disabled community in Bonn also considered this a good question, after it looked at the area and criticised the solution with the steps together with the ramp. Johannes Wiedemann, who works voluntarily for barrier-free planning in the city for the community of disabled people, even speaks of a “catastrophic situation”. “If a lot of people are standing at the traffic lights, it is hardly possible for wheelchair users and people with walking disabilities to cross the street safely.” That’s why the community of disabled people has suggested installing a handrail on the ramp so that no one ends up falling into the street. He has been negotiating with the administration for several weeks, without success so far, Wiedmann complains. The social networks are already firing off criticism concerning the new steps on the Poststraße. One contribution by a Facebook user says, among other things, that the administration’s plans are “as if no wheelchair users or people with walkers exist”.
When asked, Andrea Schulte from the press office explained: “the civil engineering office is in talks with the disabled community. But a handrail would be problematic at this point due to the large number of pedestrians.” According to a council decision, in addition to track renewal, the Am Hauptbahnhof roadway itself is to be renewed. The pavements are to be provided with light grey concrete blocks to match the new surface of the Poststraße. The planning approval procedure for the construction project is currently underway. According to the city, a decision can be expected in the course of the next few months. However, it is questionable whether the city will now begin another major construction in the middle of Bonn in view of the Beethoven anniversary year in 2020.
(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen; Translation John Chandler)