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Hope for new bridge: City council debates Rhine bridge between Südstadt and Beuel

Hope for new bridge : City council debates Rhine bridge between Südstadt and Beuel

Politicians are starting to examine the possibility of a fourth Rhine crossing in Bonn for pedestrians and cyclists, which could be built between the Südstadt and Beuel.

On Wednesday evening, the members of the Planning and Transport Committee of the City Council held an intensive but brief debate on the Rhine bridge that could potentially be built between the Südstadt and Beuel and that would be reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. The meeting was intense, because the project was advocated with great passion by its supporters, and it was short because almost all political groups were able to agree on a joint motion. The ball is now in the court of the city administration, who will carry out a feasibility study for the project.

Foto: Grafik: GA

Gabi Mayer from the SPD described the first small breakthrough for the project, which was made by the unanimous vote of the expert committee, as “great”. "Anything that encourages more people in Bonn to leave their cars behind is good. The Rhine crossing is perhaps the biggest bottleneck in the Bonn road traffic system", said the SPD politician. The planning spokespersons of the CDU, FDP and Green coalition factions were unanimous in welcoming an “important building block for a traffic policy change in Bonn”. Not even Marcel Schmitt of the Bonn Citizens’ Federation, who is known to be a skeptic, opposed the feasibility study. Only Hans Friedrich Rosendahl of the Alliance for Bonn (AfB) diluted enthusiasm slightly, by reminding the audience that such a crossing, although it had every possibility of state support, would ultimately have to be paid for. Rosendahl added that other projects would presumably take priority, given the existing renovation backlog in the city and the generally poor budget situation. He appealed to his colleagues in the council chamber “not to arouse expectations in citizens that are not tenable, six months before the local elections”.

The idea for the bridge originated from members of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC). Its representatives have been calling for the new crossing for over a year now, arguing, for example, that the Kennedy Bridge is becoming increasingly narrow. As is well known, the bridge was widened a few years ago especially for pedestrians and cyclists and according to figures, carried ten million cyclists over the Rhine in the four years between 2015 and 2019.

The bicycle lobby is therefore hoping that the situation will be relieved by the new bridge, which would run along the axis of the Zweite Fährgasse/Ringstrasse, i.e. exactly midway between the Kennedy Bridge and the Südbrücke. From the point of view of its proponents, this would be the ideal connection between Südstadt, the university, the government quarter and the residential areas of Beuel. A glance at the city map shows that the location is predestined, since the two connecting streets are in alignment; and the latest traffic development plan also provides for a crossing there.

(Original text; Rüdiger Franz, translation John Chandler)