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City addresses lack of seating: More public seating for the city center

City addresses lack of seating : More public seating for the city center

For those out and about in the city, wanting to rest their weary feet, a welcome development is coming in the form of more seating. Bonn residents welcome the city’s plan.

A chance to take a little break from time to time: In the future, the city of Bonn wants to offer this possibility to people out and about in the city. Seating is to be installed in the streets where there is shopping and in central squares in the city center. It could be added near lampposts, at the corners of buildings or even near trees. Exact details of how these seating arrangements could look like are not yet available.

According to an application submitted last June by the CDU, Greens and FDP political parties, the project could be implemented already in spring. The city's plan has been very well received by the people of Bonn. "On Poststraße in the direction of the train station, there could be more benches," says Ida Wittmann. When she recently came from the doctor, she noticed that some benches were no longer at the bus station. "Earlier, there were more possibilities to sit there," said Wittmann. Ursula Noll is out and about in the city once a week, and said she really didn’t miss the seating. But then she thinks about it again: “Well, actually, there are no benches on Sternstrasse”.

Dinah Dalbeck, store manager of "Olympus", which is located on Sternstrasse, also noticed a lack of seating. "There is just one bench here and that's it", she says, criticizing the fact that there is nowhere to just sit and take a break on the highly frequented shopping street. She believes people would like a place to sit down and the businesses would also be on board with that. But when new seating is added, more trash cans should be installed too: "We had a trash can here before, but one day it disappeared and was never replaced," says Dalbeck.

While there is a great need for additional seating in the shopping streets, benches in the central squares of the city are sufficiently available, at least in the winter months: On Friedensplatz there is the possibility to sit down, as well as on Remigiusplatz. Passers-by will find eight benches on Bottlerplatz and six on Münsterplatz. Jürgen Neidhöfer from Kessenich particularly likes to use the latter when he comes to the city for shopping. "You can sit here and enjoy some sun," says Neidhöfer. He would be happy to have a few more seats in the city center, which is why he also approves of the city's plans. "It's a good idea, but you'd have to look carefully where the seating is to be placed - not at windy corners, for example. It would be more unpleasant with wind," says Neidhöfer.

Just as on Sternstrasse, benches are also absent on Bonngasse. Two large, partially graffitied stones only offer an unattractive emergency solution. "Right here in the street where the Beethovenhaus stands, there is no bench. We are celebrating 250 years of Beethoven and there is no place to linger here", says Martin Ritter, owner of BoConcept on the corner of Bonngasse and Friedrichstraße.

Anyone turning from Bonngasse into Friedrichstrasse will also be disappointed: Only at the end of the long shopping street, shortly before the street Belderberg, will people be able to enjoy a seat - a "Green Oasis" recently set up by the student initiative Green Infrastructure and the Wissenschaftsladen Bonn, one of 1000 "Green Islands" for Bonn. Alexander Schubert, employee of the shoe shop Acribik, also recognized that there are too few or no benches in the pedestrian zone and thought about possible solutions. "Seating arrangements like those in front of the Kunstmuseum in Vienna would be great. We had already considered bringing such modern benches to Bonn. That would be an attraction in itself, but unfortunately the costs would be too high. The city's planned, space-saving seating is certainly a good alternative," says Schubert.

Orig. text: Sebastian Flick

Translation: ck