1. GA-English

Against six-lane expansion in Bonn: More than 300 demonstrate for better bicycle infrastructure

Against six-lane expansion in Bonn : More than 300 demonstrate for better bicycle infrastructure

A good 300 people from Bonn attended a bicycle demo calling for more initiatives focusing on bicycles instead of cars. They were not allowed to protest on the ‘Tausendfüßler’ as planned.

What will a six-lane expansion of the bridge construction known as the ‘centipede’ (Tausendfüßler) bring? More traffic on the motorway and in the city, fear those who took part in the bicycle demonstration in Bonn on Sunday. 200 participants were initially announced, and 50 more were allowed to join during the opening rally on the university campus in Poppelsdorf, when the public order office deemed the corona protection measures to be acceptable. The police estimated that a total of around 300 people took part in the bicycle demonstration.

Originally the protesters wanted to cycle over the Tausendfüßler, but, as previously reported, this had been forbidden by the court. Jacques Jassoy from ‘Parents for Future’, the group that organised the demonstration together with ‘Moratorium A565’, the ADFC and many others under the motto “Tausend Fahrräder auf dem Tausendfüßler” ("A thousand bicycles on the centipede"), criticised the decision, finding the arguments unsatisfactory. He complained that the authorities had made it too easy for themselves by arguing that the resulting traffic jam posed a risk of accidents.

And the court’s assertion that such an action is only damaging to the campaign was also meagre, Jassoy said. So instead the bicycle parade rode right through the city, over the Endenicher Ei, Auf dem Hügel and the north of Bonn to the Nordbrücke. The plan was then to ride south to the Reuterbrücke bridge and back to Poppelsdorf. Smaller rallies were held at three locations.

Jassoy expects the new Bonn mayor, Katja Dörner, to take the campaign’s concerns seriously and to act upon her statement of opposition to the expansion, even if this requires a lot of administrative work.

“If we want fluid transport, we need a different concept.” Annette Quaedvlieg, chairwoman of the Bonn ADFC, demanded that the Tausendfüßler be widened for one cycle path only.

In general, cyclists should be given more consideration in road traffic, said participant Ruben Joos. The car is too much in focus. In Tübingen, he said, it has been established that a car-free city centre would by no means keep people away - the same could be said for Bonn.

He also wished for an expansion to public transport and that bicycles could be taken on board free of charge. The focus of attention for Juliane (10) was climate. "We should preserve the environment." This means no motorway expansion, no cars in the city centre. Her mother Ute Hub believes that “the city should definitely do more for safe cycling”. Car-free city centres, she said, were probably unrealistic. "But the better the alternatives, the more people will switch to public transport or cycling. Dominik Becker, who rode with daughter Ronja (3), also wanted a better cycling infrastructure. "The Tausendfüßler demonstrates the lack of awareness of what needs to be done to the traffic," he said. "I would like my daughter to be able to move freely in Bonn one day."

Bonn police were present at the demo with several emergency vehicles and in the meantime had to close the Auerberg motorway access road for half an hour, causing a slight traffic jam. According to press spokesman Frank Piontek, there was no reason not to let the demonstration start. The participants had followed the rules.

(Original text: Stefan Knopp, Translation: Caroline Kusch)