GA English on Sunday News in Brief for the Weekend

This weekend’s news overview is all about trouble on the streets in and around Bonn: First, a pro-Palestine demonstration brought traffic to a temporary standstill in the city on Saturday; then major roadworks at Endenicher Ei caused even more havoc; and finally, a motorist trying to escape from the police crashed his car (which had false number plates) in Alfter.

GA English on Sunday: News in Brief for the Weekend
Foto: Andreas Baumann

Pro-Palestinian motorcade brings Bonn city centre to a temporary standstill

A motorcade led to traffic jams in Bonn city centre on Saturday afternoon. According to police spokesman Robert Scholten, the parade was organised by a private individual under the motto "Stop the war in Gaza". As the exact route of the demonstration was not clear until Saturday morning, the police were only able to publicise the demonstration of pro-Palestinian demonstrators on social media shortly beforehand.

The cars set off from Römerbad at around 2 pm. Around 46 vehicles and ten bicycles, closely accompanied by numerous emergency services, drove in the convoy towards Bonn city centre via Kölnstraße, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, Belderberg, Rathausgasse, Am Hof, Am Neutor, past the bus station via Thomas-Mann-Straße to Friedensplatz and from there over the Kennedy Bridge to Beuel. The convoy then crossed the Kennedy Bridge back to the starting point.

On the way, the cavalcade stopped for short speeches. This led to frequent long traffic jams in and around the city centre. At times, Adenauerallee between Bundeskanzlerplatz and Koblenzer Tor, which now only has one car lane because of the new cycle lanes, was also blocked, eyewitnesses told the GA.

The motorcade also caused disruptions for the bus services operated by Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB) and their passengers. According to SWB spokeswoman Clarissa Pütz, there were delays of up to 20 minutes. The parade ended at around 4 pm.

A police spokesperson said that the demonstration was generally peaceful. The police had seen no cause for complaint with regard to the flags and posters.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Jean Lennox)

Chaos on the very first day of road closures at Endenicher Ei

On the morning of day one after the closure of the A 565 between Bonn-Nord and Poppelsdorf and the B 56 at Endenicher Ei, things were still relatively quiet on the diversion route for the A 565 via the Konrad-Adenauer-Damm. The same is true for the diversion from Bornheim to the A 555 and on the side roads of the B 56 in Endenich. But from midday onwards the roads were slowly filling up, especially around the centre of Endenich and in the Bonn-West industrial estate, both in and out of the city.

Some SWB and RVK bus routes were also caught up in the traffic, which, like the cars coming from the city centre, were diverted from Endenicher Straße via Karlstraße, Immenburgstraße in the direction of Propsthof and Auf dem Hügel back to the B 56 on the Hermann-Wandersleb-Ring.

The roundabout at Propsthof/Auf dem Hügel turned into a bottleneck, with traffic backing up from Propsthof to Bornheimer Straße at times. However, SWB spokeswoman Clarissa Pütz reported: "Our buses are only delayed by a few minutes. So far there have been no major incidents."

The picture was similar in the opposite direction: long traffic jams formed on the Hermann-Wandersleb-Ring from late midday. Some drivers tried to get past the traffic jam by using the bus lane, but in doing so they repeatedly obstructed one bus route or another, which resulted in honking horns.

The idea of some drivers to turn right into the town centre at Ernst-Hoffmann-Straße was also not a good idea. Even in the traffic-calmed zone of Endenicher Straße, cars were bumper to bumper.

The full closure of the B 56 in Endenich is scheduled to last until Tuesday, 27 February. In the following days until Friday, 1 March, the B 56 will then only be open to traffic in one lane in both directions. The full closure of the motorway section is initially planned until 5 a.m. on Monday, 4 March. After that, the motorway will have to be closed again from Friday, 8 March, in the evening until Monday morning, 11 March, according to Autobahn GmbH. Long-distance diversions will lead from Meckenheim via the A 61 and the A 553 to the Cologne-Bonn motorway A 555, while inner-city diversions will lead from the Hardtberg junction via the Konrad-Adenauer-Damm to the Bornheim junction (A 555). Godesberg residents travelling to Cologne are advised by the city to take the south bridge (A 562) and the A 59. The closure periods are necessary for the demolition of the southern bridge ramps, which have been closed since the start of the construction work. Supply lines are also being laid on the B 56.

According to police spokesman Robert Scholten, the traffic situation is still "acceptable". Although officers noticed a high volume of traffic from lunchtime onwards, not only in the city centre but also in the west of Bonn and in Endenich, "we still see no reason to intervene", says Scholten. He and SWB spokeswoman Pütz are more concerned about Monday, when many commuters will be on the road again.

A tip for drivers coming from Duisdorf who want to drive towards the city centre: You can join the A565 at Lengsdorf, then take the Poppelsdorf exit and then drive along Reuterstraße to Bundeskanzlerplatz/Adenauerallee.

From Tuesday, traffic should be able to flow again in both directions via the Endenicher Verteilerkreis, at least on the B56 - but only in one lane in each direction. Pedestrians and cyclists will then also be able to use the northern section in the direction of Duisdorf again. In the other direction, pedestrians from Endenich will have to use the subway on Endenicher Straße. For cyclists, a diversion via Brahmsstraße/Wiesenweg/Schumannstraße is still signposted from the corner of Endenicher Straße/Regerstraße.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Jean Lennox)

Crash after chase with police

At around 5 p.m. on Friday, officers asked a 29-year-old to stop for a roadside check. But instead, he stepped on the gas and drove off in the direction of Alfter. Officers pursued the car but soon lost sight of it.

On Herseler Weg in Alfter, the 29-year-old then drove off the road while trying to turn left. He drove his VW Golf into two parked cars, suffering minor injuries, for which he was treated at the scene. When the police arrived at the scene, they suspected that the man was under the influence of drugs and ordered a blood sample to be taken for a drug test.

The 29-year-old's car, which had stolen licence plates, was towed away. The police also discovered that the driver was no longer in possession of a driving licence. The Bonn police have started an investigation. The total property damage caused by the accident is estimated to be at least 10,000 euros.

(Original text: Tamara Wegbahn, Translation: Jean Lennox)

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